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

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.

05 May 2019

A Few Thoughts on Proverbs 28:13

Proverbs 28:13 NASB He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.

Perhaps, the context of these various proverbs would include verse 14. Proverbs 28:13-14 NASB He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. How blessed is the man who fears always, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

There is one thing a person does wrong in verse 13—conceals.
There are two things a person can and should do in verse 13—confess and forsake.

The words:
B1 Conceal
C1 The Hebrew word is כָּסָה kâçâh (Strong’s H3680) and means cover up something, conceal, hide from view.
C2 Genesis 18:17 NASB The LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
B2 Transgression
C1 The Hebrew word is פֶּשַׁע peshaʻ (Strong’s H6588) and means leaving loyalty and rebellion.
C2 1 Samuel 24:11 NIV See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. See that there is nothing in my hand to indicate that I am guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life.
B3 Prosper
C1 The Hebrew word is צָלַח tsâlach (Strong’s H6743) and means to succeed, profit, to accomplish what one sets out to do.
C2 Genesis 24:21 NLT The servant watched her in silence, wondering whether or not the LORD had given him success in his mission.
B4 Confess
C1 The Hebrew word is יָדָה yâdâh (Strong’s H3034) and means to throw stones in various contexts. It is a revealing, not a denying. Depending on context it can also mean praise.
C2 Daniel 9:20 NLT I went on praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people, pleading with the LORD my God for Jerusalem, his holy mountain.
B5 Forsake
C1 The Hebrew word is עָזַב ʻâzab (Strong’s H5800)and means to loosen, leave, forsake, stop, and quit doing something.
C2 Examples
D1 Ruth 1:16 NASB But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.
D2 Proverbs 2:13 CSB from those who abandon the right paths to walk in ways of darkness,
B6 Compassion/mercy
C1 The Hebrew word is רָחַם râcham (Strong’s H7355) and means to show love and compassion.
C2 Psalm 103:13 NASB Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

The meaning
B1 Covering up sin, denying it, damaging those who revealed it and those asking questions.
B2 God will be against this person. God will get His revenge sometime, some place.
B3 Confessing sin, admitting, and acknowledging the damage to others, brings God’s compassion.
B4 Note both admitting one’s sins and forsaking sins are needed. Just confessing means little. The forsaking shows repentance and change. This is seen in action both in public and private.

An example
B1 Unfortunately, there has been sexual sins committed by pastors, ministers, and religious workers. These have been denied, excused, and covered up. If that isn’t bad enough that the sinner covers it up, the other leaders, sometimes the highest positions in a group or denomination cover it up, too.
B2 Politicians, teachers, medical, etc. do the same with money, fraud, etc.

B1 Just confessing is not enough. A change, a repentance, needs to be noted.
B2 Three examples
C1 2 Chronicles 33:9-12, 15-16 NLT But Manasseh led the people of Judah and Jerusalem to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the LORD had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land. The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings. So the LORD sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the LORD his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. ... Manasseh also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the LORD's Temple. He tore down all the altars he had built on the hill where the Temple stood and all the altars that were in Jerusalem, and he dumped them outside the city. Then he restored the altar of the LORD and sacrificed peace offerings and thanksgiving offerings on it. He also encouraged the people of Judah to worship the LORD, the God of Israel.
C2 The whole book of Jonah: God commanded that Jonah go and preach in Nineveh, but he rebelled, was being chastised, repented, and instead of running away from God’s command to preach, he went and did preach. The city of Nineveh was evil, doing evil, and thinking evil. Hearing of the judgment of God coming upon them, they humbled themselves, repented, and that generation did not do those evil things (but their descendants did and were punished ~150 years later).
C3 Luke 18:9-14 WEL He told this parable to certain [people] who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on others.
10 "Two men went into the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 "The Pharisee stood and prayed this way with himself, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men: extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
12 “‘I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.'
13 "The tax collector standing in the distance wouldn't even as much as look up to heaven but beat on his chest saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner.'
14 "I tell you—this man went down to his house justified instead of the other, for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
B3 If I sin
C1 If I sin and only God knows, I confess my sin to Him and forsake my sin.
C2 If I sin against one person, and they alone know it, I confess my sin to God, go to the offended, confess my sin, make amends, and forsake my sin.
C3 If I sin against one or many, and many know about it, I confess my sin to God, go the the offended and publicly confess my sin, make amends, and forsake my sin.
B4 Some notes about forgiveness and after care:
C1 Do not seek revenge. (NOTE: If a crime has been committed in private or public, it MUST be reported to law enforcement. Abusers often claim, reporting a crime is seeking revenge. Abusers are liars. Don’t let any pastor, pastors, elder board, etc. tell you, “Leave it here. We will take care of it. Those pastors and/or elder board are LIARS).
C2 Leave the punishment to God. (NOTE: God’s choice of punishment might be a judge sentencing the guilty party to prison).
C3 There is no such thing as forgive and forget. Sin leaves scars, permanent scars. Don’t believe such a lie.
C4 Seek counseling. Do not seek so-called Nouthetic Counseling, now termed Biblical Counseling, for they tend to revictimize the victim and comfort the abuser, criminal, sinner, etc.
C5 Beware of false promises, fake tears, fake commitment, fake solutions, and so-called peace offerings (gifts and other nice things).
C6 Abuse must be gotten away from. Divorce is necessary.
C7 We must confess. It is acknowledging a truth. Healing starts with acknowledgment.
C8 The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin. John 16:8 CSB "When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment:
C9 We must not resist God’s Spirit, when He convicts us of sin.

