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Monthly Archives: November 2012

“A Month Of Thankfulness” Text …. Day 30

Let Us Thank The Lord For His Forgiveness When We Fail To Recognize His Great Blessings

Ps 106:1-2 (KJV)   …  Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise?

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“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 30)

“O Give Thanks Unto The Lord (3)”

SIH’s Think On These Things: Psa 106:1-2

Ps 106:1-2 (KJV)   …  Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise?

In our last devotional of this series, we will end with these two questions….
“Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD?”  
“who can shew forth all his praise?”

Over the past month, as we have thought on a few of the multitude of ways that our Lord deserves our thanks…it all boils down to this one issue.  After all is said and done, we cannot begin to really appreciate, nor thank, our Lord as we should.  This theme is repeated again and again by the Psalmist in a variety of contexts…

Ps 40:5 (KJV)  Many, O LORD my God, [are] thy wonderful works [which] thou hast done, and thy thoughts [which are] to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: [if] I would declare and speak [of them], they are more than can be numbered.

Ps 71:15 (KJV)  My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness [and] thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers [thereof].

Ps 139:17-18 (KJV) How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!  [If] I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

King David understood the dilemma that we face…. we serve a Lord that is so kind, loving, gracious and merciful that He is CONSTANTLY blessing us.  Every breath we take, every flower that we may see, every second we are not in the Lake of Fire, is a miraculous blessing from our Lord…. How can we begin to recognize all of them and then give Him the appropriate praise?  All we can do is fall upon our knees and ask the Lord forgiveness for failing miserably to recognize His continuous displays of tender love He has shown towards us.

Let us all come before our God and thank Him for the forgiveness that He grants to us as we fail to appreciate all His gracious workings.

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

“A Month Of Thanksgiving” Text …. Day 29

Lets Thank The Lord For His Goodness and Mercy He Gives To Us Everyday

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Ps 106:1-2 (KJV)  for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever….

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“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 29)

“O Give Thanks Unto The Lord (2)”

SIH’s Think On These Things: Psa 106:1-2

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Ps 106:1-2 (KJV)   … for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever….

In our last devotional we saw the need to give our Lord all the praise and thanks for what He has so graciously done for us.  In this morning’s devotional, I would like us to emphasize why we are to praise and thank Him.  It is because He has been so good and merciful to us….

 for [he is] good:
Our Lord is good in many different ways.  He is morally good; it is beneficial to us to be acquainted with Him; and He loves His people, cares for them and graciously works in their midst. He gives us many blessings that we do not deserve. What a blessing it is for us to be able to serve a kind, loving God.  Think of what life would be like if we served a tyrannical God.  He would be only concerned about Himself, all the while enslaving us to His servitude.

for his mercy [endureth] for ever.
Our Lord is not only good, but He is merciful as well.  He withholds from His people much harm that they rightfully deserve.  The perfect example of this is His withholding judgment from us.  We all are sinners deserving of eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire; but God, through the work of Christ has withheld that judgment from us.

God’s mercy and goodness are very much related….
He shows us His MERCY when He withholds from us harmful things that we deserve.
He shows us His GOODNESS when He gives to us beneficial things that we do not deserve.

In our devotional series this month, we have seen a variety of ways in which the Lord shows Himself to be both a merciful and good God.  As we look back upon our life, we can see an innumerable number of displays of His kindness to us.  Also keep in mind, many times, He intervenes and shows His kindnesses to us without our recognition.   For example, keeping us from an auto accident by delaying our departure, or causing our immune system to destroy harmful bacteria with which we have unknowingly come into contact.   These are just two of a multitudes of possible ways that He can be showing us daily blessings.

Let us be thankful to our Lord for both His goodness and His mercy…. Every blessing we receive from Him flow to us because He is a good and merciful God.

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

“Should Christians Participate In The Christmas Celebration?”

As Christmas time draws close, as Christians we are all faced with Christmas celebrations at the workplace, in our churches, in our extended families, and in our own nuclear family.  Over the past few years of the SIH ministry, I have several posts that refer to the Christmas observance and the Biblical teachings surrounding the birth of Christ.  Every year, I have received questions such as:  What is the proper role of the Christian in these celebrations?   Based upon the origin and history of the Celebration is it proper for any participation whatsoever?

