Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Stronger than Men

1 Corinthians 1:25 KJV
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Barnes Notes says, "There is really no weakness in God, any more than there is folly. This must mean, therefore, the things of his appointment which appear weak and insufficient to accomplish the end. Such are these facts - that God should seek to save the world by Jesus of Nazareth, Who was supposed unable to save himself Mat_27:40-43; and that he should expect to save people by the gospel, by its being preached by people who were without learning, eloquence, wealth, fame, or power. The instruments were feeble; and people judged that this was owing to the weakness or lack of power in the God who appointed them."[1]

Men observe what God has planned and consider it foolish and weak. We devise ways to make His plan work better. It might be that God uses the foolishness of preaching, but we think we can improve the odds by making preaching more palatable. It might be that the instruments God uses are weak in that they are unlearned, but we think we can improve upon them by giving them the type of education this world would respect.

The best of our churches fall prey to the worldliness of turning God's plan into a skill. And we think we have evidence in the effectiveness of our devises in the growth of some of our ministries. The problem is, invariably it is the skill of the men involved that is glorified and not the God they claim to serve.

Heaven help us to return to simply trusting God for whatever results He chooses for us. Heaven help us to stop glorifying men and their plans and return to honest faith in Christ.

[1] E-Sword 7.7.7, Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible, Albert Barnes (1798-1870)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

To God Only Wise

Romans 16:25-27 KJV
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, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

Just a simple thought today. Only God deserves glory. If we can simply remember this truth;
No man deserves glory, only God
No movement deserves glory, only God
No principle deserves glory, only God
No government deserves glory, only God

We are so easily driven to worship the creature rather than the creator. Sometimes in our zeal to do God service, we give the service itself the glory only God deserves. We can even find ourselves guilty of giving glory to those who are the best at giving God glory.

To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The House of the Lord

Psalms 122:1 KJV
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
This passage could address almost the whole church service experience:

I was glad when they said unto me...
This is the evangelistic outreach. This is the work Christians do before we get to church. It is the work of inviting others to come to church with us.

Jerusalem is builded...
This spoke to me of the organization of the services. We do things in order so we may receive the most good.

Our feet shall stand within thy gates...
This is our commitment to be faithful. We not only come to the house of the Lord, we stand there. There is no question in our hearts. We will be in the house of the Lord.

For there are set thrones of judgment...
This could speak of the Word of God. It is established; infallible and inerrant and it is preached in church.

Pray for....
Christians pray. We pray for souls to be saved. We pray for lives to be changed. We pray that God's Holy Spirit brings peace to the souls of those who come to Him.

For my brethren and companions; sakes...
This is the ministry of encouragement and exhortation we are to have one toward another in church

...I will seek thy good
That may be different for each person. For one man his good would be to get saved. For another it might be a warm handshake. For someone else it could be a warning about a certain sin. It could be to help them with their children, etc. It is our involvement in various ministries at church.

I am glad today is the day we will gather in the house of God

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Precious and Pleasant Riches

Proverbs 24:3-4 KJV
Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:
And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

This passage reminded me of another Proverb;
Proverbs 10:22 KJV
The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

Everyone knows that riches, as in wealth, do not necessarily mean happiness, joy, and pleasantness. Many is the person who strove after the wealth of the world only to learn that in the obtaining of it they lost the very things that are precious and pleasant. No amount of material goods can take the place of
A marriage of love
A family united
A life of peace in the inner man
A hope of eternity in heaven

Too many have been fooled by the devil's line "eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die."

God's wisdom, the kind that comes from the Lord, leads a person to seek things more precious and more pleasant than this world can provide. When we have those things, then even the smallest of blessings in this world are counted riches.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Lord; Seek Me

Psalms 119:176 KJV
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

The Psalm begins with the words
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. (Psalms 119:1 KJV)

This is a statement of fact. Those who are undefiled and who walk in the law of the Lord are truly blessed people. But the Psalmist ends with the reality that he, as have we all, had gone astray. I am reminded of Isaiah 53:6 KJV
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
So there is not a man alive who cannot claim Psalm 119: 176 as his life verse. We have gone astray. We are lost. The best of us and those of us who seek to know the Lord the most are still gone astray.

And the answer to our problem is found right here: we need God to seek us out.
We can't find our way back to Him
We can't solve our own problems
We can't cure our own infirmities

I want to seek the face of the Lord. I try to seek the face of the Lord. But I will find the face of the Lord, when He seeks me.


