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The Results Of Our Polls…

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SIH ICONIn previous postings, I had asked for your input concerning what subjects of upcoming studies would benefit you the most.  We had given two separate polls…. One poll was concerning our daily devotional studies and the other poll addressed our longer, weekly Bible Text/Video lessons.

In this posting we’ll be looking at the results of the polls, a few of my thoughts and my tentative plans for the future postings on the SIH text blog.


2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

3) 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:

4) 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.

(2 Peter 1:2-4)



Our text for this morning is a perfect reflection of the goals and motivations behind Settled In Heaven Ministry….

2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

Peter’s desire for those he was teaching was two-fold.  It was for God’s grace and peace to be given to those to whom he ministered.

Please notice that Peter understood that grace and peace can only come through knowledge of God and Jesus Christ.  It is this knowledge that Peter was striving to share with those who was reading his letter.

Folks, this is the same desire that I have for each one of you who has given of your time and effort to read the SIH postings, search the Scriptures to see if these postings are truth, and then apply these teachings to your lives.  It is both a blessing and a privilege to be able to minister to you and my greatest desire is for you to be graced and given peace through His Word.

This is why I presented the two polls.  To come to a better understanding of what areas of study would benefit you the most.  This was done in the hopes of better equipping us for service to and increasing our knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

3) 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:

Peter goes on to explain to the readers that the grace and peace we receive comes from Him and is a display of His great power.  How has He exercised that power on our behalf?  It is by giving to us His instructions in the way of life and by equipping us to live a Godly life.  Both of these were handed to us through the knowledge of Him as given through His Word.

Simply put,…

1. Peter preached the Word revealing Christ to them.
2. Christ was revealed and understood by his listeners, this caused them to become more understanding of the way of salvation.
3.  They heeded the call to salvation by trusting in Christ as their Savior.
4.  They continued to be taught by Peter which resulted in them being equipped to serve their Savior.
5.  This entire process was based upon God’s gracious intervention upon them.
6.  This brought to their lives peace and contentment.
7.  As the sinner received the Word, was saved, and then began to live Godly lives, God’s great power was on display.
8.  All of this took place through God’s Word that was spoken to them by Peter.

The greatest thrill for me would be to know, when I stand before Him at the judgment, that this very process has taken place in the lives of those to whom I have ministered.   That is, truly, why SIH exists. To exalt Christ through the teaching God’s Word, showing to the lost their need of salvation and to equip the saved for service to Him.

4) 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.

Through this same Word of God, we find wonderful promises:

1. promises of what Christ has done for us though His death, burial and resurrection,
2. promises concerning our future eternal home,
3. promises of God’s unrelenting presence and enabling while we live our lives on earth.

All of these are given to us to motivate us and give us confidence to serve Him with all our being.  We are to serve Him knowing that “we are more that conquerors through Him that loved us.”

May the SIH postings be blessed of the Lord to give us strength and confidence of our victory that is in Christ.

I wanted to share this text with you to help you to understand the motivating forces in my choices for the postings on the SIH blogsite.  I hope it helps to explain some of the decisions that I will be making…

First, in case you are interested….let me give you the results of both polls and then I will share with you my tentative plans for SIH ministries…

If you are not interested, you can drop to the last section of this posting to see what’s in store on SIH blog….


Poll Results and my Thoughts:

For the Daily Devotions: (72 votes)

1. 19%- Reflection of His Grace (v by v through Ephesians)

2. 18% – Overcoming Fear (Various Psalms)

3. 13% – Lasting Joy (v by v Philippians)

4. 11% (tie) – In Search Of Life’s Meaning (v by v Ecclesiastes)
11% (tie) –  Faith Without Works Is Dead (v by v James)

6. 10% – Overcoming Life’s Trials (v by v Job)

All others were less than 10% of the vote.

a.  I was surprised that “Reflections of His Grace” was a high vote getter.  I did not realize that teachings on God’s grace would be desired by so many.  I am really thankful for this.  The book of Ephesians and the subject of grace are probably two of the areas I enjoy teaching through the most.

b. I was REALLY surprised that “Jesus The Final Victor” (v by v Revelation) was a low voter getter (6%).  I thought, for sure, that it would be very high.  There seems to be so much about prophecy on the internet today it seems as if it is a very popular subject.  But the more I thought about it, maybe that’s why it ranked low.  There is so much available there is no desire for more?

