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Monthly Archives: August 2012

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Peter 5:8d

1 Peter 5:8….  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

Here the devil is described as “a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour”.   The definition of the term “devour” is “to completely gulp down”, “To overcome entirely” and “To profit by consuming”.

This is Satan’s desire… to benefit from the dominance of God’s people… we see this exemplified in several different examples in the Bible:

1.  In the book of Job, we find Satan, under the Sovereign allowance of God, attempting to overcome, dominate and consume Job.  He did this through the use of natural disasters, poverty, loss of health, loss of family and discouragement at the hands of friends and family.  What motivated this horrible Satanic outpouring of tragedy upon Job?  It was rooted in Satan’s desire to undue the wonderful testimony of Job’s life…. He “was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.”

2.   Another example of Satan’s desire to hinder and consume God’s servants is found 2 Cor 12:6-10 where Paul gives us a bit of insight into a physical affliction that he was struggling with.  He calls this affliction “the messenger of Satan to buffet (to hit with the fist) me”.  He goes on to say that the Sovereign Lord allowed this infirmity to continue in his life as a benefit to himself, forcing him to continue to rely upon the Lord and look to Him for divine supplies.   What was Satan’s motivation in this instance?  Paul’s life was lived in faithfulness his Lord… I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith:Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

3.  Our last example of Satan’s attempts to devour God’s people is found in John’s advice to the church at Smyrna concerning the workings of Satan in their midst… “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast [some] of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

These are just a few of the many accounts of Satan desiring to consume God’s servants in an attempt to stop the work of Christ on earth.  We have seen in these examples, he uses a great variety of different weapons, all which are under God’s Sovereign control, to attempt to hinder our service.

As we enter into our day let’s keep in mind, we have an enemy who is constantly seeking to consume us. Trials in life should not surprise us.  They are a part of faithfully serving our Lord.  But we have been given the great assurance that we have been given the victory over all these things through the love and care of our Lord Jesus Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Rom 8:35-39 (KJV)

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Spiritual Courage

Eph 6:19-20 (KJV)  And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,  For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

His Answers Are Always The Same….

Zech 1:13 (KJV)  And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me [with] good words [and] comfortable words.

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Peter 5:8c

1 Peter 5:8a….  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  In our text for today, we find that the devil is said to be our “adversary”.  The word “adversary” is a very interesting word that speaks volumes about Satan’s activity in our lives.

“Adversary” is translated from a fusion of two Greek words:

1. the first word means “to be opposed to” or “instead of”.

2. the second word is the common NT root word for “judgment” that carries with it the idea of “justice”, “judicial punishment” or “a sentence declared by a judge”.

When the Lord calls Satan our adversary… He is describing Satan’s work as that of an opposing lawyer in a court of law.  Satan is attempting to persuade the judge to come to the wrong judgment and for an injustice to be committed.  He is “opposed to justice” being done.

The Bible gives us examples of Satan’s work as adversary…

1.  In Revelation 12:9-11, Satan is described as “the accuser of our brethren” and he is said to have “accused them before our God day and night”.

2.  In Job 1: and 2: we find Satan, while on earth, speaking to the Lord questioning Job’s dedication and love for the Lord.  Satan then puts events in Job’s life in an attempt to discourage Job and wanting Job to forsake his Lord.

3.  In Psa 109:6 we find wicked men abusing God’s people and Satan is said to be standing at the right hand of the saint encouraging him to no longer serve God.

4.  But in Zech 3:1-2 we find the clearest description of Satan’s adversarial work against God’s people … “And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.  And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: [is] not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

In this account, we find Satan resisting Joshua the priest’s service to Jehovah.  Satan’s hope is to cause Joshua to no longer be faithful to the Lord. Satan’s motive is to cause God to question Joshua’s salvation and to judge him as if he was a lost individual.