Perhaps, the most complete series of questions that I have received on this subject comes from Shelia at http://talkativeangel.wordpress.com.  I appreciate her allowing me to use her series of questions as the basis of this posting.  I also very much appreciate the questions themselves because they do get to the heart of the issue at hand.

Let’s begin looking at the subject at hand by answering the questions that Shelia has asked in her comment…

THE SCRIPTURES:

1Cor 8:8-12 (KJV)
8) But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.  9) But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.  10) For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;  11) And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?  12) But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

 2Cor 6:14-18 (KJV)
14) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, 18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

1Cor 9:19-23 (KJV)
19) For though I be free from all [men], yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.  20) And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;  21) To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.  22) To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all [men], that I might by all means save some.  23) And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with [you].

1Cor 10:28-33 (KJV) 
28) But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth [is] the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:  29) Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another [man's] conscience?  30) For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?  31) Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.  32) Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:  33) Even as I please all [men] in all [things], not seeking mine own profit, but the [profit] of many, that they may be saved.

THE STUDY:

Here are Shelia’s questions followed by my answers…

(if anyone has anything to add to any of my answers I would be very happy to hear them, please simply leave them as a comment on the bottom of this posting.)

“Has anyone been able to pinpoint the exact month and date of which He was born of woman? I highly doubt it was in December even though I have not completed an indepth study on the time. The only thing so far that have always stuck with me is the verse in Luke 2:8 speaks of the shepherds being out in the field keep watching over their sheep.”
To the best of my knowledge, the date for the birth of Christ has never been pinpointed.  However, it is common knowledge that it was not during the winter season.  Most believe, based on the shepherds being in the field and the astronomical events that involved the star over the manger, that Jesus was born in late summer or early fall (Aug-Oct).

“How is that most if not all Christians seem to be in accord celebrating His birth on December 25th?”

The celebration for the birth of Christ began as a Catholic celebration.  It was called the “Christ Mass” hence the name Christmas.  It was purposely begun to give the lost world an alternative to the heathen observance of the winter solstice that was observed by false religions on December 21st or perhaps the Babylonian celebration of the birth of the son of the queen of heaven.  Once it began on this date, it gradually became accepted in various denominations and nations of the world.
(For a very detailed look at the Christmas and Easter celebrations and their relation to the false worship celebrations please procure a copy of the book,  The Two Babylons  by Alexander Hislop, Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, NJ, 1959…. This is a REAL EYE OPENER and I suggest it wholeheartedly for this subject.  It may be difficult to read but well worth the effort.)
(You can read this book for free at:http://www.biblebelievers.com/babylon/)

“Was this a practice/celebration of His birth that took place in the NT?”
No.  Also, to my knowledge, there is no place in the NT that we told to remember the birth of Christ.  We are told to remember His death and resurrection (through the Lord’s Supper and Baptism), but I do not know of a place where we are told to remember His birth.

“If Christmas is supposed to be the time according to most Christians or tradition, the time to focus on Christ, why is it that every day is not considered Christmas for Christians?”
My thought is that we should remember all that He has done for us on a daily basis.  A part of His gracious work on our behalf was humbling Himself by His coming to the earth as the God/Man.  So, yes, everyday should be Christmas.  But also everyday should be Thanksgiving, and Easter as well. But besides thinking about Him every day, I’m not sure if there is anything wrong with setting aside a certain day a year to emphasize a particular aspect of His work.

