“Unto You, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You: let me not be ashamed, let not my enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on You be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth, and teach me: for You are the God of my salvation; on You do I wait all the day. Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to Your mercy You remember me for Your goodness’ sake, O LORD.” Psalm 25:1-7 (KJB)
“These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out. It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” Proverbs 25:1-2 (KJB)
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,
“I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death surrounded me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even into His ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because He was wroth. There went up a smoke out of His nostrils, and fire out of His mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, He did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about Him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before Him His thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave His voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, He sent out His arrows, and scattered them; and He shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at Your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils. He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; He delivered me, because He delighted in me.
The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath He recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all His judgments were before me, and I did not put away His statutes from me. I was also upright before Him, and I kept myself from my iniquity. Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in His eyesight. With the merciful You will shew Yourself merciful; with an upright man You will shew Yourself upright; with the pure You wilt shew Yourself pure; and with the froward You wilt shew Yourself shrewd. For You will save the afflicted people; but will bring down high looks. For You will light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
For by You I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him. For who is God except the LORD? Or who is a rock except our God? It is God that girds me with strength, and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teaches my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by my arms. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation: and Your right hand has held me up, and Your gentleness has made me great. You hae enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. I have pursued my enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. For You have girded me with strength unto the battle: You have subdued under me those that rose up against me. You have also given me the necks of my enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but He answered them not. Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets. You have delivered me from the strivings of the people; and You have made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me. As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me. The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places. The LORD lives; and blessed be my Rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. It is God that avengeth me, and subdues the people under me. He delivers me from my enemies: yea, You lift me up above those that rise up against me: You have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto You, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto Your name. Great deliverance gives He to His king; and shows mercy to His anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.” Psalm 18:1-50 (KJB)
“Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.” Proverbs 18:1-2 (KJB)
“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” Proverbs 18:1-2 (ESV)
“In the LORD put I my trust. How say you to my soul, ‘Flee as a bird to your mountain?’ For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:1-3 (KJB)
“A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is His delight.” Proverbs 11:1 (KJB)
“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.” Proverbs 4:1-2 (KJB)
“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: You have enlarged me in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.” Psalm 4:1 (KJB)
The reactions of people are wide a varied. When Lazarus had died, and was buried four days Jesus came and spoke to the dead man, and Lazarus got up, and came out.
There were many Jews who saw this and believed in Jesus. Some, not only sought to kill Jesus, but also Lazarus. Religious envy often raises the Ire, the anger, of some religious leaders; and this was one of those cases.
“Much people of the Jews therefore knew that He was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raised from the dead.
But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.” John 12:9-11 (KJB)
You would think that seeing Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead would have opened the eyes of all the Jewish people. Why did it not? Because of their hard heart of unbelief. They trusted a religious system; not God. They loved the attention of the crowds; not God. They loved to have power over the people; not surrendering themselves to the power of God.
Do we not know, that every time a soul comes to Jesus in faith, that is a resurrection from the dead. That is the greatest miracle of all. That a man, a woman, boy, or girl who calls on the name of Jesus Christ in faith is doing so because they have heard Jesus say “Come”, and because He has made the spirit of that individual hear, just as dead Lazarus did.
Redemption is given us by the grace of God through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God, who is God the Son.
“And He looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said,
‘Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.’” Luke 21:1-4 (KJB)
It seems that the wealthy; many of them; like to make much to do about their giving. Though any giving to aid those who are less fortunate, or are experiencing difficult financial times is generous. Being noticed for it, or seeking applause from the populace is not applauded by God.
Jesus, in the verses of Luke above, was sitting near by where the giving box was located, and He must have heard the jingling of the coins as they went into the metal receiving. Those who were more able to give wanted it to sound as though they were giving much, and Jesus noticed a poor widow who put in all that she had.
When it comes to giving who gives more the man with a million dollars who only gives a tenth of his wealth? or the one who lives from week to week on wages, whose take home pay maybe 400 dollars, and he/she tithes from that? I will let you answer that.
A few years ago there was two very well known billionaires who made the announcement, and quite publicly that they were going to give half of their wealth to aid the poor. Now there is no doubt in my mind that that was a very noble act. Let us think about that for a moment. At that time the younger one of the two had a net worth of over 50 billion dollars. Now let us think of that. If he was giving half of that to aid the poverty stricken, he still has a net worth of 25 billion. There is absolutely no sacrifice in the giving.
These people that were putting their money in the box were giving from their wealth; that is what Jesus said. The widow was giving all she had, and Jesus applauded this woman for doing so.
At this time of year many people get generous with giving. Giving gifts to family, friends, work associates, etc. Organizations give food, clothing, and gifts because of the time of year it is. That is wonderful. Why do we not make it a year round policy to give sacrificially to others in need? One month in a year. That is good. Great giving would be doing it from January 1 through December 31.
Think of this. Genuine generous giving is when you give until it hurts; and you need to cut back on something for yourself to give.
Jesus Christ gave us all He had. He gave His life, dying on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again. In Him and through His is life everlasting.
“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33 (KJB)
Jesus has dealt with the cost of following Him in verses 25-33 of Luke 14. Many who have or are thinking of themselves as followers of Christ have truly sacrificed, and given themselves for that great name – the name of Jesus.