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

22 April 2019

A Few Thoughts On Hebrews 10:14

Hebrews 10:14 WEL For by one sacrifice, he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

B1 Was written by an unknown author, but the Holy Spirit is the originator.
B2 Was written to show the greatness of Jesus Christ.
C1 He is greater than the angels. He is the Son of God.
C2 He is greater than the words of man and angels. He is the Word of God.
C3 He, who is greater than all of creation, was found in the fashion, that is, flesh of a human.
C4 He, who created all, is the Messiah, the Savior, the Author of Salvation.
C5 He is greater than Moses. Moses spoke and wrote about Him.
C6 He is the Prince of Peace. He gives peace with God to those who obey in faith. He gives no peace to those who disobey, those who do not believe.
C7 He is the High Priest of all High Priests. He is greater than all.
C8 He was appointed and anointed High Priest by God Himself, because of His greatness.
C9 His work as High Priest is greater, more glorious, and final.
C10 He is greater than us and has warned us not to deconvert, to stop believing, or to disobey Him. He gives grace every day, so that we do not. But, if we reject Him and stop believing, there is a final rejection where it becomes too impossible for us to repent.
C11 He gives greater help and assistance than any other priest.
C12 He is a priest in the order of Melchizedek who was greater than Abraham.
C13 He is even greater than Melchizedek.
C14 His priesthood never ends.
C15 His covenant, His agreement with us, never fails. It never ends.
C16 He is so great, because He never sinned in thoughts, desires, words, or deeds.
C17 He is priest in a greater Temple. The Temple written about here is the true Temple in Heaven.
C18 He details this greatest of all Covenants.
C19 He is greater than all sacrifices. His blood is sinless and holy.
C20 His sacrificial gift in the Temple of Heaven at that holy altar is more perfect and holy than any gift ever offered.
C21 All sacrifices on earth need to be offered daily. His sacrificial offering is greater than any of these, for it was given one time. It does not need to be offered ever again.
C22 His faith is greater than all the heroes of faith (Hebrews 11).
C23 His life is greater than any life. He overcame everything. He is greater than anyone and so He is able to help us every day.
C24 He gives strength to finish our life faithfully.
C25 He has a kingdom that cannot be shaken, overpowered, or conquered.
C26 He decrees those who believe to also be under-priests. Both sisters and brothers can offer the sacrifices of praise and giving.
C27 He promises to never abandon us.
B3 It is in this context our passage is written.
C1 Hebrews 10:14 WEL For by one sacrifice, he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
C2 A sacrifice
D1 Given, that is offered, only one time. It was the perfect, satisfying sacrifice. The Lord Jesus suffered for our sins, carried our sins, was punished for our sins, abandoned by His Father for our sins, and died for our sins. One offering. One sacrifice. One burial. One resurrection. All for us. Any can believe, for the Holy Spirit awakens our heart, opens our eyes, gives understanding to our minds of our sinful condition, the sentence for our sin, and the helplessness of our life and effort.
D2 One time only, for it was the greatest of all offerings, of all sacrifices. 1 Peter 3:18 NKJV For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.
C3 A perfecting
D1 The Greek word is τελειόω teleióō.
E1 It means here to bring to a goal, to finish what was needed. It is complete.
E2 We lack the character that God requires for any to enter heaven.
E3 Jesus Christ’s work as High Priest and Passover Lamb has brought to every human that hope of forgiveness, fellowship, and an eternal home in heaven—if we believe His plan and place our trust into Jesus Christ.
E4 Jesus’s complete work also gives us a perfect hope in this life. His promise is sure.
D2 An acceptable sacrifice: Ephesians 5:2 NKJV And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
D3 A sacrifice to reconcile humans and God: Romans 5:10 WEL For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by his Son's death, much more, having been reconciled, we will be saved by his life.
D4 All sins atoned for. All sins forgiven and fellowship restored: 1 John 1:7 MKJV But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Note: Q: Why were we created? A: We were created for fellowship with God and to serve Him forever (John 12:26, etc.).
D5 All sins are forgiven in such a complete manner that we are considered without sin in His sight. This is because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Romans 5:9 MKJV Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
D6 We are perfected to serve Him: Titus 2:14 GNB He gave himself for us, to rescue us from all wickedness and to make us a pure people who belong to him alone and are eager to do good.
D7 This perfecting is a one time event. It was after the fact of sins for the believers living before Messiah came, and before the fact of our sins who live after He came. It is forever!
C3 A work in our lives who are being sanctified
D1 We have been sanctified. This is justification. This is a one time full and complete sanctification whereby we are considered sinless because of His sacrifice. We have been saved.
D2 We are being sanctified. This is progressive sanctification. Our life here, however, is a period of learning, testing, learning, and testing. God teaches, we learn. God tests, we learn. This is what is termed progressive sanctification. So, this passage states, “...those, who are being sanctified.” We are learn to live and think in God’s ways. We are being saved.
D3 We will be sanctified. This is also another one time full and complete sanctification for us at death. We will never sin again. Romans 6:7 NRSV For whoever has died is freed from sin. We will be saved.
D4 For further reading: The Necessity of Sanctification

25 December 2018

Advent for 25 Dec 18

Luke 2:6-11 NRSV  While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  7  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.  8  In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  9  Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  10  But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:  11  to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.

Messiah was born. The holy angels knew, the shepherds knew, the wise men knew, Joseph knew, Mary knew, and what about us? Do we know? I pray it is so. Be thankful that our only hope was born.

24 December 2018

Advent for 24 Dec 18

Luke 1:26-35 NRSV  In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,  27  to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary.  28  And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you."  29  But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.  30  The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  31  And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.  32  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.  33  He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."  34  Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"  35  The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.

Be thankful for Mary who was, according to the creed: yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer.