Showing posts with label devotions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label devotions. Show all posts

12 July 2020

Devotional Notes Romans 5

B1 What does this mean?
C1 The Means of Justification and Peace With God
D1 Peace with God
E1 Our part is faith, that is, believing God.
E2 God’s part is justification because of the ministry of Jesus.
E3 Peace with God means not fearing His wrath in this life and the next.
F1 Peace is the first blessing of faith.
F2 It is the beginning of a new life. It often brings peace between others and us.
E4 Faith in Jesus is the condition for God’s mercy to be experienced.
D2 Distress in life (from any cause) leads to endurance which leads to proven character which leads to hope. We are in God’s school to grow in faith. Praise God.
D3 When breaking the Law, someone must be punished. It is the lawbreaker, unless someone is a substitute. Jesus was willing to be that substitute. Note the importance of the blood. The blood signifies substitute and death. A willing and legal substitute has died for the punishment of a sinner. Thank you, Lord Jesus.
D4 If, when we were enemies of God, Jesus died, what blessings will be ours now that we are justified by faith in Jesus.
D5 We will rejoice in God.
C2 All Are Spiritually Dead Through Adam and Spiritually Through Jesus
D1 Adam’s sin affected all people, since all are descendants (except Jesus who is God’s Son). The proof of this is our sin, which all humans do (except Jesus).
D2 Written law or no written law, the law existed. Proof of this is punishment for breaking the law.
D3 Verse 15, quoting Clarke: "It is evident that the apostle, in this and the two following verses, is running a parallel, or making a comparison between the offence of Adam and its consequence; and the opposite gift of God and its consequences.
D4 One sin brought death to all humans. One obedience brought forgiveness after many sins.
D5 The importance of the resurrection (verse 17).
D6 Verse 19 shows the contrast between no faith (disobedience) bringing death and faith (obedience to the Gospel) bringing life. 19 Just as through one man’s disobedience many became sinners, so through the obedience of one many will become righteous.
D7 Verse 20, the importance of the Law showing, proving, convicting all of sin.
D8 Sin is strong, so strong in fact, that all humans die because of their sin. Christ’s righteousness is stronger, so much stronger in fact, that those who believe will live even though they sinned. Christ paid the penalty. Those who believe reap the benefit of righteousness, Christ’s righteous, eternal life and all those joys of God’s gifts.
C3 Questions
D1 What is peace with God?
D2 Why is it necessary?
D3 How do we receive peace with God?
D4 What is the purpose of the Law?
D5 What is the importance of Jesus’s resurrection?

How do I apply this to my life? Believe and rejoice in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Acts 4:12 ESV And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

09 July 2020

Devotional Notes Romans 4

B1 What does this mean?
C1 Abraham’s Salvation Is Through Faith Alone
D1 Verse 1 is a continuation of the thought of Romans 3:31.
D2 All Jews had very high respect for Abraham, the Father of the faithful. How was Abraham made right with God? By keeping the Law? No, the Law did not exist for another 400 years. Abraham was made right with God, because he believed God (faith). Circumcision was not a work that justified Abraham either. Some might argue that salvation is faith+works, but Abraham was justified before he was circumcised.
D3 Salvation is through grace alone by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Verse 3 WEL What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited as righteousness to him.” This is a quote from Genesis 15:6. This is imputation, which is (ISBE): The word "imputation," according to the Scriptural usage, denotes an attributing of something to a person, or a charging of one with anything, or a setting of something to one's account.
D4 Verse 4-8 clearly states that faith is NOT a work. Another translation: Romans 4:4-5 NET Now to the one who works, his pay is not credited due to grace but due to obligation. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous, his faith is credited as righteousness.
D5 Verse 9-10
E1 Clearly shows that salvation is not just for Jews (a huge problem for 1st century Jews). Salvation is also for Gentiles.
E2 Salvation was credited to Abraham’s account. He did not earn it.
E3 Salvation came before circumcision. Circumcision is not needed for salvation.
E4 Ephesians 4:7-9 WEL So that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace, you are saved through faith and that [is] not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God, 9 Not of works, lest anyone should boast.
D6 Verse 11 shows that circumcision is not required as it is for Jews. To Jews, circumcision is a sign of God's covenant with them. Circumcision to Gentiles, it is a medical procedure. On the other hand, salvation is the very same salvation for Jews and Gentiles. See Acts 10.
D7 Verse 12 teaches that the only Jews who have salvation are those who believe just like Abraham believed.
D8 On verses 13-17, Robertson writes: In these verses (Romans 4:13) Paul employs (Sanday and Headlam) the keywords of his gospel (faith, promise, grace) and arrays them against the current Jewish theology (law, works, merit).
D9 Verse 13, God’s promises to Abraham being heir of the world was not through Mosaic law but through righteousness because of a person’s faith, that is, believing God.
D10 Verse 16, faith shows that salvation is through grace, not works. God gets the credit for salvation. Barclay writes:
To Abraham God made a very great and wonderful promise. He promised that he would become a great nation, and that in him all families of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3). In truth, the earth would be given to him as his inheritance. Now that promise came to Abraham because of the faith that he showed towards God. It did not come because he piled up merit by doing works of the law. It was the outgoing of God's generous grace in answer to Abraham's absolute faith. The promise, as Paul saw it, was dependent on two things and two things only--the free grace of God and the perfect faith of Abraham.