The Lord responds to Satan by rebuking Satan because Joshua is saved. (Joshua’s salvation is pictured as pulling a branding iron out of the flames.)  The Lord will not forget that the work of Christ that has been applied to Joshua.  Christ’s work has wrought forgiveness for Joshua’s past, present and future sins.  The Lord will not turn on His people nor bring condemnation upon those for whom Christ has died. (Rom 6:29-37 please see for much more information)

Folks, Satan stands before God accusing each us based upon our failures and disobedience.  He is pleading for the Lord to judge us (as if we were unsaved) for the sins we have committed.   This is one of the great reasons why Satan opposes us and is constantly striving to lead us into sin.  He wants A LOT of ammunition to use against each one of us as he attempts to undo the work of Christ by bringing God’s judgment upon His people.

This is one of the great reasons why we are to be sober and vigilant as we seek to serve our Lord… Satan and the powers of darkness will be right there seeking to discourage, tempt and mislead us into sin.  He has deceived himself into thinking that by having us fail in our service he will have legal grounds to undo the work of Christ on the cross and to have God’s hand of judgment placed upon each one of us.  But we know this cannot be.  We cannot lose our salvation nor can the work of Christ be undone.

Let’s be thankful to our Lord for the eternal security we have in Him and to be ever vigilant of Satan’s tactics as he stands as our adversary.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Will You Have Access To The Tree Of Life?

Gen 3:23-24  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Rev 22:1-5  And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life,… And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Peter 5:8b

1 Peter 5:8a….  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

In our last devotion we saw the need to be “sober” as we enter into spiritual warfare against Satan and the powers of darkness.  Not only are we to be “sober” (fleshly desires under control) but also we are told that we are to be “vigilant”.

The idea of vigilant carries with it several ideas… to wake up;   to sit up;   to become active;   to collect or gather (oneself);   to be watchful

As we look at the above listing, we can get a good idea of the basic meaning of vigilant… it has the idea of being alert, aware, and actively engaged in the events taking place around us.

One of Satan’s great desires for God’s people is for them to be asleep, unaware, disengaged and unopposed to his activities in their life.  This is why the Lord encourages us to be awake and active in our opposition to his workings in Rom 13:11-14 (KJV)… And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed.  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.   But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].  (see also 1 Thess 5:6-8)

Satan in known for working in our lives in increments, slowly, leading us astray, so that we will not even recognizing what he is doing.  A great example of that is found in the Garden of Eden.  During the temptation we see Satan working slowly and methodically in Gen 3:1-5….

1. Doubt – Satan began questioning what God had said – “Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2. Opposition – Satan then denies God’s Word – “Ye shall not surely die

3. Blasphemy – Satan finally replaces God’s Words with his own – “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

This is why Satan is described as “more subtil than any other beast of the field” (Gen 3:1).  This teaches us he is “crafty”, he uses a sinful type of wisdom to slowly bring about our downfall.

If Satan would have come to Eve and said “God has lied to you accept my words as truth instead”.  Eve never would have listened and Satan would have been defeated.  But, by systematically, slowly placing doubt and denial of God’s Word in her mind, Satan was able to accomplish what he had set out to do.

This is how Satan works in our lives today in many different areas.  Slowly he works to chip away at our faith and gradually lead us from the truth.  Satan’s workings begin small but if we allow them to linger in our lives can spread and result in our ruin.  Much like leaven spreads in a lump of dough. (Gal 5:7-10, 1 Cor 5:6-8)

This is why we must be ever vigilant as we seek to remain strong and faithful to our Lord… 1Cor 16:13 (KJV) Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Is He “Outside Looking In” Or Fellowshipping With Us In Church?

Rev 3:20 (KJV)  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Peter 5:8a

1 Peter 5:8a….  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

In our text we find two attitudes that we are to have as we enter into conflicts with Satan…. to be sober and to be vigilant.  Let’s look at the need to be sober as we go to warfare against powers of darkness in this world.

“Be sober” –  The Scriptural meaning of “sober” is “to be under control”.  Why are Christians encouraged to keep themselves under control as we prepare to struggle against Satan’s onslaughts?   One of the most common, and effective, ways that Satan tries to mislead God’s people is by appealing our natural desires.

In 1 John 2:16 we have listed for us the three different types of natural desires that we all share as human, fallen mankind…. “For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

The natural desires of our fallen nature are given the titles:

1. “the lust of the flesh” – desires that arise due to the physical needs of our fleshly bodies

2. “the lust of the eyes”  – desires that arise due to appealing appearance

3. “the pride of life” – desires that arise in the pursuit of self-exaltation

Why must we learn to keep these desires under our control?