There is a cost to being a disciple of Jesus Christ. First of all, your heart and life become His – you are His possession. You are no longer your own. You are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23). Secondly, you see as He sees, you believe as He believes. If He has declared something a sin; it is sin. You are in agreement with Him and His word. Human opinion is moot against the word of God. Third, you love Jesus Christ more than family, friends, work, play, sports, deer hunting, hunting, wife, children, grandchildren, and more than your own life (Luke 14:26). In this there are times when you will stand for the truth of God and His word at the disdain of these. Fourth, not the least of these is your greatest treasure is Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34).
The cost of discipleship – of following Jesus – is the cross we must choose to pick up. Let us keep in mind the price He paid that we could do so. He went to the cross, laid down His life, took the judgment that was yours and mine, died, was buried, and then He rose again. Through Him, there is life everlasting.
“And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, ‘That a great prophet is risen up among us;’ and, ‘That God hath visited His people.’ ” Luke 7:16 (KJB)
Her son was dead. The widow was grieving. She had no idea what she was going to do now to live. Her son, the joy of her life; as with any mother; was grieved by her loss. It also went deeper than that. Her son was her means of a living; buying the groceries, keeping the roof over her head. Now he is dead. [Read of the event in Luke 7:11-17]
As the funeral procession was being carried out for burial they pass by Jesus, and He says to the woman “Weep not” then He touched the bier or coffin, and said to the woman’s son, “Young man, I say unto you, Arise”, and he sat up and spoke. O, what joy must have come into this widow’s heart and life on this blessed day.
That is the event that led up to the verse for today. What would have been my response at seeing a dead man rise before my eyes? What would your response be? Probably one of wonder, awe, but also fear.
Knowing the One whom I know now; that is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, who is God the Son; I would, and will always glorify God.
God has visited His people. He sent Jesus His holy, only begotten Son, and He is called Immanuel which is “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He is the Great Prophet foretold through Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15).
The greatest of miracles which Jesus performs today is when a soul is saved through His death, burial, and resurrection calling on His name in repentance and faith.
Have GOD come visit you today.
“Now to Him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the Everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: to God only wise, glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.” Romans 16:25-27 (KJB)
As I read the apostle’s doxology to the epistle to the Roman Christians I thought of the Doxology our Church sang to open every Sunday morning worship service when I was a child.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen
We ought to always praise and worship the Lord Most High. He alone is worthy.
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:8-11 (KJB)
For those who dwell in Jesus Christ there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1). Our dwelling in Him is due to His dwelling in us. If His is not living in us; we are not in Him.
“Dwelling” means the place of our abiding; the place we live, where we sleep, we eat, we rest, we learn, we grow, etc.. For Him to dwell in us is for our benefit.
According to these verses, and the text of Scripture then to live in the flesh; to live a carnal life is the opposite of living or dwelling in the Spirit of Christ Jesus.
- They that are in the flesh cannot please God;
- You are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwell in you;
- If you do not have the Spirit of God in you, you are not God’s;
- If Christ is in you the carnality of the body is dead, because of sin (Isaiah 5:18);
- The Spirit is life because of righteousness – the righteousness of Jesus Christ;
- Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and raised to life again;
- Just as Jesus Christ was raised to life again, the LORD will also raise our mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in us.
If you are condemned by your sinful life come to Jesus Christ. Trust His work of death on the cross, His burial, and bodily resurrection. He will redeem you, forgive you, and set you free.
In the first chapter of Romans we find the phrase “God gave them up” which is really a very sad state to live in, and it really explains for the moral failures of 2019.
The second one we see is that GOD RELEASES THEM TO THEIR OWN DECAY AND FILTH OF IMMORALITY (Romans 1:24-25).
“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Romans 1:24-25 (KJB)
Why did God “give them up” to this ungodly – unrighteous behavior? They had a knowledge of God, but chose to suppress it. They turned away from God to worship idols made in the image of created thing – birds, beasts, and even themselves. Because they rejected God; sexual immorality most always follows wrong beliefs, and in particular the worship of idols. It is an act of dishonoring the human body and God.
When they turned from the truth they believed the Lie. The Lie is, “Did God really say that?” It is just a question, but one that places the seeds of unbelief in the heart. It was the first question the Bible speaks of that the serpent/devil asked in order to deceive. It is still being asked today. Not one of many lies but “the Lie” (Genesis 3:1-5). “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” [the Lie] (NKJV 2 Thessalonians 2:11). The Lie, that we can be like God – we become our own god. We have chaos when there is more than one God. There is war, strife of all sorts, contentions, and immoral living.
Satan is the father of lies. Jesus said, speaking to the religious leaders who rejected Him,
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).
Following this lie requires no accountability to a deity, except self. No one, can tell someone of this mindset, what is right or wrong. To them everything is ‘relative’ – they already have their preconceived ideas; they call good ‘evil’ and evil ‘good’.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
Moral decay, such as we see in our land, and the world is due to denying the truth, and believing the Lie, the father of lies, the devil. It leads to personal ruin, and eternal death.
The only hope we all have is in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He turns our heart to His way. He is the way, the Truth, and the life. When you put your faith in Him He changes your life, your direction, and gives you peace and joy for living.
“The just LORD is in the midst thereof; He will not do iniquity: every morning doth He bring His judgment to light, He faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.” Zephaniah 3:5 (KJB)
The LORD is always good. There is never a time when He is not. If He were not also Holy, Just, Righteous, and Jealous He would not be good.