“Second, I want to skip out of Matthew 1- 2 for a sec here, please sir. Matthew 15:8-9–”These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.”
I fully agree with the principles of this verse. If a person hypocritically goes through the motions of worship without truly being in submission to the will of God, it is sin.  When we do “religious things”  without a submitted spirit, it is all vain.  When a teacher of God’s Word possesses a hypocritical, unsubmitted spirit, then his teachings cannot be from the leadership of the Spirit but must be his own thoughts and, therefore, the rules (doctrines) of men.  This is what was taking place in Isaiah’s day and also Christ’s day…
Matt 15:8-9 is a quote from Isaiah 29:13… it was speaking to those who were experiencing “spiritual sleep” brought upon them by Jehovah as a punishment for their sins.  They were unable to understand and proclaim God’s Word in truth because they were not in submission to His commands.  Also, in Christ’s day, the lost Jews could not understand His Word, nor proclaim it… so they began to develop, and follow, false teachings that opposed the commands of His Word.
I believe these verses CAN apply to this very issue.  We have lost people outwardly “celebrating” the birth of Christ without having a spirit of faith and submission to Him.  In these cases, there is no doubt in my mind that this applies.  Although blinded to the truth, they still hypocritically go through the motions of worship in the Christmas celebration.
Also, we could have saved people all wrapped up in the material, commercial side of things, claiming to be worshipping Him, but really that is not the spirit of their heart.  In this case, I believe, these verses apply as well.
For believers to celebrate the Christmas celebration with a submitted spirit, desiring to put the Lord first in their celebration… I’m not sure that these verses address that… I am not sure that there is actually hypocrisy present in their celebration.

“The gift giving was from others to Jesus, and not to each other, correct? And it was also after his birth. It was common practice to bring a present to a King when coming before one, which I think still goes on today. (Matthew 2:1-11)”   
To my knowledge, you are absolutely correct.  Also, the only time I know of in the NT, where gifts are exchanged between individuals, is found in Rev 11:10 when the lost are celebrating the death of the two witnesses for Christ.

 “With those verses in mind, I wonder if we as Christians should really celebrate in reality a man made holiday called Christmas?”
This is the “million dollar question”.  I believe this issue must be between each Christian and the Lord.  I can see different ways that Christians can look at this question:
First of all, if we apply 1 Cor 8:8-12 (warning against being a stumbling block to weaker Christians), I can see why a Christian would choose to totally abstain from the celebration….
A stronger Christian family could observe it in a God-honoring way by centering on His birth (and all His other works on their behalf).  However, a younger Christian may see their participation and use that as an excuse to participate in the materialistic, God-demeaning aspects of the carnal Christmas celebration.

Secondly, if we apply  2 Cor 6:14-18 (the need to live lives separate from the world) I can see where a Christian may decide to abstain as well…
After all, the very beginnings of the celebration has human origins, much of the symbolism is drawn from false religions and  finally much of the celebration has become so materialistic and carnal that the very aspect of Christ and His birth does not enter the mind of many who participate.

Thirdly, there is another aspect that we need to look at.  Based upon 1Cor 9:19-23 Paul explained that he tried to reach people “where they were at” (socially, educationally, mentally, nationalistically etc) to reach them with the truth. This could apply to the Christmas celebration…
During December, the Christmas holiday is “where the world is at”.  In other words, that is what they are thinking about, that is what they are talking about, that is what they are concentrating on.
Some Christians believe that during the holiday season there is a great opportunity to reach others with the truth of Christ and His word that exists no other time of the year.  They believe the key is to be sure that we are placing Christ first in all of our celebration leaving the materialistic and carnal and mythical aspects behind.  They say that if, as Christians, we remember with thankful hearts His coming to the earth, His living a sinless humble life, His being crucified and raised again on our behalf, there is nothing wrong with that. We should think on these things every day.  Why can’t December 25th be one of those days?
Also they believe that by laying aside the materialistic, carnal, mythical aspects of the holiday, they are in essence observing a different celebration than that which found carnal beginnings in the Catholic church.  It is as if they are doing in a Godly way, what the worldly Christmas celebration claimed to be doing in a carnal, sinful way. For example, if you are hosting a gathering of your family and friends be sure to have a Godly, Bible-centered devotion to reach those who may never set foot in a church.  The Lord could actually use this opportunity to witness to be the only time they hear the truth about Christ and all He has done for us.
I’ve personally seen Christian families observe the Christmas celebration honoring Christ and leaving all the carnal aspects to the side.  Solely through their example, they have been able to reach members of their extended family.  It was those lost family members who offered to go with the Christian family to church on Christmas morning to visit with them when they had been otherwise unreachable with the truth about Christ.  What made this change?  They told me it was the way they saw Christmas being observed by the Godly Christian family.