Except for those, everything else ended up about where I thought it would.

For the Weekly Bible Text/Video Lessons: (110 votes)

1.  11% (tie) – The Importance Of The Local Assembly
11% (tie) – The Person and Work Of The Holy Spirit
11% (tie) – To Love As Jesus Loved

4.  10% (tie) – Bible Prophecy
10% (tie) – The Spirit World

All others were less than 10% of the vote.

It was in this poll that I got A LOT of surprises….

a.  First of all, out of the top subjects “To Love As Jesus Loved” is a surprise.  This subject was suggested by one reader.  I simply listed it in this poll and sure enough it was one that many wanted.

b.  I am really thankful that “The Importance of the Local Assembly” ranked so high. It is a pleasant surprise for me. I see a tendency by many to misunderstand the purpose of and benefits that can be attained through local church involvement.

c.  The others that ranked high, I was surprised, but I can understand why they were up there.

d.  Of those that ranked low, I am really surprised at two of them.  Both “The Family” and “The Role of Human Government” I thought would be very highly rated.  Probably pushing the top.  Boy, was I wrong.  My reasoning was this… in both these areas we can see a GREAT need…

First of all, the families in our country seem to be moving farther and farther from Christ’s desires for the family unit.  In both Christian and lost families, it seems like the basic guidelines the Lord has established are no longer understood nor adhered to .  The roles of the father, mother, and children, as well as the nature of marriage (one man and one woman) are falling by the wayside.   But this subject only got 7% of the vote.  That is equivalent to about 8 votes out of a total of 110 votes.

Secondly, I was almost certain that “The Role of Human Government” would be number 1 over all of the others.  There is so much being talked about concerning Nationalized Healthcare, Gun Control, Immigration, Support of the Poor etc etc… all the political stuff that we see taking place.  There are so many Christian websites that are constantly speaking on these issues.

I have to be honest.  From what I can tell from many of the sites, many Christians believe that the role of the government is limited to upholding the commands of God (by punishing evil and rewarding obedience to Christ) and defense of her citizens.  I agree with both of these, but I truly believe there are other responsibilities that have been given to her.

I have seen very little teaching on the subject.  It appears like Godly governmental responsibilities is assumed without looking in detail at the Bible teachings.    Anyhow, this is why I thought it might be up at the top. Instead it had only gotten 4 votes making up 4 % of the poll.

e.  Also, “The Charismatic Movement” was low.  I have had 6 requests from bloggers over the past year  to give a detailed study on this subject, so I thought it might be pretty high up. It ended up getting 9 votes total but still was only 8%.  I do recognize that a part of the problem might be confusion with “The Person and Work of the Spirit”.  They sound, and are, very similar.  The “Person and Work of the Spirit” will include all the teachings of the Charismatic Series plus much much more.  It will be the longest of the series in the poll.  Maybe the reason why the “Charismatic Movement” was low was because the readers wanted more teaching on the Spirit than simply the CM so I understand that.

All of the above is what sticks out in my mind.


So now, if the Lord allows me to follow through with my initial thinking what will the future hold for SIH ministries…

Concerning Daily Devotions:


1.  By God’s grace, we will finish looking at the entire book of Proverbs by the end of 2013.  At the rate we are going, probably it will be in the beginning of November.
2.  If there is any time left in 2013, we will look at a few miscellaneous Psalms (concerning fear and the holidays) to finish up the year.
3.  Beginning on January 1st of 2014 we will do a verse by verse devotional series on “Reflections Of God’s Grace from Ephesians.”  It will be about 2-3 months long.
4.  Immediately following, we will begin a devotional study on “Learning To Love As Jesus Loved”, probably another 3 month study.
5.   As time passes, I trust the Lord will lead me further…..