The people in the day of Zephaniah’s prophecy were feeling quite positive of God’s presence with them. Judah, Jerusalem was counting on the fact that God would not leave them, neither forsake them; and the prophet assures them that He is indeed in the midst of them.
The LORD in their midst did not excuse their iniquity, their sin, their rebellion against the LORD. It would rather magnify their grievous sin – at least it should have. It magnified iniquity for the prophet of God; and God used him to warn His people.
For the people of God in 2019, those who call themselves “Christian” this word is for you today. God truly is in our midst; He will not do iniquity, and He does not rejoice in it. While the judgment of sin has been paid for by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, He was buried, and He rose again; does not give you a license to sin; neither is it an excuse for sin.
It is a license to freely live for God, confessing our sin when we commit the grievous act of sin and iniquity against God (1 John 1:9).
God will judge those who refuse to accept the gift of grace through the cross of Jesus Christ. We must never forget as a Christian, that judgment must begin at the house of God (1 Peter 4:17).
O that the Christian today; from the pulpit to the pew, the preacher to the man or woman who professes Jesus Christ as Savior of their lives to fall on their faces before God confessing, and repenting of their sins. Also crying out to see their sin as God does. That would be the beginning of a great awakening in the Body of Christ.
“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. 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 (KJB)
In the year of 2019 and beyond it seems that it is getting more and more difficult for some to discern the difference between “Good” and “Evil”. Our definition of each word will depend upon our source for making that determination.
If our source is the political system, Hollywood, the News media, or any other media then we will have varied, and wide, and wild interpretations of good and evil. These forms of information are dependent upon the ideologies, and hearts and minds of sometimes not so clear thinking individuals who have only love for themselves; and not truth.
Good and evil in the best understanding must be defined by God’s Word; the Person of God’s word is the Truth and He defines what is good and what is evil. The Person of Truth is none other than the only begotten Son of God Jesus Christ.
If God’s Word tells us that something is “Good”, then it is good. If He tells us that something is “Evil”, then it is evil.
It is quite clear from the reading of Scripture that God is good. It has been said, “God is good” and “God is good all the time” and “All the time God is good”. Since He is good, then everything He says and does is good.
It becomes then quite clear that since God is good He is the only One who can truly define evil, what it is, and where it comes from; so when God speaking through the prophet Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desparately wicked. Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then we can rest assured that God knows what He is saying, that it is the truth. We also can safely conclude that we are in need of a Savior; since we have a deceitful and wicked heart.
Amos by the word of the LORD says to “Seek good, and not evil”. What are you seeking today. There is good and there is evil. Anything contrary to God and His Word is evil. When you put your faith and trust in the work of Jesus Christ and His finished work of His death on the cross, His burial, and resurrection; then your definition of good and evil will change to agreeing with God. Seek good, and not evil. God is good.
“Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, ‘Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.’ And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.” Ezekiel 33:30-33 (KJB)
“Lo, it will come.” Just what is it that the LORD is telling Ezekiel that will come? Every word that He has given the prophet to speak will come to pass.
Many of the people of Israel loved to hear the words Ezekiel proclaimed. They loved the illustrations, the symbolism he used, the metaphorical emphasis that he used in his preaching; but they really did not hear, neither did they do them.
There are many today who love to hear a “good” sermon; the stories, the illustrations, life situations, and narratives that the preachers use in their Sunday morning messages; but is it because they are being entertained, or do the words they here; do the words you and I hear affect change in the life of the hearer? Do we grieve over our sin, repent, and walk out of that worship having truly worshiped Holy God, and having experienced a changed life?
Be sure that when the Christian preacher of 2019 is preaching the word of God, rightly dividing the word of truth, then it will come to pass, just as God has spoken it.
Jesus Christ is the Living Truth. He came and fulfilled all the law and commandments of God. He died on the cross for your sins, He was buried, and He rose again. He told us that He would come again (John 14:1-3); and He will. If He said He will come again; It Will Come” just as He has said.
“And the LORD said unto him,
‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.’
And to the others He said in mine hearing,
‘Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.’
Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them,
‘Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth.’
And they went forth, and slew in the city. And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, ‘Ah Lord GOD! Wilt Thou destroy all the residue of Israel in Thy pouring out of Thy fury upon Jerusalem?” Ezekiel 9:4-8 (KJB)
From the Matthew Henry Commentary on verses 1-4:
“What this notice is. There are those that have charge over the city to destroy it, not the Chaldean armies, they are to be indeed employed in this work, but they are not the visitors, they are only the servants, or tools rather. God’s angels have received a charge now to lay that city waste, which they had long had a charge to protect and watch over. They are at hand, as destroying angels, as ministers of wrath, for every man has his destroying weapon in his hand, as the angel that kept the way of the tree of life with a flaming sword. Note, Those that have by sin made God their enemy have made the good angels their enemies too. These visitors are called and caused to draw near. Note, God has ministers of wrath always within call, always at command, invisible powers, by whom he accomplishes is purposes. The prophet is made to see this in vision, that he might with the greater assurance in his preaching denounce these judgments. God told it him with a loud voice, taught it him with a strong hand (Isa_8:11), that it might make the deeper impression upon him and that he might thus proclaim it in the people’s ears.”
As believers in 2019 we need to consider the words of the apostle Peter…
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17
I share these posts because they are what the word of the LORD has given me for the day. I would much rather share a positive thought, and maybe that would be selfish of me to always be presenting the positive of Scripture. God is the only One who sees things as they ought to be, and is working all things for our good, and His glory.
