Sunday devotion 2/28/21
Servants of God
Rev.22v9..” For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”
John, the writer of the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, has just had a very intense experience when these words were spoken to him. He has seen the big picture of the entire world as it related to the ultimate return of Christ. He is given the play by play in a very personal manner, either by the speaking of God, Jesus Christ, or angels, (depending on the verse) Here in Chapter 22, John has seen the final judgement and victory of Jesus, and in a moment of overwhelming adrenaline, he falls down before his translator.
The angel immediately tells John,. “See that you do not do that..” We know from this that it is not Jesus speaking, or John's bowing would have been acceptable. This is an angel, a messenger of God sent to do His will. What he says to John is a real eye opener..”..I am your fellow servant..” We tend to think of angels as being much higher than us in the caste system of God’s kingdom. But by this scripture we see that as far as God views them and us, we are the same. Servants of God Most High.
God gives assignments both to them and us, and He expects us, or them to obey Him. That is what servants do. What humility it must take for this higher created being to tell a man, “I am a servant like you.” Angels serve in the supernatural realm while men are designed to serve God on earth in the physical realm. Both species of being are to obediently accomplish whatever tasks God assigns them. What is our joint assignment? Rev. 22v17.. “And the Spirit and the Bride say, “Come”! And let him who hears say, “Come”! And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely..”” Acts17v30 “Truly these times of ignorance God overlooked (winked at), but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.”
God’s Spirit calls all mankind to be reconciled to Him. Also, The Bride of Christ, God’s believing people on earth, are to tell others to “Come be reconciled to the Father”! Any person who finds forgiveness in Christ is to tell others to “Come”! Any person anywhere is invited to come and take and drink of their fill of the saving Water of Life! This is the joint mission that men and angels are to be doing on heaven and on earth until time is ended. Someday, we will rule and reign with Christ and we may then be at work with His other created beings too. Until then, we can be satisfied in the doing of His assigned work here on earth as we call others to “Come”!
Rev.22v20..”He who testifies to these things says,” Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. We are commanded to give this simple message today..”Come”! So, let us be obedient in this!
Pray..Father in Heaven, I give thanks to You Lord! I will call upon Your name; I will make Your deeds known among the nations. I sing to You, psalms and praises; I will talk of all Your wondrous works and glory in Your holy name. May all who know You rejoice as they seek You, as they seek Your face forevermore. Come quickly Lord Jesus, Amen. (from Psalm 105)
Sunday devotion 2/21/21
The Fervent Believer
Psalm 69v9..”Because zeal for Your house has eaten Me up..” John 2v15-17..”When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the Temple..Then His disciples remembered that it was written,”Zeal for My Father’s house has consumed Me!”..”
Jesus, when He returned to Jerusalem for the last time, right before Passover, did a curious thing..He went to the Temple in the evening when no one else was around. Mark10v11..”And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the Temple. So when He had looked around AT ALL THINGS, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve..” I wonder what He was looking for. As God the Son, He had every right to inspect it. Perhaps, He was just looking at the Temple as it ought to be. Peaceful, a place of worship and reverence. A place of sacrifice and prayer, separate from worldly influence.
When He comes the next morning, He sees the Temple being used in an immoral way. People are exchanging money for foreigners to be able to purchase sacrificial animals. Sheep, doves and even some cattle are milling around. Salesmen are shouting out prices and trading there. Animals are leaving their filth inside the Temples outer court and Jesus is overcome with furious indignation. Zeal for His Father’s house consumes Him, and in righteous judgement, He gives to those blasphemous rebels exactly what they’re due, Condemnation and the whip! Mk.11:15
There is a time and place for this kind of outburst. Whenever God’s house is misused, His people should be zealous for it’s proper care..They shouldn’t allow for false teaching or rebellious actions to take place in His sanctuary. It should be a place of holiness, where men can seek God and worship Him in a proper way.
True Biblical zeal can be a hard spiritual thing to put your finger on. Saul was very zealous before he met Christ on the Damascus road, but He was causing “Havoc” among those of “The Way”. Acts 8v3. He thought he was doing God a favor by persecuting those that sought after Christ. His zeal was sincere, just misplaced. Then there is the other side of the issue..Lukewarmness or a lack of zeal, as in Rev. 3v14-22. A faith that has no moorings and is neither hot nor cold. God is looking for appropriate, perfect zeal among His people.
Romans 12v1-21 gives us an excellent measure of Christian zeal. “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” V9 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good..” If we can apply this whole chapter to our lives, we will be ready for any situation...Either within the body of Christ or in the world. We must be “Zealous for every good work”!
A zealous person will be a person of action. They will desire to see people saved and brought into the Kingdom of God. They will be disgusted by sin in their own person and in their nation. And, they will desire to seek after a continually closer relationship with the Father and His Son. May zeal for our Father’s house consume us too!
Pray..Father, may this be spoken of me, Zeal for You and Your house consumes me. Give me a renewed desire for You and Your word. Reveal to me the things that keep me at a distance from You. And draw me nearer, Precious Lord, to Thee..In Jesus name..Amen
Sunday devotion 2/14/21
The Power of the Word “IF”
Hebrews 3v6.."But Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end..”
“If” is a big word, because it implies there is a negative possibility of..”If not”!