Yesterday got pretty hectic for me. I had a time with the Lord in the early morning, but things began to happen before I could get my devotional thoughts posted.

I understand some of you read them regularly so I do apologize.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Gates of Righteousness

Psalms 118:19 KJV
Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:

There is some question about whether the gates of righteousness are speaking about the actual gates of the Temple or figurative of heavenly things. I take them to be figurative and I take this to be something that ought to be a regular plea for the child of God. There are three stages of righteousness I think I see:

God, You have already opened to me the gates of righteousness through salvation.
(At least this is true for me. Thank the Lord that His Holy Spirit opened my eyes and brought me to trust Christ alone for the salvation of my soul. Some will need to ask the Lord to open to them the gates of righteousness through Jesus Christ and save them from their sins.)

Lord, open to me the gates of righteous living.
Make me holy. Lord, enable me to live in such a way that I may please You.

Father, open to me the gates of heaven.Thy kingdom come and even so come quickly. I have had enough of the sin of this world. These temporal trappings are becoming too weighty for me. I long for the day when I shall shed these earthly garments and step through the gates into glory.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

He is Their Help Too

Psalms 115:11 KJV
Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
The Old Testament is so Jewish-centered that it is sometimes thought that God hated the Gentile people and would be no help to them at all. The Jews, in fact, believed that the Gentiles were no better than dogs and that they, by virtue of being Jews, could only be blessed of God; and the Gentiles, by virtue of being Gentiles, could only be cursed by God. The fact of the matter is that God would have and did bless even Gentiles in those days that feared Him and put their trust in Him (as is evidenced by Rahab and Ruth).

This verse, along with the two previous, gives us plenty of reason to rest assured that God's promises in the Old Testament are as real to we who are not of Israel, as they were to any of the Jews of that day and ours.

Do we fear the Lord?
Do we understand that He is Sovereign of the world?
Do we sense the guilt of our sins and do we believe that there is an eternal condemnation for that sin?

Then trust in the Lord.
He is their help and their shield whosoever we may be who fear Him and trust in Him.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Thou Shalt Be Saved

Romans 10:9 KJV
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
The more often I read this verse in the context of the chapter, the more convinced I become of its importance to genuine salvation. Those who would add to salvation the work of baptism, the Lord's Supper, or any other good deed, miss the entire point of Romans chapter 10. Salvation is simply and completely by faith. It is coming to Christ alone and trusting in His death, burial and resurrection, sufficient because He is the Son of God. That and that only will save the soul from hell.

The context makes it undeniable that the subject is the salvation of the eternal soul. The argument of the chapter makes it abundantly clear;

That we may never establish our own righteousness as a means of salvation
Vs 3

That faith accepts that Christ came from heaven, died and rose again fro the dead
Vs 6-7

That salvation is completely by faith in Jesus Christ
Vs 9-13

That faith can only come through the preaching of the Word of God
Vs 14-17

I have very confidence in my salvation and I have every confidence in the salvation that I preach.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Oh that men would praise the Lord

Psalms 107:31 KJV
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
When God says something once it is important. When God repeats it again it is even more important. When God says it with emphasis, it becomes urgent that we, who are the children of the Lord, pay close attention.

Not once, not even twice, but four times in this Psalm God's words says, "Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" The phrase, "Oh the men" just adds to the emphasis almost pleading with men to praise the Lord.

We will come to church this Sunday morning,
To exhort believers in the Lord
To invite the lost to accept the Lord but mostly
To give praise to the Lord.

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Psalms 106:44 KJV
Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry:
This is just about as hopeful of a verse as I think I can find in all of the Bible. There are about 38 verses that rehearse the sins, trespasses, iniquities, and transgressions of Israel. Verse after verse repeats the history of Israel's rebellion against the Living God.

They forgot God's works
They ignored His counsel
They envied God's leaders
They worshiped images instead of the Lord
They despised the land God gave them
They murmured and complained
They married pagan peoples
They sacrificed their children to devils
They shed innocent blood

Nevertheless He [God] regarded their affliction, when He heard their cry.

We should certainly ask God for the grace and wisdom to avoid their sins, but when we do sin, what a blessing to know that God will hear our cry and regard our affliction.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Do we really fear?

Psalms 103:11 KJV
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

Psalms 103:13 KJV
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

Psalms 103:17 KJV
But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
The Bible is very specific that there are great spiritual benefits to fearing the Lord. My question is if any of us really fear His as we ought these days.