The Church of Jesus Christ is the power of God on earth when we are sound in our faith, practice, life and living in the Spirit. However when we get away from the Scriptures, begin equating it to only the past, and believing the word is powerless, and not believing that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only power of God unto salvation; then we have become instruments of the world, and no benefit to the way of salvation.
O will you turn to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. He is the only hope for the world. Call on His name. He will hear your cry, and He will save you.
“And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah.
Then called he Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, and said unto them, ‘Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before Him; ‘If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull down, and I will plant you, and not pluck up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you. Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. And I will shew mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you, and cause you to return to your own land.’ ” Jeremiah 42:7-12 (KJB)
First of all when you ask do not already have your mind made up what you are going to do.
That is apparently what the remnant of those left in Judah to care for the land, and the cities. With hypocritical hearts and minds they feigned wanting the will of God, so they go to the prophet Jeremiah asking him to seek the LORD’S counsel on His will.
The above verses are God’s answer to Jeremiah for the people. It is a message of hope and promise if they will stay in the land. It is a promise that they need not fear Babylon their captors. What they need to do is do what the LORD says, and they will be protected and greatly blessed.
When we ask God’s counsel for something do we already have our minds made up of what we are going to do? It does not matter what God says in His word we often do what we want to do. That is a sad commentary on the life of a Christian, and it robs us of the promise, protection, and provision of the LORD our God.
When we ask, let us ask that the will of God be done. Let us ask for the courage, faith, and power of the Spirit of God in us to walk in His way; not our own. When God says “Stay”, let us stay. When God says “Go” let us go.
Our rest, our hope lies only in the Son of God who is Jesus Christ, God who became flesh, and dwelt among us. He died on the cross for ours sins, was buried, and He rose again.
“Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
“For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. ‘Report, and we will report it.’ All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, ‘Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.’ But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.
But, O LORD of Hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see Thy vengeance on them: for unto Thee have I opened my cause.
Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for He hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.” Jeremiah 20:10-13 (KJB)
Jeremiah is one of my favorite prophets. These prophecies have long been a source of encouragement, and strengthening of my faith in the awesomeness of God, and His mercy and grace.
He was born into a family of the priesthood, was probably expected to be a priest of the temple by his father. God had another plan and purpose for Jeremiah. He had a heart for God. He saw the evil of His day, how the people of God had turned their back on the LORD of Hosts, worshiping Him in hypocrisy, while worshiping Baal of the heathen neighbors; offering child sacrifices to the fires of their altars.
Many of Jeremiah’s friends (familiars) and those who feigned being with him was watching him, waiting for him to fail, even to fall from what God called him to do. His calling was to call the people of Judah to repentance and faith in God alone. They were to put away their idols; the physical ones and the ones of their own hearts.
Reading Jeremiah, as a matter of fact, as I read the whole of Scripture I have come to the conclusion that the people of the Bible are really no different from the people of 2019 in the United States of America.
We have Christians feigning worship to God while at the same time harboring idols of heart, mind, and of the physical kind (materialism). God is today calling His people, calling the true Christian of 2019 to repentance. Turn back to God. Believe His word. His word is the truth. It is the absolute truth. Anything that is contrary to the Bible is a lie.
Let us put away our idols. Whether we like, or want to admit it or not, there is Baal worship in our land. Children are being offered on fiery altars, slain, and slaughtered in death clinics, supposedly for women’s health. More for personal convenience, and supposed “women’s rights”.
O Christian, Hear the word of the Lord. He loves you with an everlasting love; but He loves you too much to leave you in your sin. If you are His He will do whatever it takes to make you holy.
If you are without God, you do not know Him. He has made the way for you to come to Him. That Way, the only Way is through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ His only begotten, and Holy Son. Call on His name to day.
I for one will not halt from preaching, and teaching the Bible as the inspired, inerrant, and infallible word of God; and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God the Son who died that Adam’s race might be saved.
“Thus saith the LORD, ‘The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool: where is the house that ye build unto Me, and where is the place of My rest? For all those hath Mine hand made, and all those have been,’ saith the LORD: ‘but to this man will I look, to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.
He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before Mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.’
Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at His word; ‘Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name’s sake, said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified:’ but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to His enemies.” Isaiah 66:1-6 (KJB)
By the grace of Holy God…
“Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art My servant: I have formed thee; thou art My servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of Me.
I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee.
Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel.
Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb, ‘I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself; that frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; that confirmeth the word of His servant, and performeth the counsel of His messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, ‘Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, ‘Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: that saith to the deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: that saith of Cyrus, ‘My shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, ‘Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, ‘Thy foundation shall be laid.’ ” Isaiah 44:21-28 (KJB)
The Redemption of the nation Israel is solely a work of God’s mercy, grace and love through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
A great day coming when the redeemed remnant of Israel shall look upon the One whom their forefathers crucified; and they shall call Him LORD (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:37; Revelation 1:7; Daniel 7:13).
I know people do not like hearing it; but the word of the LORD is working, His word will be hastened, and His judgment is coming. Hear the word of the Lord.
“When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, as the shaking of an olive tree, as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done. They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the LORD, they shall cry aloud from the sea.
Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea. From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.
Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass, he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day, the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.
Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of Hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.” Isaiah 24:13-23 (KJB)
The only hope for Adam’s race, otherwise known as humankind, is Jesus Christ who is the Living Son of God, God the Living Son, who gave His own life for our redemption, was buried carrying away all our sin, condemnation, guilt, and shame, leaving that in the grave, and He arose victorious and because He lives we will live with Him forever. Believe Him. It is coming to pass just as it has been said.
“Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, ‘Ah, I will ease Me of Mine adversaries, and avenge Me of Mine enemies: and I will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: and I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness…” Isaiah 1:24-27 (KJB)
Even though there were some kings who did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, there was still wicked hearted people. So it is in every age, and every nation.
God redeems His people through Judgment. I am so thankful that Jesus Christ took the judgment of God for our sins upon Himself, and suffered hell; that we might be redeemed unto God the Father.
“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” James 5:7-8 (KJB)
The farmer prepares the land, the ground where he is sowing a crop, then he sows the seed, and he waits.
What does he wait for? A harvest of much more than he/she has sown in seeds planted. Some call it a gamble or chance. I call it faith that is based on the basic promise of the rewards of sowing and reaping.
The deeds we do, good and bad, are as seeds we sow. The good seeds we sow will bring a harvest; but also the bad seeds will bring a harvest.
As I sit here writing this post it is raining. It is a blessing to the beef, dairy, and grain farmers around near and far. The reason I mention this is because it is August, and usually the month of August is hot and we are in the midst of a drought, or at least really dry. The farmer is very dependent upon the mercies and graces of our God and Father to even have a crop of hay or grains. Cattle need it to live and produce milk, and meat that is used by billions of people around the world.
The grain farmer waits for months to bring in the harvest from the seed he/she has sown; and the typical gardener as well waits for several weeks before they see a good harvest. The the average beef farmer produces more cattle through the cattle they have through reproduction, then when those calves are born, they wait until they reach the preferred weight, then they take them to the stockyards for sale to the meat packers. These also have waited several months.
Anyway, I hope you may be asking; it you do not understand where I am going with this; “What has this farming got to do with me?” You too are sowing seeds.
There are good seeds in your life’s living; and there are bad seeds in your life. If you have not been redeemed by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ your seeds are bad, and your harvest will be weeds and destruction (Galatians 6:7-8). Your harvest will be delayed too. Someone has said, “There are many sowing their wild oats, and then pray for a crop failure.” I understand that. There will, however be a harvest; one without great reward.
Good seed comes from the word of God through the Living Word who is Jesus Christ. There is a bountiful, beautiful harvest for all the good seed sown. Again there will be waiting. Believer, let us wait patiently for that harvest. We will not know how much, or how great until Jesus comes again; but we wait.
Waiting does not mean sitting down, and doing nothing. We must be all the more diligent in our labors for life, living, and our witness for Jesus Christ. Let us be faithful in our living to Jesus. He is coming, and could be very soon.
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:12-15 (KJB)
Christians who live godly lives will suffer persecution. Have you ever been laughed at because of the simplicity of your faith in Christ, the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to cleanse, to heal, to redeem, and get us into the presence of Holy God? Have you ever been threatened for your faith in Him? How about beaten and maybe left for dead?
Evil abounds in this world. Anyone who has eyes and ears knows there is evil in this world; and it is in the hearts of the people who live on this planet. As Christians we must guard our own hearts and minds through the word of God and prayer.
The Apostle tells us that “Evil men and seducers shall become worse and worse…” The evil ones are not only those who would do us physical harm; but also those who would do us spiritual harm by teaching lies, deceiving, and themselves being deceived.
So what do we do when evil surrounds us?
- Remember the things you have been taught from Scripture;
- Continue in those things applying them to your life, living for Jesus Christ and standing on His word;
- Always remember that those teachings you have learned in the word are the words of wisdom and for your salvation;
- There is absolutely no instruction to identify (to participate) with the world around us.
Always remember the gospel – the good news is – that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and He rose again.
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians 6:16 (KJB)
As if to say “Don’t forget the shield of faith” the Apostle gives instruction on using our faith in the spiritual battle we face. We cannot face the enemy without it.
“…The wicked” of the verse above is definitely speaking of the enemy of God (who is Satan), and ours; but we must not forget that wickedness, evil can be found in the people who live around us, and are pawns of the evil one. As Christians we are warned to guard our own hearts and minds; if we do not, then evil can come into our own lives.
Wickedness is all around us. Can you see it? There are people who call what is good “evil” and call what is evil “good”. As Christians we must stand for what the Bible, the Holy Bible, the Holy Scriptures say; the word of God stands sure. Without Scripture we can have no genuine faith.
Christians, Stand by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
From the Commentary of Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown…
“Above all — rather, “Over all”; so as to cover all that has been put on before. Three integuments are specified, the breastplate, girdle, and shoes; two defenses, the helmet and shield; and two offensive weapons, the sword and the spear (prayer). Alford translates, “Besides all,” as the Greek is translated, Luk_3:20. But if it meant this, it would have come last in the list (compare Col_3:14).
shield — the large oblong oval door-like shield of the Romans, four feet long by two and a half feet broad; not the small round buckler.
ye shall be able — not merely, “ye may.” The shield of faith will certainly intercept, and so “quench, all the fiery darts” (an image from the ancient fire-darts, formed of cane, with tow and combustibles ignited on the head of the shaft, so as to set fire to woodwork, tents, etc.).
of the wicked — rather “of the EVIL ONE.” Faith conquers him (1Pe_5:9), and his darts of temptation to wrath, lust, revenge, despair, etc. It overcomes the world (1Jn_5:4), and so the prince of the world (1Jn_5:18).”
