When our course is controlled by God, we soar to heights never imagined. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13 KJB
Category Archives: Commentary
Daniel 6:22; Job 5:19; II Timothy 4:18
What a traumatic situation. Being faithful to God has put Daniel into a very dangerous situation. A question could be asked here, what can I do to avoid such a predicament. Looking at the alternatives, I see problems. If I simply ignore God that does not make God go away. If I were to aline myself with paganism, I have a blind belief in a lie and will suffer the results of my decision. If I stand with God against all odds, I have protection and deliverance by God. God gives his angels watch, care, protection and deliverance from circumstances if it is God’s will. A very striking statement is; “ . . . innocency was found in me. Who of us can say this truthfully? Then comes the reassurance to the king “ . . . also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” This was said to a pagan king. The angel shut the lions’ mouths.
Job tells us of many deliverance’s and that no evil will touch us. Paul said to Timothy; “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. II Tim. 4:18 KJB
How can anyone deny the deliverance of God through His Son who died to set us free. He died because of His love for the Father and the lost. That is true deliverance.
Joshua 1:9; Daniel 3:16,17; Philippians 1:28
I am reminded of that old saying, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” There is an element of truth in this saying. What I have observed is, courage is not a reckless abandonment without due consideration. When we see anyone rush into a burning building, it is not reckless abandonment but with quick deliberation and an understanding that great harm might come to the rescuer. Courage is not the abandonment of all sense, but the consideration of the possibility of harm.
In the consideration of our position with God through His Son Jesus Christ, we do not abandon all sense as we live our lives in a Godly manner and witness for Him. Joshua received a word of encouragement in Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” We have the support that others do not have. Through prayer, before we enter the fray, God is right there with us to support us in all of our endeavors to witness to lost and saved alike. Why did I say the saved? Because of some that are saved stray or fall back and we need strength, courage, and wisdom to go to and encourage them. The lost we understand but sometimes we forget about those that have backslidden.
Our adversaries love to see us as weak and uncertain. While teaching seminary, I instructed students that when they came to one of those words in the Old Testament that they were not sure of how to pronounce, instead of muddling around and hemming and hawing, simply say it with authority. Many, who think they know how to say it will say hmmm, maybe he is right. Understand, I am not saying to speak salvation in ignorance or any other doctrine for that matter. Know the plan of salvation and support scripture. Know doctrine and support scripture. Then say it with authority instead of being mealy-mouthed in our discussion. There are certain things we should be masters in knowledge. In Ephesians 6 we are told to stand. I love the answer of the three Hebrew children in Daniel 3:16,17 “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. This passage thrills me to no end. The part of the answer where they say, “. . . we are not careful to answer thee. . . “ this thrills me to my tippy toes. They are saying, we don’t have to think about our answer, we don’t have to consult each other about our answer, we don’t even have to pray about it because we know God’s answer already. NO,NO,NO. These young men were standing as Joshua was told to stand and be courageous. There is another part to this answer that I also love, “If it be so. . . “. Let me tell you about the power of our God. If He wants to deliver us, He will. If He does not want to deliver us, that is ok also. We will not lose our trust and faith in God. Do what you want and what you think you can king. We are prepared.
Preachers, Pastors, we are called to be courageous and to stand. I have communicated with a number of you that are dissatisfied with how some things are slipping among our churches. I have heard the terms, fed up, wrong, things amiss and a few other things. There seems to be a fear that one might be ostracized or shunned to speak up with courage and take a stand. May I restate a common scripture, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Let me add this, who cares who is against us. A good preacher friend of mine, solid scripturally, accepted the pastorate of a small Southern Baptist Church. His thought was to teach and preach the truth to this church and bring it into our work. All the time he pastored this church, they never observed the Lord’s Supper. After several years he came to the realization, that he would never achieve his goal and resigned. He came to me and said, I want to join your church, I know you are the pastor and I will always support you. My reply, why not pastor Brother. He said I have been blackballed in our local and national association. My reply, welcome brother. Maybe it is my age, maybe I am just ignorant. I simply believe in the Word of God and believe that if we don’t take a stand today, tomorrow may be too late. Paul said to the Philippian Brothers, Philippians 1:28 “And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.” Every member and every preacher and pastor is called to stand and be of great courage. I challenge you to stand for the scripture truth and follow many of our forefathers in the battle for God.