Can you imagine, for instance, the fear that must have been in the hearts and souls of those mean charged so many years ago to translate the Word of God into the English language? O! Wait! Men do that all the time today without much consequence at all. New versions, new translations, improvements upon their last translations are as frequent as a new author writes a novel.

Or the weight upon the shoulders of the Reformers as they realized they must leave their traditional Catholic church and still worship the Lord. Though they were in error in several areas, and they would have been better to have united with the Baptists who never did protest out of Catholicism because they never were in Catholicism, still they understood the impact of their decisions and made them fearfully. No so today with people quitting the church of their fathers and starting brand new denominations or switching the church they will raise their family with as little thought as one would change supermarkets.

Our God says that
There is mercy
There is pity and
There is righteousness
Awaiting the one who will fear the Lord.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Christian and Death

Romans 6:11 KJV
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Christian has no fascination with death, but he does have victory over it. No enemy can be defeated without confronting it squarely. Christ confronted death for us and, through Him; the Christian has such victory that death is no longer a fear for him.

We are:
Dead to sin
Vs 2

Sin no longer had the dominion it once had in the life of the Christian. It does not interest us as it once did. It no longer is our desire in life. Not that we don't sin, but that it is no longer a driving desire for us. We have larger interests, better interests.

Dead with Christ
Vs 8

Our relationship with Christ is such that God views us as having already paid our wages for sin. (Vs 23) When Christ died on the cross it was as if we died with Him.

Dead indeed unto sin
Vs 11

If verse 2 speaks of God's view of us once we are in Christ then verse 11 speaks of our view of ourselves.
One is positional, God sees us as dead to sin, the
Other is practical; we must view ourselves as dead indeed to sin

To gain the victory over sin that God has awarded us, we must first reckon ourselves dead (to sin) and then alive again (unto God). We must see our baptism as more than a mere picture of salvation but as an actual resurrection. The body that was a servant of sin died and was buried with Christ. The body that arose from the water is a new man, alive and a servant, not of sin, but of the Lord.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Free Gift

Romans 5:18 KJV
Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
The phrase, "the free gift" was added for clarity by the translators of the King James and is therefore italicized in the Bible. I find those phrases often not only added clarity but help to give emphasis to great truths in the Word of God. I could not help but focus on that free gift in this morning's devotions.

Usually, when we think of the free gift, I think our minds settle in on the word, "salvation." And no wonder. What a blessing to know we are saved! But then I also think we tend to lump all of the benefits of salvation into that one word and miss out on some of the fuller, but more subtle truths involved in our salvation. With this free gift comes:

Peace with God
Vs 1
We have been reconciled to God. The enmity which began with the sin of Adam and Eve has been settled through Christ.

Salvation from wrath
Vs 9
One day this world will face the fiery judgment of God. Those who have trusted Christ have been saved from that and hidden in Jesus.

Vs 11
The word can mean "an exchange." God exchanged our sin for Christ's righteousness.

The gift of grace
Vs 15
Grace is what saved us. But once we are saved God gives grace for life as well.

Vs 16
"Just as if I had never sinned." Because of Jesus Christ, God has judged me innocent.

Vs 17
When God looks at me, all He can see is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. I have not only been set free, God no longer remembers my sins.

Eternal Life
Vs 21
Perpetual life, in the presence of God

And even this list only scratches the surface of all that salvation is.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Him that Justifieth the Ungodly

Romans 4:5 KJV
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Of all the descriptions of God in the Bible this must be among the most precious to us. God is, "Him that justifieth the ungodly."

The word means “to regard as innocent." Through faith in Jesus Christ, God regards the ungodly (that's me and you) as innocent.

I also notice from the context that God will not regard the same for those who attempt to be justified through their own good works. Pastor Steve House told us last night (at our Valentine's Banquet) that doing that is like the leper offering his infected clothing to Christ as a gift. They are filthy rags and an abomination to Him.

No, Christianity in its purest sense involves giving no gifts to Christ but rather accepting gifts from Christ. Even our service to the Lord is no real service but simply allowing the gift of God to work in us. It is not a work at all but a surrender.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Let God Be True

Romans 3:3 KJV
For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

This passage is, of course, speaking about the Jews. Since the Jews were God's chosen people, and since Jesus came first to the Jews, could it be that since they did not as a whole receive Christ as Saviour that the doctrine of Christ as Saviour is errant?

Paul's answer is resolute; …let God be true and every man a liar….

In our day the doctrines we preach and live for seem to be growing less and less accepted. Men and women buy into almost anything religiously, except the kind of faith that we who are fundamental Baptists cling too. Yea, even among the fundamental Baptists there seems to be a swing toward more modern views of worldliness. The power of Christ to save has been substituted for a businessman's approach to performing the work of God.

Does this mean we should cave in and accept the inevitable?
Do we join in with the throngs who want religion but want to have it in man's power?
Do we substitute submission to Christ for apparent success in numbers?

God forbid: yea, Let God be true and every man a liar....

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Our Hope and Expectation

Psalms 86:9 KJV
All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.

The great hope of the Christian is this truth; God will bring things to pass so that all nations will worship Him and glorify His name. He has also said that the way those who come will come to believe is through the preaching of the gospel

Romans 10:14-15 KJV
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

So the hope of the Christian is that one day men of all kindreds and tongues and tribes will worship the Saviour. And the great expectation of the Christian is that we may be used as instruments to bring that to pass. We never go out with the Gospel but that there is this hope, this faith in the power of our God to save sinners and bring them to Himself.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I will be away

Apologies. I will be away preaching at a retreat for about a week. I plan to get back to posting devotions on Sunday or Monday.

Lord Bless

I will fill it

Psalms 81:10 KJV
I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.

Just last night I read a commentary that said, "When God desires a special satisfaction, He seeks out a prayer to answer."

One of God's greatest delights is to answer the prayers of His people. That means it behooves Christians not only to pray but to learn from the Bible those prayers that God delights most to answer. It is obvious as we read the Scriptures that there are things that can make our prayers null in the sight of God. It is also obvious that there are certain prayers that God is most inclined to answer.

We fail in our prayer life by first of all not understanding the differences in those prayers God answers freely and those prayers that are asked amiss and secondly by not praying.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Turn us again

Psalms 80:3 KJV
Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Psalms 80:7 KJV
Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Psalms 80:19 KJV
Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Spurgeon wrote, "...It is not so much said, “turn our captivity” but turn “us.” All will come right if we are right. The best turn is not that of circumstances but of character. When the Lord turns his people he will soon turn their condition..."[1]

Three times in this Psalm the writer implores God to "turn us again."

One of the great needs today is for God to turn His people back to Himself. We need revival; not so much so that the lost will come to Christ, although that is always a great need, we need a revival so God's people will turn. The Hebrew word has the idea of returning to the starting point. And we have gotten so far away from that, I fear that, unless God grants us a revival there is no way we can ever get back.

What we need today is a fresh breath from Almighty God. What we need today is not another program, not another great meeting. There is nothing wrong with either, but it is not the same as God shining His face upon us.

If the Psalmist could say it three times, I can at least pray it once more, "Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved."

[1] E-Sword 7.7.7, The Treasury of David, by Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Way Out of Sorrow

Psalms 77:10-12 KJV
And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.
I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.
I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

There is little doubt but that Psalms 77:2-9 describes a grieving, troubled man. The Psalmist knew the depths of sorrow as well as anyone. In verse 10 he says "This is my infirmity..." This is something he faces regularly. He fought bouts of questions. Read through the Psalms and we can see this many times over. Yet he also has a remedy which is given repeatedly. He almost always writes of trouble that has come and that he has victory over when he writes.

The remedy comes in six statements;
I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High
He began by remembering years of God's right hand. This is likely referring to days when God's right hand was obvious. Those days in years passed when it was apparent that God was at work in his life.

I will remember the works of the Lord
This could refer not only to what God has done but to what God is responsible for. There are works that God expects us to do and there are some works that only God can do. there are works that God has committed himself to; such as salvation. We cannot do that and God has promised to do it. By remembering what is our responsibility versus what is God's responsibility we gain balance in our thoughts and actions.

I will remember thy wonders of old
Both those things God has done in the past such as are recorded in the Bible and are recorded in Christian history and, and perhaps more importantly, those wonders He has accomplished for us personally.

I will meditate also of all thy work
The word remember means to mark. The word meditate means to ponder. In the one case, we recognize the fact, in the other case we work its implications over in our minds

[I will] talk of thy doings
Once the Psalmist had marked and meditated upon the works and wonders of God, he said the final step was to talk about them.
To other believers as both an accountability and a means of confirming and refining the truths brought out in meditation
To those who are also sorrowing and a means to encourage them and lift them
To the lost in an effort to bring them to a saving faith in Almighty

Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary
That is the house of God. Believers must not abandon faithful attendance to the house of God, even in those times of deep sorrow. God's way is given there. The answers we seek will be found in the sanctuary of the Lord.