The need for a Believer to maintain belief until the end, while not being hardened through the deceitfulness of sin is the call of scripture. Heb. 3v8 ..”Today IF you will hear His voice, do not harden your heart as in the rebellion..” Heb. 3v14..”For we have become partakers of Christ IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast until the end”..v15..”Today IF you will hear His voice..” We are only of His House IF we hold firm to the end.
Disbelief is sin, so, how can disbelief come upon a Believer then? Where does it originate? It comes from taking your eyes off of The One you once trusted in for your salvation, and placing it on any other thing. Some other hope..It could be your wealth, your health, your government, or family or a relationship, other religions..It could be any number of things.
Belief is a daily, maybe even a moment by moment calling of the Believer in Christ. “Today, IF you hold fast the confidence..” Today, and then tomorrow when it becomes today, and the next day after that and so on. If you don’t maintain this faith, the Bible describes you as a ‘rebel’! Heb.3v16 “For who having heard, rebelled? Was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?” Those were people that had seen the miraculous saving of their whole people group, who saw the cloud by day and the fire at night. They received the manna and the quail. They saw the water from the rock..Twice! They, in times of despair, fell into unbelief..They are called “those who sinned”.(v17They are those “who cannot enter in because of disbelief”.(v19)
Remember the man whose child was dying in Mark 9v24..He was desperate for a solution to a terrible problem. When Jesus asks if he has sufficient belief to see his child healed he cries..”Lord, I believe,..Help my unbelief”! This is what the Lord wants to hear from his people..Not the arrogance of a pretend faith that is used to impress others, but a genuine repentance and faith that is going to hang on tightly to God in the most trying of situations. We must be honest with ourselves and with the Father when we struggle with fear or disbelief. We must never turn our backs on Him in hard moments but instead cry out..”Help my unbelief”.
A lack of belief causes a lack of rest! Heb.4v1,2..”A promise remains of entering His rest..But the word which they heard did not profit them, NOT BEING MIXED WITH FAITH in those who heard it.” V3 For those who believe DO enter that rest, as He has said..v6..those of disobedience do not enter that rest”. The promise then is resting on God, mixed with faith that He WILL bring you into His rest. He will care for you..Believe that, DAILY!
Heb.4V9,10..”There remains therefore a rest for the people of God”.. v11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”
Be Restful and Be Believing my friends..
Pray..In my distress I cried to the Lord. I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help. O Lord in my pitiful state, I ask You to help my moments of unbelief. Bring to my mind the many instances in which You have cared for me in the past. Renew in me clean hands and a pure heart that grows in faith and belief in You daily, while removing any doubts about Your great faithfulness toward me..In Jesus name..Amen
Sunday Devotion - 2/7/21
Psalm 119v12 ..”Teach me Your statutes..”
One of the purposes of God’s word it seems, is to demonstrate to people what perfect government looks like. Different countries have differing types of governance, some better than others. All of them are flawed to some extent though, because men are the arbiters of them. Fallen men and those who influence them cause them to be self seeking or controlling and eventually the governments themselves become a heavy burden to those that exist under them.
God revealed to the writer of Psalm 119 that His form of government was an easy yoke to bear. The psalmist states that he loves God’s way of leading and structure. V14..”I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies..” Or v18..”I see wondrous things from your law.” How often do you say things like this about the lawmakers and enforcers that have the reigns of government over you?
If the ways of God are followed closely, the statutes and commandments, laws and precepts were strictly adhered to, a person would be more joyful, stable, and more free than if he follows the ways of men. Look at the things God allows in His kingdom..Fullness of Joy, Abundance, Grace, Peace, and Eternal life. Those things are wonderful and certainly not to be dreaded. Maybe that is why it is a good and easy thing to “Meditate on God’s law all the day” and even Love it..(119v48,97) It is Merciful, hopeful, and protective of its kingdoms citizens.
There are some things that are not allowed in this perfect coming kingdom..Rev21v8..”But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death..” Those of the worlds kingdom, those who have no desire for peace with God will have a place they are free to exist in and remain separated from heaven..Those personalities or bad actors would not make for a good kingdom anyway..Not a kingdom that would be desired more than silver or gold for sure.(v72,127) That is why the Psalmist asks that things like those be removed from him and replaced with God’s statutes..”That I may not be ashamed”..(v80)
Only the righteous can enter into heaven. Those who keep God’s commands. 1Cor.6v9,10 Has an extensive list of those that chose not to live by God’s Constitution for the Kingdom. V11 says..”But such were some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God”.. we should be reading God’s law more often so we can better understand the means of righteous living now and for our future in His Eternal Kingdom..What better knowledge could there be than one that draws us to Love God and keep His commands?!
Read Psalm 119 again with the Kingdoms Laws and Ordinances in mind..Maybe you will see some things that need removing and replacing so that you can be Revived for service in His kingdom today!
Pray, Father, You have dealt well with Your servant, O Lord according to Your word. Teach me good judgement and knowledge for I believe in Your commandments. You are good and do good; teach me Your statutes. Seven times a day I Praise You, because of Your righteous judgements..Great peace have those (like me) who love Your law and NOTHING causes them to stumble..Direct my steps according to Your word. In Jesus name..Amen (Ps.119 assorted vs)