The Jews were still asking, "How can a man enter into the right relationship with God so that he too may inherit this great promise?" Their answer was, "He must do so by acquiring merit in the sight of God through doing works which the law prescribes." That is to say, he must do it by his own efforts. Paul saw with absolute clearness that this Jewish attitude had completely destroyed the promise. It had done so for this reason--no man can fully keep the law; therefore, if the promise depends on keeping the law, it can never be fulfilled.
D11 Verse 20, compare Romans 1:21 where most humans do not do like Abraham. They gave God no credit or honor for what He has done, is doing, and will do, nor be thankful.
D12 Verse 23, a reason we have the written Scriptures and the Old Testament is for us to have facts and teaching about God and His ways.
D13 Verse 24, we inherit the blessings IF we believe. This shows that the fulfillment of promises is conditional being based on faith.
D14 Verse 24-25
E1 All must believe God’s gospel as delivered by God the Son, Jesus Christ.
F1 We must believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. It was not resuscitation but resurrection.
F2 Delivered (handed over) because of our transgressions ( To commit an offense by violating a law, principle, or duty (Source)).
F3 Jesus’s resurrection proves our justification. We cannot know if Jesus died for His own sins or was an acceptable substitute for ours. If Jesus did not rise, then we are not justified. Jesus did rise, so we are justified! That He was resurrected was witnessed by over 500 brothers and sisters. 1 Corinthians 15:6 NIV After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
F5 Gary Habermas has many articles and books.
E2 These verses show the importance of Jesus Christ's resurrection, death, punishment for our sins, and resurrection, which proves and provides our justification.
C3 Questions
D1 What is the importance of Abraham’s believing God?
D2 Why is believing God successful but keeping the Mosaic Law unsuccessful?
D3 Which was first—believing God or circumcision?
D4 What is the importance of Jesus’s resurrection?
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Thank you, O Lord, for all your works and dealings with others.