Do not remain blind to the Truth of who Jesus Christ is. Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and He rose again. He will one day return and put away all evil; and it will be what He declares as evil; not what men say.
“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 (KJB)
The thankful apostle which has written this second letter to encourage the Church at Corinth to forgive the sins of their members who had repented of their acts of immorality (1 Corinthians 5); their acts of pride over their spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12-14), and other issues as well. He is still unable to be with them.
In looking at the above verse we see Paul giving the glory to our Lord.
Any victories we have is due to the victory of Jesus Christ on the cross, His burial, and His triumph over death, and the grave in His resurrection.
“…Having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Colossians 2:15
The Church had much; and presently has much to rejoice in. Jesus gives us the victory we must walk in it.
Father in Heaven, forgive our sins, our flimsy excuses for our sins. Forgive also our cheapening of grace; which is given us to free us from sin, and is now used as a license for sinning.
May we realize that Jesus died for our sin, in our place, paying the redemption price for our sin. We must turn from our excuses and our sin to triumph in Christ.
Fill us with Your Spirit, for then we will not walk in sin. Draw us nearer You, for then we will see our sinfulness and our greatest need of You.
Glorify Jesus Your Precious, Holy Son. Amen.
“I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in every thing ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance, and all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you unto the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:4-8 (KJB)
The apostle was writing to the Corinthian Church, saints, and was about to deal with some very difficult problems within that congregation. He was troubled by their popularity competitions about who was the greatest preacher, teacher. They had a problem with mystical revelations by emotional out burst, which caused trouble through confusion.
If you read the whole first chapter you will see that Paul does recognize them as “Saints” (v. 2), and in verse 2 you will see in the KJB that the words “to be” is in italics which means that was added into the text, supposedly for clarity and understanding. However, the words “to be saints”; at least to me; seems to be that some day in the future they will be saints. “Called saints” is the way it should read. Not by Paul, not by a pope or a religious hierarchy. Called saints by heavenly declaration, by God Himself.
The saint of God is an individual who is not perfect, neither without sin; but is daily being sanctified, set apart by God to honor and glorify Him. The saint of God never reaches a state of sinless perfection. The saint of God realizes that as we get closer to the Lord God just how sinful, and awful we really are, thus depending, relying, trusting the only One who can bring us to completion.
The apostle Paul notes to confirmations for the saint of God:
- That the testimony of Jesus Christ is in their waiting for the coming of the Lord;
- That because of their faith in Jesus Christ they are blameless at the day of the Lord Jesus.
Blameless does not mean sinless; but because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1).
Who are you in Christ Jesus? Has your faith in Him been confirmed by the Spirit of God, the awaiting of the coming of the Lord? He will complete His work in you, and find you blameless.
It has been a few days since I share a study with you other than a reblog by brother Wally Fry. I appreciate the studies which Wally shares with his readers.
I have been away from a good source for an internet connection, with one exception for poor cell phone service for my smart phone; and I find it very difficult to do anything in the way of posting anything on the sites here. I have been away serving as a camp cook/kitchen helper at our Associations Children’s Camp. I will endeavor to get back to serving my readers, and pray God will speak to all who come here. For today…
“Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.” Acts 17:16-17 (KJB)
The apostle Paul was in a city of Greece, very familiar with many people even in 2019. The city of Athens. He witnessed many forms of worship. It was all to idols. His spirit (not the Holy Spirit though I believe that his spirit was stirred by the Holy Spirit) was stirred or provoked to not just sit there.
Many times we as Christians just accept the way things are rather than confront the issue of idolatry. Someone might say, “There is no idolatry in our day”. Maybe we ought to think again there. There are many who adore, follow, even worship science. Others do the same for the technological advances that have been made in the past few years. There are others who are absorbed by Money and finance. There are also those who relish the thought and idea of a Global government. Then, there are also those who worship the idea of there not being any god at all, and just trust in themselves and human ingenuity. Now, have you rethought your position on being no idolatry?
We Christians should be grieved by idolatry; especially if we are guilty of it. Also when we see it in our land, and culture; and we should not be silent about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I for one do not like to argue. I am not real good at debating issues. I can proclaim that Christ Jesus came into the world to die on the cross for the sins of the world, He was buried, and He rose again. As they say, That is a hill I can die one; and I will if that is what it takes. In the mean time let us live the gospel before an idolatrous and evil and dark world.
“Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, ‘Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.’ And when they heard, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.” Acts 5:17-21 (KJB)
Thinking of our Christian brothers and sisters in nations where the gospel of Jesus Christ is not received in a spirit of freedom. I salute you, and thank you for not quitting. I also ask you to pray for us here in the United States of America; for though we are free; having the freedom of speech, and freedom of religion there are many who are trying to push the gospel out of the public, and have the word of God stay behind closed doors of our churches.
In the text above we see those who hated Jesus Christ, and had a hand in His crucifixion and death now hating His disciples, locking them in prison, trying to silence the power of God in Jerusalem.
The angel of the Lord freed them without even opening the jail doors (verses 22-26). The angel also sent them to the temple to teach, and they went and taught. They would not quit. They would not be silent.