What is my personal belief on the subject?  My family seeks to celebrate the Christmas holiday in a Godly, Christ honoring way.  We ask His grace to leave behind all the carnal, worldly, mythical aspects of the holiday as we center upon Christ and His work on our behalf.  In doing so, we are attempting to be a living testimony to those around us.  After all, what greater difference can be seen by a lost world than comparing a materialistic, carnal, selfish, Christ-less, Christmas celebration in stark opposition to a Godly, Christ centered, Christmas celebration?

After reading this posting please keep in mind, we should share the Apostle Paul’s attitude about all of this when he said in 1 Cor 10:….
29) for why is my liberty judged of another [man's] conscience?  30) For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?  31) Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.  32) Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:  33) Even as I please all [men] in all [things], not seeking mine own profit, but the [profit] of many, that they may be saved.

 

Let’s all hold a non-judgmental attitude towards each other, let us all allow the Lord to lead us to do what is pleasing to Him for each of our individual lives.But the most important decision we can make is to honor Christ and have others see Christ in us.  That means no drunkenness, no gluttony, no materialism, no lies.  If we abstain from these types of sin, the other stuff will take care of itself however the Lord may lead us.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

(If I have failed to answer the questions, or if I misunderstood the question that was asked, I’ll be glad to try to clarify things.  And once again, if anyone has anything to add to any of my answers I would be very happy to hear them, please simply leave them as a comment on the bottom of this posting.  I am the first to realize, there is much that can be added for these answers.  I would appreciate your wisdom on these things)

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“A Month Of Thankfulness” Text …. Day 28

Lets Praise and Thank The Lord Everyday For What He Has Done For Us

Ps 106:1  Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD;…

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“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 28)

“O Give Thanks Unto The Lord (1)”

SIH’s Think On These Things: Psa 106:1-2

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Ps 106:1-2 (KJV)   Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.  Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? [who] can shew forth all his praise?

As we complete our series on thankfulness to the Lord, I am trusting that we have a better understanding of what Psa 106:1-2 is teaching us…

Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD;…”
As the people of God, we have the responsibility to both “praise” and “thank” the Lord.  What do we mean by these terms?

“Praise” – When the Bible speaks about “praising” the Lord it is describing our responsibility to make Him “shine” in the eyes of others.  It is the idea of making the Lord look attractive to others, to point their attention to Him and to come to a better understanding of Him.
One of the easiest ways for us to accomplish this is by telling others what He has done for us.  When we do this we are not only telling others about His actions, but we are telling them much about Him as a person…. It shows others He is gracious, kind, loving, all-powerful, just (the list goes on and on).

“Thank” – If you remember from our first devotional in this series we saw that to thank the Lord involved three ideas… acknowledging our need of Him; we are pointing the attention to Him; and sending out our message of His goodness to us.
If you notice the idea of thanking Him is very similar to praising Him and rightfully so.  When we thank the Lord in the way that we should, it will certainly bring praise to Him.  Likewise, one aspect of praising the Lord is showing our appreciation for all He has done for us.   When we understand this principle, it is easy to see why the psalmist linked these two ideas together in Psa 106:1-2.

Over this past month we have been keeping our hearts and minds centered on thoughts of appreciation and gratefulness to the Lord.  Hopefully, throughout the month, we have been motivated to share with others truths about who He is and what He has done for us.  In doing so, we have been fulfilling our call to bring offerings of thanksgiving to Him resulting in Him being praised.

As our devotional series comes to a close over the next few days… lets continue on with thoughts of thankfulness towards the Lord and sharing these thoughts with others.  By doing this we will be continuously bring praise and honor to Him who has done so very much for us.

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

“A Month Of Thankfulness” Text …. Day 27

Lets Thank The Lord For The Promise That We Will Be Reunited With Our Saved Loved Ones Who Have Gone On Before Us

1Thess 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 27)

“Concerning Them Which Are Asleep, That Ye Sorrow Not, Even As Others Which Have No Hope.