1. Because they are leading us to pursue that which are sinful and will eventually pass away…”… And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

2. Also, it is these three areas that Satan will attack as he tries to mislead us from the will of God for our lives.  We see this illustrated in two of the most well-known temptation against men, the temptation in the Garden of Eden and the temptation of Christ in the wilderness….

1. The lust of the flesh – “good for food” Gen 3:6…“command stones to be made bread” – Matt 4:3

2. The lust of the eyes – “pleasant to the eyes” Gen 3:6…“shewed Him the kingdoms of the world …” – Matt 4:8

3. The pride of life – “to make one wise” Gen 3:6…“cast thyself down…” – Matt 4:6

This is why it is vital for us to learn to keep our natural fleshly desires under the control of Christ, through His Spirit. Satan will not get the victory if these lusts are under the control of the Spirit. (1 Pet 2:11-12)

Titus 2:11-14 (KJV)  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Let us seek to live lives that are under the control of the Holy Spirit as we go about the Lord’s business today.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

We Don’t “Get It”…

Ps 139:1-6 (KJV)  O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known [me]Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted [with] all my ways.  For [there is] not a word in my tongue, [but], lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.  Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.  [Such] knowledge [is] too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot [attain] unto it.

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Peter 5:8-11 Intro

Our next devotion series will be based upon 1 Peter 5:8-11….

8) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  9) Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.  10) But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you].  11) To him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

In this section of Scripture we have, at the least, four different issues being addressed….

1. How do we stand against Satan… Vs 8,9

2. How does Satan work and what is he trying to accomplish …. Vs 8, 9

3. Why does the Lord allow Satan to work in our lives…. Vs 10

4. What does the Lord do on our behalf to uphold us during Satanic attacks… vs 10

By God’s grace, upon completion of this series, we will have a better understanding of how we can successfully stand against Satan and those influenced by him.

-

But to begin our series I would like us to look at another section of Scripture…

Eph 6:10-13 (KJV)

10) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].  13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

In these few verses we see the importance of standing against Satan and the powers of darkness being presented to us.  Please note we are told to….

1. “be strong in the Lord”- we are to find strength to oppose Satan in our standing with the Lord.

As saved, we are a members of His family, the servants of light, loved By Him and new creatures in Him.

Our position in Christ clearly shows us we are no longer a part of the powers of darkness, we have been separated to His glory, honor and service.  Folks we can stand confidently against Satan knowing that we are children of the King!

2. “be strong… in the power of His might”- we serve an Almighty Sovereign Lord. He will give us what is needed to receive victory over Satan and his powers.

3. “put on the whole armour of God” – By equipping ourselves in the Lord’s way, with His armor, we will be prepared to war with Satan and be victorious in that war.

4. “and having done all to stand” -  After we follow the Lord’s instructions to equip ourselves for this war, we then can be prepared to stand and oppose the works of Satan.  We can know He is with us and will give us the victory.  He will not allow Satan to overcome His people.

If you notice, in all of the above the basic principle is this….. if we rely on our own abilities, wisdom and strength we will always fail in our service to Him.  If however, we look to the Lord, recognize His love for us, consider our standing in Him, and equip ourselves as He desires, we can face Satan without fear knowing He will give us the victory.  After all … “we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”  Roms 8:37.

This is why we will be studying 1 Pet 5:8-11, to show us GOD’s WAY in opposing Satan.  We cannot do it on our own.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

He will always make it good!

Num 23:19 (KJV)  God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

The Precious Word Bible Study Series – The Word Reveals Our Source of Lasting Joy (Lesson #9)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

 

INTRODUCTION:

Man’s quest for permanent, total joy began immediately after the fall and continues on to this day. No matter how hard we try, it is impossible to find true happiness in the things this world has to offer.  Men have experienced all the world’s offerings, miserably failing to achieve their goal.

So what are we to do?  Is there no one who can help us to understand true joy?  Is there anyone on this earth that can point us to the path that leads to lasting contentment, peace and joy?  Once again, this is where we begin to see the preciousness of the Word of God.  Within its pages we find the secret of true joy and the way that leads to it.