08 July 2020

Devotional Notes Romans 3

B1 What does this mean?
C1 The Advantage of the Jew
D1 God gave His message through the Jews. Jesus is a Jew, too.
D2 Jewish unbelief will not stop God's plans.
D4 God is correct and righteous to judge and sentence Law breakers.
C2 All People Are Sinners and Cannot Seek God
D1 No one righteous. Does this mean Jesus sinned?
E1 No.
E2 The plain, normal sense understands this passage is a quote from the Old Testament.
F1 Robertson writes: [Verses 10-12 come from] Psalm 14:1-3; first half of 13 as far as εδολιουσαν from Psalm 5:9, the second half from Psalm 140:3; verse 14 from Psalm 10:7; 15-17 from an abridgment of Isaiah 59:7f.; verse 18 from Psalm 35:1.
E3 Jesus had not yet been born of the Virgin, so the quote of everyone being a sinner is correct.
E4 Jesus has finished His earthly ministry by the time Paul wrote this letter, so we understand that all humans are sinners in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds EXCEPT Jesus Christ. See 1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, 1 John 3:5, etc.
E5 Sin's effects are thoughts, desires, words, and deeds.
E6 Sin has consequences.
E7 Verse 19, since the Jew is guilty because of the Law, now all are guilty because of the Law.
C2 Salvation Not Through the Law but Through Faith
D1 The Law and keeping it does not bring forgiveness of sins, salvation, and fellowship with God.
D2 Believing God does.
D3 Jesus is Savior of Jew and Gentile.
D4 Salvation is the same. It is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
D5 Jesus's work on the cross was public.
D6 This death of Jesus is proof that Jesus suffered for our sins if we meet His conditions.
C3 Questions
D1 What advantages of Jews are listed?
D2 How can God be considered holy if sin and evil is in the universe?
D3 Is God’s grace so great that we can sin more to receive more grace? Explain.
D4 Why can’t keeping Mosaic Law bring salvation?
D5 What is the purpose of the Mosaic Law?
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Thank you for your theology, O Lord.

04 July 2020

Devotional Notes Romans 2

B1 What does this mean?
C1 God’s Judgment Is Righteous
D1 We must be careful when passing judgment. We must be aware that we often are guilty of the same sin. We must test. We cannot tolerate everything people do. JFB commentary has: The Jew under like condemnation with the Gentile. From those without, the apostle now turns to those within the pale of revealed religion, the self-righteous Jews, who looked down upon the uncovenanted heathen as beyond the pale of God’s mercies, within which they deemed themselves secure, however inconsistent their life may be. Alas! what multitudes wrap themselves up in like fatal confidence, who occupy the corresponding position in the Christian Church!
D2 Judging, etc. must be according to truth, that is, reality. It also must agree with Scripture, which is the only source of 100% truth.
D3 Verse 4, God's goodness towards us is so that we will repent and believe in Jesus. This goodness is expressed by God's kindness, forbearance, and longsuffering.
D4 If one does not repent, then it often to even greater sin, and greater sin leads to an increase in God's wrath.
D5 Verses 5-11 shows that choices and actions lead to consequences of relationship with God. God's judges all fairly. A Jew may think he is better than all, but this is not true. A Jew gets judged according to the same standards as non-Jews.
D6 Verses 14-15 show Jews have a written law and non-Jews have an unwritten law. All know that lying is wrong, murder is wrong, etc.
C2 The Spiritual Problem of the Jew
D1 A religious Jew has many advantages, but advantages bring greater responsibility.
D2 Ignorance is not an excuse, for all will be judged.
D3 Verses 28-29 show who is a true Jew. It is a heart matter, not just physical and DNA matter.
C3 Questions
D1 Is it wrong to judge? When is it wrong or right?
D2 By whose standard do we use to judge? Why?
D3 What is God’s judgment based on?
D4 How do people become stubborn?
D5 Why is self-seeking and rejecting truth dangerous?
D6 Does God show favoritism? How are we to understand each individual?
B2 How do I apply this to my life? The importance of truth.