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Thess 4:13-18

 

Paul, as he was led by the Holy Spirit of God, wrote comforting words for any of God’s people who are suffering from the death of a saved loved one.  His message of comfort is found in 1Thess 4:13-18 …

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
Christians can be comforted in the death of a beloved saint.  Great hope can be had by those who are missing a saved loved one.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
As followers of Christ, we believe that Christ arose from the tomb after three days and nights.  If Christ arose as an act of the power of God (Acts 2:24), this is proof that the resurrection of the saints is possible as well.  Also, since the Word of God clearly promises that the saved shall be raised (Matt 24:31, Phil 3:20-21 etc), there should be no doubt on behalf of His people of the future resurrection of the saints who have gone on before us.

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:
Paul then reminds us that whether our body is in the grave or still alive on the earth, we will all be taken by Christ at His coming.  This wonderful promise of the resurrection and the following glorification of the saint’s body applies to all of God’s people.

and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
At the time of His return, He will return with the spirit of those saints that have passed away.  At that time, these spirits will be reunited with their (now glorified) bodies. If we are alive when His return takes place, we will be taken to be with Him and it will be at this time that we will be reunited with our loved ones.  If we pass away before His coming we will be reunited with the spirits of our loved ones in heaven at the time of our death (when our spirits leave our bodies and ascend to heaven).  Not only will we be reunited with those who know and love but we will also be united with the many saints of the Old and New Testament as well as all of the members of our spiritual family.  What a wonderful blessing that will be!

Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
As Christians, we find great comfort in this promise from God’s Word.

Let’s say thanks to our Lord for the wonderful promise of being reunited with deceased loved ones and the great saints of old that we have come to love through the pages of His Word.

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

“A Month Of Thankfulness” Text ….. Day 26

Let Us Thank The Lord For Giving Us An Eternity Not Affected By Sin’s Curse.

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Rev 22:3
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:

“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 26)

And There Shall Be No More Curse: But The Throne Of God And Of The Lamb Shall Be In It

SIH’s Think On These Things: Rev 22:3

 

Rev 22:3
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:
What a wonderful thought!  When we enter eternity there will be no more curse, nor effects of sin in the world.   What will complete the empty space left by the absence of sin? The very presence of God and His Son, the Lamb, and our service to Him that is what will fill this void.  Can you imagine what the new earth will be like filled with the glory of God and the Son and all its activity be centered on perfect constant attention to God alone?

This type of existence is described elsewhere in Revelation…

Rev 7:14-17  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.  They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.  For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
What a day that will be!  To have the sinful actions of this world replaced by perfect submission to His will. Sickness, sorrow and death will be wiped away by the touch of the Lord’s hand.  Our labor under a hot sun fighting with weeds and thistles to procure food for our existence is now replaced by no longer hungering or thirsting nor fighting the physical results of sin in the world.  Satan’s walking to and fro seeking to devour us replaced by the very presence and glory of God Himself, lighting this new world.

But how is it possible for us to receive such great blessings from God?  We have this question answered in Gal 3:10-13…

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith.  And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:
It is through the work of Christ on the cross, that the curse of sin will be lifted for us throughout our eternity.  He is the One that took the curse upon Himself so that we might be liberated from that curse.  To do this, He became a curse by being falsely accused and hung on the cross receiving the wrath of God for our sins which he bear.
Let us thank the Lord for the total absolute deliverance from the curse of sin which is awaiting us in eternity.  And let us not forget to thank Him for His work on the cross, the basis of our deliverance from this curse.

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

“A Month Of Thankfulness” Text… Day 25

Let Us Thank The Lord For The Promise Of Receiving Glorified Bodies At His Second Coming

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(Phil 3:20-21)…. For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 25)

We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed

SIH’s Think On These Things: I Cor 15:50-54

 

Our Lord promises that He will change our fleshly, sinful body into a wondrous, glorified, spiritual body which will be a part of our eternal inheritance.  This great change will take place through the Almighty power of a Sovereign God (Phil 3:20-21)…. For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

What a blessing it will be to leave our sin nature, our sicknesses, our pains and death behind us as we cross over into the eternity that awaits us… (1Cor 15:50-54)…

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Each of the bodies of God’s people must undergo a change before we enter our eternal state.  It is impossible for our sinful, fallen flesh to enter into His kingdom. Likewise that which is capable of decay and ruin cannot enjoy a never ending eternity with Him.