SCRIPTURES:

Ps 35:9

(KJV) 9) And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.

(ESV) 9) Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD, exulting in his salvation.

Neh 8:10

(KJV)   10) … for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

(ESV)  10) …. for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Isa 61:10

(KJV) 10) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh [himself] with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth [herself] with her jewels.

(ESV)  10) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

 

Rom 5:11

(KJV) 11) And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

(ESV)  11) More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

1Thess 2:19

(KJV) 19) For what [is] our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? [Are] not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

(ESV)  19) For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?

THE STUDY:

When the Bible speaks of “joy” what is it talking about? The word joy is translated from several different words. The many words translated  “joy” have associated with them four basic ideas:

  1. To be bright, cheerful, radient (the outward display of joy)
  2. Pleasure, satisfaction, fulfillment (inward contentment)
  3. To jump or spin, (excitement)
  4. To welcome, to bring to oneself (receipt of benefits)

In the above definitions, we can find a basic definition of “joy”.  When the Bible speaks of “joy” it is describing a blessed man’s outward display of happiness coming from inward feelings of contentment and excitement.

As we begin our study in Psa 35:9, we immediately find the treasure for which we are searching, “joy”….

And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD:

In our text, we find the source of true, lasting joy is the Lord Jehovah. He alone is the One from whom all blessings flow.  As our verse continues, it explains how we can experience the joy that is found in Jehovah alone…

it shall rejoice in his salvation.

Joy can be experienced only through the salvation that He so graciously offers to us.  Without coming to faith in Christ, any man’s pursuit of joy will be fruitless and void. As lost mankind we are born under the dominance of sin in our lives….

Joh 8:33-34  They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?  (34)  Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

But through the faith in Christ and His work on the cross, we can be delivered from the bondage of that sin…

Joh 8:35-36  And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.  (36)  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Until we are removed from the enslavement of sin, and liberated through the work of Christ on the cross, we cannot experience a life of joy, freedom and peace (Rom 6:16-20).

Not only is salvation from sin’s bondage a basis of our joy, but two other aspects of salvation work on our behalf to cultivate joy in our hearts.  We can see this in Isa 61:10…

10) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh [himself] with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth [herself] with her jewels.

In these verses, the receipt of salvation is pictured as being clothed in robes of righteousness.  This righteousness has two results in the lives of Christians:

1.  An intimate relationship with Christ is begun.  This is pictured by the bridegroom/bride picture. Just as the putting on of the wedding garments is the beginning phase of intimacy between a married couple.  In this same way, having robes of righteousness being put upon the believer brings about an intimate relation with Christ and the Father. (1 John 1:1-4)

2.  An heirship is formed.  When we receive robes of righteousness and intimacy with Christ and the Father we are adopted into His family.  Based upon this adoption we become heirs of God, guaranteeing us the receipt of many future blessings. (Roms 8:13-18)

Knowing that we have been made free from sin’s bonds, experiencing a close walk with our Lord, and looking forward to the receipt of many blessings of heirship in the family of God are the three main pillars upon which joy is experienced in the believer’s life.

The blessings related to joy are not limited to experiencing joy in our lives, but also includes the receiving of spiritual strength.  This is shown to us in Nehemiah 8:10….

… for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Here, we can see that a joy that is based upon the Lord is the source of our strength as we live our lives on a day to day basis. Why is a daily source of strength an absolute necessity for us to lead a joyous life on earth?  The fallen world in which we live is filled with discouragements and troubles (Job 14:1-2).  Without an ever present source of strength, life becomes a daily struggle to survive for any one of us.

The daily strengthening joy that we receive from the Lord is based upon a BACKWARD look at the cross of Christ and a FORWARD look at His second coming.

The BACKWARD look at the death of Christ is spoken of in Romans 5:11….

And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Our joy is renewed on a daily basis as we look at the work of our Savior on the cross.  One of the greatest accomplishments of the cross is securing the atonement of God’s people.  The idea of atonement teaches us that it was through the work of Christ that we, who are sinful beings, are brought into fellowship with God.   When Christ died on the cross for our sins, He took upon Himself the punishment that was meant for us.  In doing so, He took away the enmity that stood between us and God.  He brought us into peace with God (Rom 4:24-5:1).