03 July 2020

Devotional Notes Romans 1

B1 What does this mean?
C1 Salutation & Purpose
D1 Paul is an Apostle chosen and commissioned by Jesus Christ.
D2 Jesus Christ meets all the OT prophecy identifiers of Messiah especially so by His resurrection.
D3 Paul is to preach, and people are to repent.
C2Paul’s Desire to See the Believers in Rome
D1 Does Gospel (Good News) of or about His Son (God's Son, Jesus)? Most likely of, for it is the Good News that Jesus preached.
D2 Paul's purpose in desiring to visit them is to grow both his and their faith.
D3 Note Paul's evangelistic desire.
C3 Paul States His Boldness in the Good News
D1 Salvation is given to the one who believes that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and His message.
D2 It is an ability brought by God's grace alone in opening our hearts and minds to be freed in order to believe.
C4 The Downward Path of Sinful Humanity
D1 All are sinners by nature. This has been passed down from Adam.
D2 God initiates salvation by giving grace to understand the Gospel. He frees our will. With our will being freed, we need to believe. The decision is ours.
D3 Most refuse to believe, so they continue their descent into sin and incurring a greater punishment.
D4 Note how people suppress the truth. It is “in unrighteousness,” that is, they show their suppression of truth by doing unrighteousness.
D5 God reveals His character. People understand these truths. Most reject them.
D6 Verse 21, people refuse to give God the credit for what He has done and is doing. They also are not thankful for what He has done and is doing.
D7 Note that the punishment for sin is God allowing them to sin even more.
C5 Questions
D1 What are some proofs that Jesus is the promised Messiah?
D2 Is Christianity reasonable? Why?
D3 Why is the resurrection so important?
D4 How does “everyone know God?”
D5 Why does God punish sin by allowing a person to sin more?
D6 Does anyone HAVE TO sin?
D7 What is the solution?
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Repent and believe.

10 April 2020

Devotional Notes Psalm 117+John 5

10 Apr 20


Psalm 117
B1 What does this mean?
C1 All people are to praise Yahweh.
D1 God is not just God of Israel but all the universe and beyond.
D2 Nations are Gentiles.
E1 The Hebrew word for nations is גּוֹי gôwy. It means people who are not Jews, that is, the heathen.
D3 The people is a parallelism for all humans (nations as in the first part of verse 1).
C2 We are to praise Him in who He is (His attributes) and what He does (creation, laws, decisions).
C3 Verse 2 gives 2 specific reasonsHis mercy and His faithfulness (the word has the ideas of truth, faithful, right, and sure).
C4 Adam Clarke comments: And the truth of the Lord endureth for ever - Whatsoever he has promised, that he will most infallibly fulfill. He has promised to send his Son into the world, and thus he has done. He his promised that he should die for transgressors, and this he did. He has promised to receive all who come unto him through Christ Jesus, and this he invariably does. He has promised that his Gospel shall be preached in every nation, and this he is doing; the truth of the Lord remaineth for ever. Therefore, Praise ye the Lord!
C5 The Old Testament Biblical Illustrator has: In God's worship it is not always necessary to be long; few words sometimes say what is sufficient, as this short psalm giveth us to understand.

B2 How do I apply this to my life? I need to do it. I need to make it a priority.