God uses sorrow in our lives in positive ways so we must not expect to be delivered from it. However, there is a way out of deep sorrow. We do not have to live in the depths of despair but we can use the prescription of Psalms 77 to lift us from sorrow to service in God's house.

Monday, February 05, 2007

They Should

Act 26:20
But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

The three-fold message of the Christian, the three-fold responsibility of the soul:
It means to reconsider. The idea is that of changing your mind. Especially is this true concerning our original relationship with God. All men, both Jews, and Gentiles, both Christians and non-Christians, who are out of fellowship with God should repent, should reconsider.

Turn to God:
It means to convert or to revert. The lost sinner, upon repentance, should convert and be saved, the Christian backslider upon repentance should revert back to what they know to be Bible truth.

Do works meet for repentance:
We do not become Christians through our good works, but the Christian should hold himself responsible to do good works - works that demonstrate he has repented; works that lead others to the same repentance.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Affirming His Life

Acts 25:19
But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.

We will gather today in the house of God to do exactly the same thing that the Apostle Paul did so many years ago.

We will gather together to affirm that Christ is alive.

We will affirm He is alive by our attendance in worship
We will affirm His is alive by the change He has made in our lives and
We will affirm He is alive by our testimony and our words of teaching and exhortation one to another.

Even though Jesus Christ died, we know Christ is alive today because
There were many were eyewitnesses of his resurrection
There is evidence of His living in the impact He continues to make in people's lives
There is a "witness" in our hearts that convinces us that He is alive.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

My Habitation

Psalms 71:3 KJV
Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.

What a descriptive way to speak of God;
As a strong habitation
As a resort and
As a fortress

David may have written this as he fled Jerusalem from Absalom's rebellion. He has lost his reign, He has lost his city and He has lost his house, but he has not lost his faith in Almighty God.

When a man's faith is in the Lord he has
A home and
A safe place, and
A place of rest and comfort
Wherever he is and whatever circumstances he might find himself in. He may find himself in a cave as David was, or in a shelter; but even there, God makes him at home in Christ. He may be facing an attack from an enemy but God provides him a refuge and safe place. He might be going through a time of emotional hurt, but God gives him a resort for comfort and rest.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Psalms 69:5-7 (KJV) Why We Suffer Reproach

Psalms 69:5-7 KJV
O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.
Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.
Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.

We may suffer reproach as believers for two reasons;
Because of our sin
For Christ's sake

The Psalmist is keenly aware that he is a sinner. He knows that God knows his sin and his great concern is that his sin not be a stumblingblock and a cause of shame and confusion for others. Especially when the believer is in a position of leadership as David was, he understands that his sins have the capacity to bring great spiritual as well as even physical harm to those in his kingdom. While I do not have the influence David had, my sin still has the potential to bring harm to others. The sensitive believer considers that.

But then there is another kind of reproach and shame a believer faces because of his stands for Christ. David suffered reproach and apparent failure in the wilderness as he ran from Saul. There were times when he could have in the flesh, slain Saul personally and ended his flight. David's men encouraged him to do it. But David chose to remain a fugitive rather than to lay a hand on the anointed. It meant years more suffering and shame. And he ran the risk of losing some of his followers who just did not understand his convictions.

Paul faced the same issue as a prisoner for Christ's sake.[1]

He gave Timothy this admonition
2 Tim 1:8
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; (KJV)

And he made mention of another who was not ashamed
2 Tim 1:16
The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: (KJV)

In this case all we can do is take our stands for Christ and pray that those we lead and love will understand. Some will; some won't. But Christ will be glorified our obedience to Him regardless.

[1] Ephesians 4:1

Thursday, February 01, 2007

He Giveth Strength and Power

Psalms 68:35 KJV
O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.

Words have sure changed their applications over the years. In the Old Testament the word wonderful has a negative connotation and the word terrible in our text today has a positive connotation.

What a promise it is that God gives strength and power unto His people. John Gill says, "...These are weak, and encompassed about with infirmities; he has strength in himself for them; he has promised it to them, and he gives it to them as a pure gift and unmerited favour of his...."[1]

It is a pure gift. We do not earn His strength and power. We do not deserve it. He gives it to us has His pure gift. The only condition is that we be His people.

Rom 9:25
As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. (KJV)

1 Pet 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (KJV)

There is a people who were not God's people but who have been chosen and become God's people. And that it accomplished by received in faith, the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 1:12
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (KJV)

[1] E-Sword 7.7.7, John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, Dr. John Gill (1690-1771)