Proverbs 15:16; Philippians 4:11; Hebrews 13:5
- To be content in life brings a great amount of peace. Let us define contentment from Websters’ 1828 dictionary. 1. Contentment; a resting or satisfaction of mind without disquiet; acquiescence. Contentment, without external honor, is humility. Godliness with contentment is great gain. I Timothy 2. Gratification
Contentment is not laziness. Never suffer under that mistaken thought. Contentment is satisfaction with where we are at in life, work, marriage and our relationship with God. It includes the idea of happiness. This does not preclude improvement in all areas of our life. The truth is that without improvement we will lose our contentment. Contentment does not mean that we are satisfied with where we are at but indicates we are striving for betterment without being worried by external influences and wickedness.
Proverbs states this very clearly. “Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.” Proverbs 15:16 KJB. Be content with what we have and we will have great peace of mind. We must establish proper priorities that Jesus has given us in His Word. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt. 6:33 KJB. When we pursue proper things that Jesus says to pursue we will dwell in contentment.
What does it mean to be in want? Paul says to the Philippian brethren, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11 KJB. Whether rich or poor, contentment should be our companion. Riches do not make us a better person. Being poor does not make us a bad person. Contentment will make us a pleasing person. Contentment demonstrates that our priorities in life are right. It indicates that we have made Christ the focus and center of our life. We are pursuing the greatest, the most important thing in life and that is a loving relationship with our marvelous Savior, Jesus Christ. Are we content with Jesus Christ? When we have Christ, we have all we need.
Our problem is our eyes. We see the things of the world and desire becomes covetousness. We want and design to get. We see our neighbors and their toys and desire to have what they have. This tears or rips our focus from God and His Son Jesus Christ and the world becomes more important to us than our Savior. Hebrews says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5 KJB. A short definition of “conversation” is appropriate. Webster 1828 dictionary. 1. General course of manners, behavior, deportment, especially as it respects morals. Be ye holy in all manner of conversation. I Peter I:15, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” KJB Our way of living, our holy life should usher in contentment that overcomes all the pleasures of this world, preparing us for the world to come and the Holiness of God and His Son Jesus Christ that resides there. Praise God that He brings contentment into our lives.
Proverbs 14:14; Matthew 24:12; Hebrews 10:38
How wonderful it would be if we could say as the Psalmist said 44:18 – “Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way;”.Sadly, there are few that can make that claim. Drawing away from God for different reasons happens to most saved people. It could be the influence of a spouse, a friend or the lure and lust for the things of the world. Even when faithful in church services, there are time we are closer to God than at other times. According to Proverbs 14:14, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways. There are times the struggle within us is so real. The carnal striving with the spirit bringing indecision and division. It can happen in different areas of life. Financial, physical and mental division. We can be filled with our own ways, become narcissistic in the things we do. An attitude that my way is better than God’s way. The whole of life becomes about us instead of God and His Son Jesus Christ.
Matthew really clues us in by saying in Matthew 24:12 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Do we see this today? Sure we do. If we would be honest we would admit that the flesh rules upon occasions. We have a denomination that split over the homosexual issue. Understand, I believe that denomination does not hold the true, but in morals they used to be very close to the Bible. Yet, some that should know better just blew them off as not having the truth to begin. So when do we worry about those that call themselves Christians? When they those false denominations are normalizing homosexual relations and even having two men that claim to be married, or two women that claim to be married “pastoring” churches so called? That is happening. Now I am going to hit some of you right between the eyes now. Are we backsliding when a sport has such a hold on us that we will support the halftime show of sex and crotch grabbing by watching the game? I know, some of you said we did not watch the halftime show. You spread all over face book, to children and teens that you supported the super bowl by watching it and thereby supporting the halftime show whether you watched it or not. How many children saw it and were influenced by it? I have read a few articles that were not written by preachers or even Christians. These lost carnal men are decrying the moral degradation of such a display in a public venue. Their claim is that it significantly displays how degraded people have become in their attempt to okay this sensual conduct. One wonders how far it will go before Christians will rise up in disgust withdraw their support from such wickedness.