John 5
B1 What does this mean?
C1 Jesus Heals the Man at Bethesda Pool
D1 It is not known which feast this is but most accept that it is the Passover.
D2 In John Lightfoot’s commentary, he writes: The other evangelists speak but sparingly of Christ's acts in Judea; this of ours something more copiously. They mention nothing of the Passovers from his baptism to his death, excepting the very last; but St. John points at them all. The first he speaks of chapter 2:13; the third, chapter 6:4; the fourth, chapter 13:1; and the second, in this place. It is true he does not call it by the name of the Passover here, but only a feast in general. However, the words of our Saviour mentioned above, chapter 4:35, do give some kind of light into this matter.
D3 Verse 6 seems like a dumb question.
E1 But I have taken care of patients who did not want to get well, for they used their sickness for sympathy.
E2 Lightfoot considers it an appropriate question being that it is the Sabbath.
E3 Perhaps the sick man may have become discouraged and simply gave up hope.
E4 Jesus may have wanted him to focus his attention on Himself (JFB).
D4 After the man answers, Jesus commands him to get up, pick up his mat, and walk. All of these things are considered work under the interpretations of the Scribes of Jesus’s time.
D5 Verse 10-12, immediately the man is healed and the Jewish teachers criticize Jesus.
D5 Verse 14, the man goes to the Temple probably to pray, thanking God for his healing. Jesus warns the man to not sin any more. Good advice for anyone.
C2 Jewish Leaders Start to Persecute Jesus
D1 Verse 17, Jesus teaches 2 things. One is that God is His father (see verse 18) and that since His Father is working, so will He. The Father may have finished creation in 6 days, but He has never stopped governing creation.
D2 Jesus teaches that as the Father has life and can give life, so Jesus can do also. We have been given life but cannot give life ourselves.
D3 Jesus is THE judge. See Daniel 7:10 and Revelation 20:12. So we must respect and fear this judge. Psalm 2:12 NLT Submit to God's royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities--for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!
D4 Verse 23, if you Jews do not honor me now, you don’t honor the Father either.
D5 Verse 24 emphasizes faith and trust (believing) Jesus for salvation, not human effort as the Jews taught. The dead might be those dead in sins. I think if refers to 2 resurrections (see verse 29), the first for believers and the second for nonbelievers. Daniel 12:2 CSB Many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to eternal life, and some to disgrace and eternal contempt.
D6 Jesus does not seek His own will, but the Father’s will. So should we.
C3 Jesus Has Witnesses to His Identity
D1 The witnesses are Scripture (prophecies), John the Baptist, God the Father, and what He does (miracles authenticating that He is The Messiah).
D2 Verse 38, Jesus warns the listeners that they are not believers. It is a time of repentance and believing God. Note again, how Jesus deals differently with individuals. He wants all to believe the Gospel.
D3 Verse 40, it is not God who prevents them from believing (which would tend to be a Calvinist idea), rather it is people themselves.
E1 Numbers 14:11 NIV The LORD said to Moses, "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?
E2 1 John 5:10 NKJV He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
E3 Isaiah 53:3 NIV He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
D4 John 5:44 WEL How is it possible for you to believe when you get praise from one another and are not seeking praise from the only God? We learn
E1 If we praise ourselves (compare Luke 18:9-14), we cannot praise and believe God.
E2 If we are seeking praise for ourselves, we cannot believe either, for we think we are good enough for God.
D5 Verse 45, the Jews did not believe Moses, that is, take him at his word. We see this in what the Jews do. They add to God’s law their own commandments. Matthew 15:9 LEB and they worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
D6 We are to read and study the Scriptures in its plain, normal sense.

B2 How do I apply this to my life? As above.

hope to have a devotional every day on John’s Gospel starting with the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel. This is the way I do my devotions. You may notice grammatical and spelling errors. It is my hope you will also start or continue in your daily reading and thinking about the Scriptures. I do this Monday through Friday. It is a 3 year plan of reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the Old Testament, which takes 3 years, and reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the New Testament once a year for a total of 3 times. So, I read through the Old Testament 1 time and the New Testament 3 times over a period of 3 years. I do this Monday through Friday and use Saturday and Sunday for other devotions.

05 April 2020

Devotional Notes 3 Apr 20

hope to have a devotional every day on John’s Gospel starting with the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel. This is the way I do my devotions. You may notice grammatical and spelling errors. It is my hope you will also start or continue in your daily reading and thinking about the Scriptures. I do this Monday through Friday. It is a 3 year plan of reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the Old Testament, which takes 3 years, and reading and thinking on 1 chapter in the New Testament once a year for a total of 3 times. So, I read through the Old Testament 1 time and the New Testament 3 times over a period of 3 years.

3 Apr 20


Psalm 112
B1 What does this mean?
C1 The person who lives God's way will be blessed. God's guidance principles are the best and are proven to be best as is obvious from society's mess.
C2 Verses 6
D1 Godly people will be remembered, that is, remembered by God.
D2 Bad news doesn't bother the believers in the same way as unbelievers, for we have hope for the future.
D3 Even having enemies standing in front of him, lying, verbally abusing, etc., they remain confident.
D4 The wicked (unbelievers) are not remembered by God.