The FORWARD look at His second coming is spoken of in 1 Thess 2:19…

19) For what [is] our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? [Are] not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

Keep in mind, our future “homecoming” with Christ is a source of great joy for the Christian.  Just knowing that we will be delivered to a sinless life of peace and joy with Him brings us great joy.  However, also this verse brings out the idea of a reunion with those we love and hold dear to us.  If those who have passed on before us are saved, we can expectantly wait to rejoin them at the final resurrection.  What a day that will be!  What a source of joy those thoughts bring to us even now.

THE APPLICATION:

True joy can only be found in God the Father through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is through His work on the cross that we can receive “joy unspeakable and full of glory”.  This joy enters our life as we walk with Him enjoying communion and spiritual strength. By acknowledging both His past, present, and future blessings, we can experience joy as a part of our daily walk with Him.

All of this, can only come to us through His precious Word that clears reveals the way of salvation and the blessings that proceed from our gracious Lord.

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series pdf version: please go to: http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual.pdf

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to:  http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage – http://www.settledinheaven.org

Be Peculiar!

Titus 2:13-14 (KJV)  the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Do Unto Others That Can’t Do Unto You

Let’s take a look at this often overlooked set of instructions our Lord gave to His followers.

Luk 14:12-14  Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.  But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:  And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

Before we begin let’s take a moment and examine our hearts to be sure we are approaching this subject with a heart inclined towards seeking His will for each of our lives…

THE SCRIPTURES:

Luke 14:12-14

 

THE STUDY:

Luk 14:12-14  Then said he also to him that bade him,

To whom was Christ talking?  He was talking to one of the chief Pharisees that had invited Christ to his house to eat with him on the Sabbath day (14:1).

Before we progress we need to remember that the Pharisees were known for their outward displays of religious piety while, in many cases, their hearts were driven by sinful, selfish motives and desires (Luke 11:37-44).  Our text is Jesus’ teachings to help correct this type of sinful motives behind outward acts of service for Him.

When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours;

The Lord now addresses the natural tendencies of our sinful flesh.  When we make a supper for others to share with us, the natural thing for us to do would be to invite those we enjoy being with (friends), those we have physical or spiritual relationships with (brethren or kinsman), or those we desire to impress, to obligate or to gain their loyalty (rich neighbors).

We might ask what is wrong with doing this?   As the Lord continues he explains this issue….

lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. 

What is in common with all of the above situations?   In the example that Christ is using He said that the reason for these invitation to be given was in the hope of receiving some type of recompense for the good deed.  In other words, selfishness was a part of the motivation to invite the perspective attendees to the dinner.

In the case presented to us by Christ…. He left out the specific details of the type of gain received by each invitation that we send.  It could be hope for monetary gain, physical pleasure, increased authority, a peaceful relationship between two individuals, the list is endless.

But His teaching is plain.  When we invite anyone who can give back to us for what we are doing for them we open ourselves up to the possibility of performing outward deeds of charity with sinful selfish motives.  This is why EVERY Christian must be watchful concerning our motives in acts of benevolence.

Also, please do not misunderstand Christ’s teachings.  This is NOTHING WRONG with inviting any of the above groups to dinner, as long as it is done out of love and a desire to sacrifice oneself for their well-being.  It becomes sinful when we invite them with selfish motives hoping for personal gain.

Christ then gives us one easy way to “check” the true motives of our hearts….

(13)  But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 

In Christ’s example, are we willing to prepare a dinner and share it with those we do not know, but have drastic needs….

The “poor” those in poverty that do not have food to eat; the “maimed”, the “lame” and the “blind” those who, in most cases, cannot work to support themselves.  In each case, we can see a need and no visible possibility of pay back.

Christ’s point is this … when we help these type of needy people there is a greater possibility that we are serving the dinner out of love and self-sacrifice than the previous group of invitees. We are giving of our time and food to help those who are in need of the food.  Also, it is these very people who cannot be expected to return our benevolence in any way.   It is an act of love and kindness on our part toward meeting the needs of those who are in such desperate straits.