The writer of Hebrews says in 10:38 “Now the just shall live by faith: . . “ Is your faith rooted in Jesus Christ. If it is, have you withdrawn yourself from the things of the world? Are these worldly things so important that they have a hold on you so that you can draw back from the Lord on a temporary basis and excuse it by claims that you did not see the smut. You do realize that you were counted in the millions that watched it and those that broadcast paid the super bowl based upon the head count. Therefore, you financially supported the halftime show. Is that drawing back from the Lord? The author of Hebrews is very clear here in 10:38 “. . . but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
Jan 30, 2020
I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us – Romans 8:18
There are many things we do not know about the end of this life or the end of the world. But God has given us all the assurance we need in order to look joyfully, expectantly forward.
Paul knew enough about what was coming to say, I reckon — an accounting term, meaning he had taken a careful inventory, done the calculations, and come to a careful and reliable conclusion. And what Paul was comparing was the sufferings of this time (with which he was intimately and personally acquainted) and the glory to come for every believer in Jesus Christ.
As Paul added up the multiple trials, heartaches, losses, and sorrows of this world and carefully considered this sum in relation to the glory afterwards, he came to this stunning realization: the two should not even be compared, because the amount of the one is so far greater than the mass of the other.
Anyone who has experienced even a fraction of the pain that this world holds will find this hard to imagine. We cannot conceive of a happiness so deep, a pleasure so complete, a glory so glorious that our grief here is swallowed up by it. But God does not ask us to fathom such a claim; he simply requires that by faith we believe it.
Are you living by faith in the enormity of glory, in the expansive joy that is found in the presence of Jesus?
John 15:5; I John 2:28; II John 9
Abide – to dwell, to rest to continue, to stand firm.
John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.”
Abiding is fruit-bearing. The place of abiding is in Jesus Christ the Son of God. Some choose to abide in the world, in sports, arts, education, politics, power or prestige. The propensity of some to always gravitate to worldly things is evident in what holds their attention and receives their time. These days of hectic activity of the world, we hardly have time for Jesus, much less abiding in him. Abiding means to spend time with him. We abide in our house that we call our home. This is where we eat, we sleep and basically live our lives. This is the hub of our life. Jesus should be the hub of our life.
With Jesus, we are “in Him.” We should be just as comfortable being in him as we are at home. Abiding in Him means that no matter where we are He is ever-present. Since we are in Him at work, we should be just as faithful in representing Him at work as we are at Church. Where ever we are, if we abide in Christ, we will produce, not just fruit but much fruit. Notice that statement “… for without me ye can do nothing. If we are not producing fruit, maybe we should examine ourselves to see if we are abiding.
II John 1:9 “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”
If we are abiding in Christ, we have an overwhelming desire to abide in His doctrine. Truth is so important in a time of lying and deceit. So many distort and twist the doctrine of Christ in this modern depraved age. The Bible says, “ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” John 8:32. We areresponsible for diligently searching for the truth and finding it. Finding the truth tells of the love we have for Christ.
I John 2:28 “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
My desire is to not be ashamed before God when I stand before Him. Therefore, I must abide. I don’t know when His return is so I must be ready at any time. I have confidence in his return as a thief in the night and because His appearance will not be announced, I must be faithful and true at all times. I must not be drawn away by worldly lusts or desires. I MUST abide in Jesus at all times.
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
The picture of pressing toward the mark is taken from the Olympic games. Having been a runner, I understand the effort that is called “finish line kick.” It has the idea of zoning out every distraction to concentrate on the finish line. Cheering crowds, other runners, even the sound of their footsteps close by are not allowed to draw the runner’s attention from the task at hand — finishing the race. Our “mark,” our goal, our finish line is to be like the Lord Jesus Christ (vs. 10). How are you doing in your race?