Neither can the Christian of 2019 be silent of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. People are perishing. There are people dying in their sins. Christian of Africa continue to stand and preach the word of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christian of India, continue to preach the gospel. Christian of Iran, Iraq, and Turkey continue to preach the word of God.
Christian of the United States of America be faithful to preach the word of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ died for our sins, was buried, and He rose again (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
They Would Not Quit. Neither should you or I.
“Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself.
After that He poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded. Then cometh He to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, ‘Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?’ Jesus answered and said unto him,
‘What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.’
Peter saith unto him, ‘Thou shalt never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered him,
‘If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me.’
Simon Peter saith unto Him, ‘Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.’ Jesus saith to him,
‘He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.’
For He knew who should betray Him; therefore said he,
‘Ye are not all clean.’” John 13:3-11 (KJB)
This event seems to clearly be the meal of the Passover. It has not yet been eaten for it is mentioned again with the “dipping of the sop” in verse 26.
The lesson to be learned seems to be the important matter, and that is the will of the Father is being done by the Son. He is displaying a servant heart, as He prepares for what lies a few short hours away. His trial and crucifixion is looming ever near.
In this lesson He is teaching His disciples to serve one another, and to love one another as is said in verses 34-35. A new commandment is given; thus fulfilling the old.
The One who is sinless, perfect, without spot or blemish serving the imperfect, sinful, men who follow Him. O, how we need to love as He loves. He is not blind to their sins. His eyes are wide open. Yet, He loves them; as He loves you and me.
The Perfect serving the imperfect. Now, there is an act of doing the Father’s will.
“And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’” Luke 18:9-14 (KJB)
Two men are mentioned who went to pray. That is not to say that it could be members of the feminine sex as well, because there are those two kinds of women as well.
One full of themselves; and the other repentant and humble, realizing they are in need of God’s bountiful grace and mercy.
The Pharisee knew the law, and exalted himself in his own purity, and talk about judging others unjustly; this Pharisee certainly did. He saw himself as better than the publican. The Pharisee being a “great” religious leader.
The publican (not Republican), was a despised, and hated tax collector. He gathered taxes from his own people (the Hebrews), and many counted them as traitors to Israel. Matthew was a tax collector when Jesus called him to follow, and he left his table and followed Jesus (Matthew 9:9; 10:3).
It is the heart that our Lord sees. Repentance, humility, before the throne of God is what He desires.
God does not hear neither grant request from an arrogant and prideful heart. It was the hated, despised tax collector who went home justified by God.
The apostle Paul writing on the matter of Justification said,,,
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
It is by God’s own declaration of justification that we are made just; not our own. Who then are made just? Those who come before the cross of Jesus Christ, lost, lonely, sinful, broken, and ashamed, and plead for His mercy, love, and grace.
“And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Jesus of Nazareth? Art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou art; the Holy One of God.’ And Jesus rebuked him, saying,
‘Hold thy peace, and come out of him.’
And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, ‘What a word is this! For with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.” Luke 4:33-37 (KJB)
There are few if any people who do not realize and admit that there is evil in the world we live in. Sometimes we wear “rose colored glasses”, and try to hide the evil so we cannot see. No matter how thick those lenses are it does not negate the fact of evil’s presence.
There are people in bondage to evil. That is why there are shootings at schools, churches, office buildings, on highways, from hotel rooms overlooking a mass of people, etc.. There is no legitimate blame for these evil matters except these folks are in bondage to evil. We can take away guns, take away the explosives; and you still have evil coming from those with evil intent.
When Jesus was walking among men as Man, the God-Man He knew the condition of our hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). He even spoke of it (Matthew 12:34-37). Evil thoughts and deeds comes from within our hearts; and until the heart of the man or woman is changed we spend countless amounts of dollars, and time trying to put a band-aid on something we have no power over.
In the above verses was a man in bondage to a demon. An unclean, evil, vile, and ruthless evil that caused this man to do evil things; it had taken possession of his mind and body.
Jesus said to the demoniac, “Hold your peace, and come out of him” and the demon was through; the man was free from the bondage of evil, and the uncleanness of evil
Are you being tormented by evil? Jesus speaks to you, and tells you, “Come to Me”. He casts out the evil, and you become new. The One who has Power over evil died for you, so that you might be freed from sin, and the bondage of evil. Call on Him. He will hear you and deliver you.
“Then did they spit in His face, and buffeted Him; and others smote with the palms of their hands…” Matthew 26:67 (KJB)
As I read these words this morning it grieved my heart and soul. It does so many times when I see men and women do the things they do to one another that are vile, wicked, and evil.
This act of spitting on another human being is an insult to us. It is degrading. It is a disgusting act of hatred clear and simple. However, we are speaking here of the One who is our Creator; “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3).
Notice that this is after His rigged trial, the “judges” sought for false witnesses, and could find none, and “convicted” Him purely out of envy (Matthew 27:18). The religious leaders could not stand the fact that Jesus had authority with God that they did not have. They were envious of His peace, His joy, His power, and His followers.
Upon the guilty “verdict” those who held Him turned on Him and began spitting in His face. This did not deter Him from His work. This did not turn Him to hate those who hated Him.
They “buffeted Him” which means; according to many; they struck him with their fists. Really brave souls there, don’t you think? Beating a man with his hands tied.