But once again, we must be careful not to misunderstand His teachings.  If we invite someone who is unable to recompense us for our efforts does that prove absolutely our motives are right?  Absolutely not… there are many other ways we can gain from helping those who cannot repay us.   In today’s time, we quickly declare our volunteer work to others desiring a pat on the back, a promotion at work, or perhaps to obtain a job that we have applied for.    There can be much selfish gain when we help others in the world in which we live.

Also, we can do any type of charitable work desiring the “praise of men”.  The Pharisees were masters of that….  John 12:42-43 (KJV)  Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess [him], lest they should be put out of the synagogue:  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.   (see also Matt 6:1-18)

I guess my point is this.  The actual principle behind the teaching of Christ is that we are to serve Him and others out of a heart of love and desire to give of ourselves for others. Period.   It really doesn’t matter who we help or what type of help we give.  It is all about our motives.

Matt 22:36-40 (KJV)  –  Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.   And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Christ continues now by explaining the benefits to us when we serve Him from a right heart..

(14)  And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

Do you notice that the Lord tells us that we will be “blessed” for our self-sacrificial giving to others?

This involves eternal blessings throughout eternity.   He says that the repayment for what we have done for Him will take place at the resurrection of the just when we receive glorified bodies and stand before the Lord in judgment. (2 Cor 5:9-11)

We might think that knowing that we will receive eternal rewards is a selfish motive?  Not if we properly understand the purpose of the rewards in heaven.  It is not to exalt us or to give us a reason to be prideful in heaven…. Not at all.

Our eternal rewards (crowns) will be given to us so we can then lay them at Jesus feet and glorify and honor Him with them!   The rewards are simply a reminder to us of His gracious intervention in our lives when He saved us, equipped us for service, led us to each area of service and then empowered us through His Spirit.   This is why we give the rewards back to Christ… he deserves them because any good work we do is only Him working in us!

Rev 4:10-11 (KJV)  The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

We can no more take credit for our good works of service than a pen can take the credit for creating a poem.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Obedience to our Lord does not simply involve outward acts of service, but it also involves the proper motives and desires of the heart.  As we prepare for a day of service to our Lord, we need to be sure we have our sinful, fleshly selfish desires “in check” as we go forth.  Are we willing to lay aside personal gain in an effort to serve Him?  Can we honestly say we desire to put our Lord first, our neighbors seconds and ourselves last, as we seek to fulfill His will and His will alone?

After all, One Man who placed His desires into submission to His Father’s will changed each of our lives for an eternity….

Mark 14:32-39 (KJV)  And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.  And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;  And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.  And he said, Abba, Father, all things [are] possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.  And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?  Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly [is] ready, but the flesh [is] weak.  And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Nothing!

Jer 32:17 (KJV)  Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, [and] there is nothing too hard for thee:

SIH’s Think On These Things: Rom 8:28c

For our devotion series, we are looking at “Prayer and the Will of God”.  In our text, we find some very precious promises given to us by our Lord …. Rom 8:28 (KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

We know that all things work together for good.   We have seen this wonderful promise God has given to us.  But now let’s answer the question “To whom did the Lord make this promise?”…

to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.”  This is a two-fold description of those who can claim the promises found in Rom 8:26-28.

Lets look at them one at a time:

1. Them that love God. – In other words, these promises were given to those who possess a sacrificial love for Jehovah God.  Love for God is a proof of those who are the recipients of God’s gracious salvation and resultant blessings…

2. Them that are the called according to His purpose. – These promises were given to those who were called from darkness into the light of Christ according to the divine counsels of Almighty God.

What we have seen is quite clear…. The promises found in Rom 8:26-28 apply only to those who have been saved from their sins by the gracious intervention of Almighty God.  This is even made more clear to us when we look at the next two verses in Romans 8… For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Contextually, these promises apply to those who have received the forgiveness of God and given them many great blessings as the result of that salvation…2Pet 1:2-4 (KJV)  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

For those of us who are saved, lets take time to thank Him for His gracious forgiveness and His many promises He has given to us.  One of which is these wonderful promises we have been looking at in Roms 8, that help us to understand that EVERYTHING that takes place in our life is allowed for our benefit and His glory.