B2 How do I apply this to my life?
C1 Believers experience fear, too, but if we remember God's dealing with us and others in the past, we have confidence.
C2 We need God's grace to succeed.
C3 God is willing to give His grace to help us.
C4 God's memory is perfect. His remembering has to do with who gets His blessings and fellowship with Him. Malachi 3:16-18 BSB At that time, those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them. So a scroll of remembrance was written before Him regarding those who feared the LORD and honored His name. 17 “They will be Mine,” says the LORD of Hosts, “on the day when I prepare My treasured possession. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. 18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”


Luke 24
B1 What does this mean?
C1 The Resurrection of Jesus
D1 The word they in verse 1 refers to the they in Luke 23:56. It is the women.
D2 The tomb was empty. They were perplexed by the stone being rolled away, the empty tomb, and then the men.
D3 That these are not ordinary human men is noted by shining garments. Also see verse 23.
D4 In verse 6, the word remember is in the imperative, that is, a command. The angels wanted the women to remember what Jesus had told them. They did remember and went to tell the eleven and the rest of the disciples.
D5 Verse 10 names the women who were there early Sunday morning.
D6 The first witnesses are women, who are not believed by the disciples. The disciples were upbraided later by Jesus because of the unbelief of not believing the women. Let us heed this.
D7 Peter then ran to the tomb to see for himself, saw the tomb was empty, saw the linen burial clothes, and left deep in thought.
C2 Jesus on the Emmaus Road
D1 Two of the disciples were traveling to Emmaus discussing all the events.
D2 Jesus (unrecognized) comes up to them and starts walking with them.
D3 Why was Jesus not recognized? Probably to test their faith, strengthen their faith, and encourage them (as happened shortly).
D4 At verse 25, Jesus begins teaching them what they already know but do not believe or perhaps forgotten.
D5 In verse 26, Jesus tells again that Messiah needs to suffer first, then He will enter His glory.
D6 In verse 28, Jesus made as if He was going to continue on His journey. Some have suggested that Jesus was feigning this, that is, lying. But maybe He really was going on further. Nevertheless, the brethren encouraged Him to have supper with them and spend the night.
D7 As they readied to eat, their eyes were opened and the recognized Him, then He disappeared. The disappearance is an indication of the new body believers will have at the resurrection/rapture. Philippians 3:20-21 BSB But our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables Him to subject all things to Himself, will transform our lowly bodies to be like His glorious body.
D8 Jesus appears to the disciples after the 2 return to Jerusalem with their news. They were shocked, believed He was a ghost, and terrified, but Jesus comforts them and proves to them that He is flesh and bones. Then Jesus eats some food and gives them instructions concerning fulfilling the Law, His suffering, His resurrection, their commission to preach the Gospel, and to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit empowered them. Note how He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. Without God's grace, we cannot understand the Scriptures rightly.
C3 The Ascension

B2 How do I apply this to my life? As above.

13 February 2020

My Devotions on 13 Feb 20

  Mark 4
What does this mean?
Why parables instead of just telling it plain and simple? Because the people who listened, in general, wanted the show, the healing, and the food. They did not want to believe that Jesus was THE Messiah. People reject Jesus as their Messiah because of pride ("I'm a good person.") and they love sinful pleasures and did not want to give them up.

Parables are a punishment to withdraw understanding. Those who wanted would have to come and ask Him to explain it. He tests those who ask by saying, “Don’t you see what this parable means? How will you understand any parable?” Why? Because He was testing their genuineness to want to learn. So, He explains.

The word is sown by people. God will bless the growth of the word, but the reception is different.

The parable of the Lamp is transparency. We are not to hide our faith (pretend we are not Christians), not to hide our sins (we are to confess and repent), and/or lie. Truth is important to God.

He also warns us about judging. We must use God's standards, not ours. Judgment, that is, testing is important; we are required to do so, but if I use the wrong standard, then I might be judged by that same standard, too. I will be found out to be a hypocrite. We must judge and test, because otherwise we will be deceived by trusting wrong people.

The more we listen to Christ's ways and teachings, the more we will learn. The more we apply and live, the more we will be able to live.

We don't understand spiritual growth. We plant; God increases. We tend; God blesses. We harvest; we are thankful and enjoy. It is the providence of God.

We are to do spiritual work as preaching, teaching, and living. God gives the increase and brings it to maturity.

God's kingdom continues to grow. This is a spiritual kingdom, not a human kingdom on earth. We are to mature in the faith and not stagnate.