Behold, I shew you a mystery;
Paul is about to teach us a truth that is not generally known by mankind.  Only God’s people can begin to understand the true meaning of these teachings.

We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
The Christian’s body will undergo this great change, whether the Christian experiences death or if they are alive at the second coming.  It will happen quickly, at the very instant of Christ’s coming.  For those bodies in the grave, they will come forth; for those who are yet alive, they will be changed and taken up at His coming.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
There are two basic aspects to this change that will take place…
First, our bodies, which are able to be damaged and worsen in condition (as the result of sin, sickness, and the aging process), will no longer gradually degrade and age leading to its death.
Secondly, our bodies, which are capable of dying, will no longer be under the bonds of death.  Death will no longer affect these new bodies that we will possess.
Our new bodies will be capable of living eternally in their optimal condition without reduction or damage over time.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
When we have received our glorified bodies death will be defeated.  Physical death will no longer have a claim on our body, while spiritual death and the effects of sin will no longer be able to touch and corrupt these new bodies.

Let us thank Him today for the knowledge that we will not be eternally bound to the sufferings of these fleshly bodies, but will someday, enjoy liberty over our corruptible flesh and, even, death itself.

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

“A Month Of Thankfulness” Text …. Day 24

Let Us Thank Our Lord For The Eternal Dwelling he Has Prepared For Us

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John 14:1-4 (KJV) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 24)

I Go To Prepare A Place For You.

SIH’s Think On These Things: John 14:1-4

 

The Lord promises His people many blessings throughout eternity…

1. being reunited with our saved loved ones (1 Thess 4:13-18);
2. living in the presence of God (1 John 3:1-3, Rev 21:3);
3. removed from the presence of sin (Rev 22:14-15);
4. many benefits from possessing glorified bodies (Rev 21:4);   the list is endless.

Another of the eternal blessings that He promises to us is a wonderful dwelling place made especially for us in John 14:1-4 (KJV)…

Let not your heart be troubled:
The Lord reveals to us what our future eternity holds to be an encouragement and comfort to us.

ye believe in God, believe also in me.
If we have placed our faith in Jehovah God, then since He is God, we should be trusting in Him as well.  This means His promises to us must be true because God cannot lie (which emphasizes the truthfulness of His promises.)

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you.
Where His Father lives, there are many dwelling places.  He would not tell us this if it was not so.  Once again the Lord emphasizes the truthfulness of what He is telling to us.  Why?  He realizes that these great and precious truths about our eternity are very hard for us to believe, they are beyond our human understanding and imagination.

I go to prepare a place for you.
The Lord promises us that He is going to create a dwelling place especially for us.  Just like when He died on the cross, he did it for each of His people individually (John 10:3,14; 1 Cor 8:3; 2 Tim 2:19), so too, His creation of our eternal dwelling places.  What a wondrous thought….  The Sovereign Creator of this world loves us so much that He makes for us a personalized dwelling place to live with Him throughout eternity! (Rev 21:10-23)

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.
His preparation of a dwelling place guarantees to us that He will come to take us home to be with Him someday. If this were not so, He would be preparing a personalized dwelling place for us that would not be needed.  He NEVER does anything uselessly or without reason.

And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
He had clearly told us that He would arise and then ascend to be with the Father (John 6:61-62)… we have the account of this event in Acts 1:.  Also, we have clear instructions on the way He has prepared for us to enter into His dwelling place…

John 6:35-40 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

May we all take time today to thank the Lord for the wonderful, eternal dwelling place he has prepared for us and for His grace in preparing for us the way to our eternal home.