Some of them “smote” Him, meaning they slapped His face with an open hand.
Sadly, there are many in our world today who would still humiliate our Savior by spitting in His face, beat Him with their fist, and slap His beautiful face of love.
He went on to the cross willingly. He willingly laid down His life that those who would be saved, could be saved. He paid the price for our redemption. He paid for your redemption. There is no other redemption from sin except Jesus’s death on the cross. He was also buried having taken all our sins upon Himself, carrying it all away. Then He rose from the dead proving that He is everything He said (Romans 1:3-4).
Because He lives we have eternal life. Believe His word. Believe Him.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him.” Matthew 7:7-11 (KJB)
Some will note that I changed the question mark to a period. Why? I believe it to be a statement from Jesus and not a question, though I know His questions often make very loud statements. I noticed too that the New King James, as do other translations use an exclamation mark; which might be even better.
My thoughts today are on verse 11 solely. No father of earth would be so mean, ugly, and hateful as to give their child a serpent rather than a fish, or if they were hungry give them a stone rather than bread. I am speaking of Dad’s who care for their children; not the deserters, who care for no one but themselves.
Even though we are evil, we are still kind to our children, and sometimes to others. The goodness we see of people around us doing “good things” should be a reminder to us of the superior goodness of our heavenly Father.
He loves us even when we are unlovely, unloving, and downright hateful (John 3:16). He loved us so much that even though we were His enemies He sent His Son to die for us (Romans 5:8).
O my; how the goodness of God is so far superior than any goodness we have.
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him! — Bad as our fallen nature is, the father in us is not extinguished. What a heart, then, must the Father of all fathers have towards His pleading children! In the corresponding passage in Luke (see on Luk_11:13), instead of “good things,” our Lord asks whether He will not much more give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. At this early stage of His ministry, and before such an audience, He seems to avoid such sharp doctrinal teaching as was more accordant with His plan at the riper stage indicated in Luke, and in addressing His own disciples exclusively.” Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary
Will you call on the name of Jesus today? Will trust the One who is truly the one who describes Goodness?
It has been several days since I wrote a post for this site. I want to express my appreciation to those who have showed interest in these writings, thoughts, and the word of God. Thank you, and God bless you richly with all heavenly blessings in Christ Jesus.
I will be doing thoughts on the Psalms, taking up where I left off the last time in Psalms which was at Psalm 36..
“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.” Psalm 37:1-6 (KJB)
Do not worry about what those who are working evil are doing; rather watch your own heart, and mind. Pray for those who are doing evil, and live your life delighting in the LORD God, and His word. Those who do evil will perish just as the grass, and the flower.
Those of us who are trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ are assured of eternal life with Him; and that is forever and forever. Let us keep our eyes on the Lord and His work. We are not to close our eyes and try to convince ourselves that there is no evil; that would be dangerous and foolish. Our lives of trust, faith, and delight in the LORD will be repelling to all that is evil.
There is a phrase in verse four above “…He shall give you the desires of your heart”. Now many think this means material blessings, health, wealth, survival, security, success. When we delight in the Lord those things will become very secondary in our thinking. Our desires, when we delight in the Lord will be what He desires. He gives us the desires of His heart – heavenly blessing; grace, mercy, peace, joy, and power in prayer; just to name a few.
When the Christian walks with God He brings forth righteousness as light, and everything to do with it will be seen by all who know you.
Trust in the LORD today; delight in Him, and He will bring it to pass.
Wally Fry continues the study on Elijah and prayer.
Where were we? Oh yes, the young son of the widow woman Elijah has been living with has suddenly died. This was very unfortunate, and probably quite shocking to the two of them. It almost seems absurd to our minds that God would let something like this happen after supernaturally providing for them for such a long time? Why? Why? Why? Well, before we move in, I want to restate a great comment that was made about this previously, Ben over at Another Red Letter Day had the following to say:
Sometimes we ask why things happened, rather than looking at what God can do in our circumstances. Our Lord who makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes told the disciples they were asking the wrong question in John 9. I love how the Message Bible puts…
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“He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.
The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it.” Proverbs 29:1-4 (KJB)
Some thoughts from Proverbs 29:1-27
- The ruin of stubborn, rebellious minds; and the value of the righteous (vv. 1-4; 16:12);
- The practices of evil, and evil men leads to their own ensnaring (vv. 5-6);
- The understanding of the righteous versus the evil; concerning the poor (v. 7; 28:50; Job 29:16; Psalm 41:1);
- A description of the rage, havoc, and folly that accompany evil practices (vv. 8-11);
- A wise king listens to good counsel (vv. 12-14);
- A good society and good culture begin with the parents at home in the discipline and teaching of their children; guiding them in their lives with vision (vv. 15-18);
- People in authority are wise to use words of positive and negative words with actions to discipline (vv. 19-22)
- The fall of the proud (16:18( and the honor of the humble (v. 23);
- The peril of the soul of a thief and his partner (v. 24);
- Fearing God and/or fearing man – the contrast (vv. 25-26);
- Righteousness and evil detest one another (v. 27),
“An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.” Proverbs 29:27
This detestation of evil for righteousness, and righteousness for evil is quite visible in our society and culture of 2019.
There is only One Righteous One, and He will give, and has given His righteousness to all who will call on His name. He is Jesus the crucified, buried, and bodily risen One. If you detest; that is hate; the Righteous One, then you will perish.