Finally, the Lord Jesus wishes to go to the other side of the sea. While the men work to sail there, a violent wind storm arises, threatening the ship, for it is “full of water.” The men near to panic awake the Lord Jesus, who is sleeping. He arises, rebukes the wind and sea, that is, telling it to be calm and at peace. It complies, for Jesus is the creator. He then teaches the men, that they should have had faith. If Jesus was not worried and fearful, neither should we. Only God can give real, lasting peace. There is no peace to the wicked.

31 January 2020

A Short Note from My Devotions on Matthew 23

This is the chapter I studied this morning.

We all need to read the Bible, study the Bible, think about the verses, and apply the teaching.

Matthew 23

What does this mean?

Jesus teaches against hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is a lie. God wants truth. There must be a match between what we say and what we do.

We are not to seek honor. All honor goes to Messiah. We are brothers and sisters. We do not want to elevate people, for they probably will get proud and fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Jesus then gives a number of examples. He exposes these religious leaders. He does this for two reasons. The first reason is to expose their sin, so they can repent. The second is to warn others both not to follow these false leaders and also not to be like them.

Likewise, Jesus exposes the sins of the Pharisees and Scribes, whom one would expect to be the most knowledgeable and most compliant.

Verse 23 is often used to teach the tithe. This verse is descriptive of what the Pharisees and Scribes are supposed to do. The verse is not prescriptive of we are to do. The Scriptures teach us to give as the Lord has blessed us (2 Corinthians 9:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2).

The Pharisees and Scribes were meticulous in ceremonial law but neglectful of moral law. They also were exposed as considering small things as very important but very important things to be of little importance. They were also careful of outward righteousness but little attention was spent on inward righteousness.

Verse 34 the Lord Jesus is the one who sends.

Verse 37: Jesus wanted all to repent, but He states it, “They would not.” No one has any excuse. It's my understanding that verse

39 will happen at the end of the 7 year tribulation when those Jews left in Jerusalem will believe.

How do I apply this to my life?

Help me, O Lord.

03 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Devotions

Bible reading, study, and thinking about the passage should be a daily blessing to every believer.
I started my own plan about 1.5 years ago. I read through the Old Testament once every 3 years and though the New Testament once a year. Every 3 years I read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament 3 times.
I ask myself 2 questions for every devotion.
  1. What does this mean?
  2. How do I apply this to my life?
Here is an example from 29 May 19.
2 Chronicles 2
What does this mean?
King Solomon is finalizing plans to build the Temple. Nearly 154,000 men are hired. Their job is to transport things, finish cut the stone, or supervise. When I read verses 4-5, I am blessed by Solomon’s attitude and desire to worship. Solomon looks to the King of Tyre to supply a gifted craftsman to assist. King Hiram gives a strong statement, too, concerning God and praising Him.
How do I apply this to my life?
I cannot worship in that Temple, but I can still offer spiritual sacrifices of myself, songs, my goods, and my will. We can read and listen to what gifted men and women have learned in their study of the Scriptures. Am I willing to praise God in private and in public?
Acts 18
What does this mean?
Paul and companions move on to Corinth to preach the Gospel. Paul finds Aquila and his wife Priscilla. They worked making tents to earn money for their support. They used the Sabbath to worship God by testifying about the Messiah, Jesus. The effect was limited as most Jews resisted God’s grace, but a large number of Gentiles believed. Paul is encouraged by God to continue. Paul stayed and taught the Word of God (the Bible) for 1.5 years but finally faced severe Jewish opposition. These unbelieving Jews lied to get Paul in trouble. Then the Apostles went to Antioch. Leaving there, Paul made a vow in Cenchreae and traveled to various other cities. Apollos, a believing Jew, who knew the Scriptures began preaching the Gospel. He had one error though, an error of ignorance and was corrected by Aquila and Priscilla. Apollos then used the Scriptures to prove that Jesus is Messiah.
How do I apply this to my life?
Study the Bible to know Christianity. We must also study apologetics. Use the Scriptures to show the reason we believe.
Let me encourage you to also read, study, and think about the Scriptures. Use whatever plan you wish but do study daily. We need it daily.