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

“A Month Of Thankfulness” Text …. Day 23

Let Us Thank The Lord For His Local Churches

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Matt 18:20 (KJV)  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 23)

“There Am I In The Midst Of Them.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Matt 18:20

 

 

 Originally, in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given the privilege of fellowship with Jehovah, their Creator (Gen 2:8-25 Gen 3:8-10).  Based upon their rebellion and disobedience their relationship with God was ruptured resulting in their separation from Him (Gen 3:22-24).   But God has graciously allowed sinful mankind to once again enter into eternal communion with Him.  (1 Thess 2:19, Rev 21:3-5)

This restored communion with God is given to man through faith in Christ and His death on the cross.   According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.(Eph 3:11-12).  Every Christian enjoys renewed fellowship and communion with God as members of His spiritual family. (Eph 2:14-18).

Throughout God’s Word, His earthly worship is shown to be a very important aspect of our renewed fellowship.  This aspect of fellowship is illustrated for us in the book of Job, where we find forgiven men who have been adopted into God’s family being allowed into the presence of God…. Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.In this text, they were entering God’s presence during an earthly worship meeting, with Satan entering in among them (as he was seeking whom he may devour – 1 Pet 5:8, in this it would be Job).   This same principle is presented to us in Matt 18:20 – For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

In Col 3:16, a typical worship service is described…Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.In this text, we find the three essential elements to worship (and commune with God) put on display: the Word being received into our hearts, the sharing of His truths with others through teaching and singing, and the prayerful attitude of the heart seeking His grace.

Let us come before our Lord today, thanking Him for allowing us to regain our fellowship with God through faith in Him.  But especially, let’s thank Him for the Biblical assemblies of worship that continue to exist on earth.  For it is through these churches that we can enter into a special level of communion with Him as we await the ultimate experience of fellowship with Him… eternity in New Jerusalem.

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

May The Lord Grant You A Blessed Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Devotional Lessons (Click On Link):
A Christian’s Thanksgiving Day
Therefore, O God, We Thank Thee
“A Month of Thankfulness” 30 Part Devotional Series (Day 1)

December 21st Is Right Around The Corner….

“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 21)

To Bring Out The Prisoners From The Prison

SIH’s Think On These Things: Eph 4:7-10

 

Eph 4:7-10 (KJV)  7) But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.8) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  9) (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  10) He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Our Lord is the originator of all the freedoms that we possess (John 8:36).  He is active in deliverance from governmental oppression and tyranny as is illustrated by the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian enslavement (Exo 3:18). One of the greatest blessings that Americans possess is the blessing of liberty from governmental domination. It is based upon these liberties that we can worship our Lord freely, serve Him publically, and proclaim His truth to any that will hear.

Even though the blessing of independence from governmental oppression is great, there is a far greater type of freedom that the Lord has granted to us.  This is freedom from spiritual blindness and enslavement which is granted by the grace and intervention of God.  It is brought to fallen man through the ministry of His people (Isa 42:5-8).   It is through our ministry that those who are in sin’s grip can find release and eternal freedom (2 Tim 2:24-26).  It is through the work of Christ on the cross that we are no longer the captives of Satan and sin but are now placed under the authority of Christ…

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Every gift that we receive from God, including our freedom from governmental oppression and sin’s enslavement flows through Christ, God’s ultimate gift to mankind.

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” 
When Christ entered the presence of God (during the time period that His body was in the tomb three days and three nights) He intervened on behalf of those for whom He died.  Based upon His newly shed blood, He interceded for us, removing us from sin’s bondage and placing us under His divine authority as Lord of our lives (led captivity captive).  He also opened up the gateway for many other blessings of salvation to flow to us (gave gifts unto men).

(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
For Christ’s spirit to ascended to be with God, His physical body must first die on the cross and be buried in the tomb (he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth).

He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Lest we think that the Jesus that was crucified was not the Messiah and our Savior, we need to remember that this same Lord died, then ascended to the Father immediately following His death.  It is at this time, that we are given undeniable proof He is the true Messiah… His heavenly Father accepted Him and He finalized His completed work that was done on our behalf.

Let us all thank our Lord for the national freedoms that we continue to enjoy.  But beyond that, let us thank Him for His saving work on the cross that supplied to us eternal spiritual freedom.

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

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