For those who have never been forgiven, please use your exclusion from these wonderful promises as a warning that your standing is not right before God.  You have been excluded from these wonderful blessings of God because of your sin.  It is your sin that separates you from God.  It is your sin that angers God, It is your sin that must be dealt with.  See your sin as God sees your sin, turn from your sin and come to Christ.  Trust in Him as your Lord and the Savior of your life.  Then you can share in these many great and precious promises God has reserved for His people.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Rob Barkman:

I am reblogging this in response to several questions and requests that have been made to me the past several days. I am trusting that this will help to answer your questions. Towards the end of this posting you will find the issue of abortion in the case of rape and incest specifically addressed.  Thanks for all your communications with me. If you still have any questions, continue to use my SIH email address:. settledinheaven@gmail.com
Thanks.

Originally posted on SettledInHeaven.org Blog:

SIH STSTA ICON(Author’s Note: Due to the length of this Bible study, I have explained many of the Scripture verses in a very general, basic way.  If you have any questions concerning this Bible Study please feel free to contact me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I will be answer any emails promptly.)  

With the presidential debates taking place, I thought it would be a good time to review what the Bible teaches about some of the moral societal issues of today.  At the forefront of these issues are abortion and homosexuality (and same sex unions).  In today’s blog, I would like to center our attention on abortion.  In a later blog entry we will look at homosexuality and same sex-marriages.

Let’s begin today’s look at the Scriptural teachings on abortion.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Exod 20:13 (KJV) Thou shalt not kill.

Matt 19:18 (KJV) He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do…

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Rom 8:28b

For our devotion series, we are looking at “Prayer and the Will of God”.  In our text, we find some very precious promises given to us by our Lord …. Rom 8:28 (KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

We  know that all things work together for good.   We have previously looked at the idea of things being for “our good”.  We saw that this phrase takes our attention off the physical appearance of something and places our attention on something’s nature or character.  Although our life’s trials certainly do not LOOK as if they are for our benefit, their NATURE is that of being beneficial to us.

Now let’s look at the idea of “all things work together” for our good.  The Lord does not promise that any one event, when it stands alone, will result in our benefit.  His promise is that when all the events of our life are examined in their totality,we will find that they all played a role in bringing about our good. One of the greatest examples of this principle is found in 1Sam 17:32-37… And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine…David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

In this account, we find several different events in David’s life being used together to work for his good.  David recounts two tests of his faith one with the bear, the other the lion trying to steal from His flock.  He smote both which worked to increase his faith in God.  This increase in faith was then used by God to strengthen David to do battle with the giant, Goliath.  Those two events (lion and bear) were allowed and designed to be used together for David ‘s benefit because Goliath was yet to come. In a sense these three events in David’s life were a “package deal” .  It is very possible they were interdependent upon one another.  Here is what I mean by that statement…

Not knowing God’s mind, and all His will concerning David’s life, let me just speculate on something…I think it is possible, that if David was not to face Goliath, it is very possible the Lord would not have allowed the lion and bear to attack His flock.  The principle would be this… if David had no need for an increased faith in his future, the Lord would not have allowed such horrible events in the preceding portion of his life. Again, this is only my speculation the Bible does not actually say.  But I do know the Lord works this way in our lives all the time…

He is constantly bringing a difficult situation(s) in our life to enable us to faithfully handle even greater adversity that lies in our future.  He is gradually building our faith, through the difficult experiences in life, so that we may be able to faithfully handle what is to come.  (1 Cor 10:13)

This sword cuts both ways …

1. in one sense… when we come to understand this truth it is a great blessing.  Our Lord loves us so much that He is will work to gradually strengthen our weaknesses so our future difficulties will not bring us down and destroy us.

2. but, in another sense…  when we realize it is possible the difficulty we face is preparing us for greater difficulties, this blessing may seem to lose its shine just a bit (from a fleshly view of things).

In any case, we can know for certain…. ALL things DO work together for our good. We can rest assured the difficulties we face have a purpose.  And when all is said and done, we will be glad we have faced the very trials that were desperately trying to cause us anxiety, pain and fear.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

His Faithfulness Makes Us Able!

1Cor 10:13 (KJV)  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].

Can’t Get No Satisfaction?

Prov 13:25 (KJV) The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.

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