Concerning The Bible Text/Video Studies:


1.  Our series on the Human Conscience is set to end on Sunday, July 28, 2013
2.  I’ll post some miscellaneous studies on every Sunday through Labor Day weekend.
3.  Beginning the first Sunday after Labor Day, we will begin the on “The Importance Of The Local Assembly”.  This should last about 2 – 3 months.
4.  We will have miscellaneous studies to finish off the year.
5.  Beginning the first Sunday of 2014 we will begin “The Person and Work Of The Spirit”.  This will probably be 6-9 months in length.
6.  The Lord will lead us after this series….

Also, if the Lord gives me the ability to complete studies for our daily devotions and Sunday lessons with time left over in the week, I will be teaching on Saturdays “The Family” and “The Role of Human Government”.  After those I will be posting on high ranking subjects like “The Spirit World”, “Lasting Joy” and Bible Prophecy.

But I can’ t have any real assurance about these.  Currently my studies in Proverbs and The Conscience have kept me busy and I have had no time for Saturday lessons.  That is why I’ve been doing miscellaneous Theology term postings and other reminders of postings I have done in the past.  Time and the Lord’s grace and desires will make the final decision on these things.

All I can say is thank you so much for your participationin our polls… It has really been a learning experience for me and it has helped me greatly to understand more of your needs.  May the Lord bless us as we continue studying through His Word.  I trust you will continue on following SIH ministries and allow the Lord to teach us as He sees fit.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

Please visit…

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Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog:
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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.”


  1. runnymeadeuk says:

    Thanks for following me. I’m enjoying reading your lessons and commentary on Holy Scripture. Regarding your comments in this entry on God and government, I’d like to suggest you see some of Gary DeMar’s writings at . He’s written much on the subject. Also, has some helpful resources free, on-line. To me, the main issue seems to be our lack of understanding that there are other types of government ordained by God other than the civil authority. And in the American context, that the federal (or central) government is strictly limited by law (the Constitution) to only those specific powers enumerated to it in the document (few and limited). Prior to President F.D.R. in the 1930’s, the government in Washington, D.C. was small, there was more freedom and taxes were much lower. Almost everything, except a small military for defence and the postal service, was handled by local communities, states, churches, civic organisations and individuals. Up until that time, people understood the wisdom of the founders who limited the power of the state so that people could be free to run their own lives and reap the fruits of their labour. Today excessive spending by the central government threatens to bankrupt the whole nation, impoverish the people and threaten our political and religious freedom. Christians should read the Constitution, federalist and anti-federalists papers, along with the writings of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and others to understand the proper role of government today. The Bible provides the only moral and spiritual basis for our political and economic liberty, and the writings of the founders are ultimately based on a Biblical foundation and understanding of human nature.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Yep, our nation sure has departed from the role that the Lord and our founding fathers have given to her.

      Lord willing, if we are able to study “The Role of Human Government” series, we will only be concerned with the Lord’s desires and responsibilities given to human governments. After all, since He is the ultimate authority over the nations, any of the thoughts and instructions of our founding fathers must be weighed in the light of God’s desires for our countries.

      If there is any conflict between the two, the writers of the founding fathers are to be amended to align themselves with the desires of our Lord. The writings of the founding fathers are only as good as they alignment with God’s Word.

      Lord bless you. Thanks for the comments!

  2. sspjlife56 says:

    thank you Rob

  3. Rob, You put so much time and effort into all that you write. I can only imagine the research and delving into the scriptures that you do. I just wanted to say thank you and while I don’t always leave a comment I appreciate your effort so much….. Diane

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Thank you for the kind words. Keep in mind, alot of my postings are subjects I have already studied and preached as a pastor. I just have to look them over, check a few things, and type them out for a blog posting (about 2 hours).

      However, the Proverbs devotional series is the first time I have taught through the Proverbs verse by verse, so it has
      taken up more of my time studying them from scratch (about 4 hours each day). Once the Proverbs series is finished I hope to be able to open up some more time to begin the Saturday postings again.

      I do enjoy teaching God’s Word… so it is a blessing and privilege to do these things. Lord bless you, Diane.

  4. Tom Raines says:

    Looking forward to learning from you Pastor and what the Holy Spirit speaks through you over the coming months! Thank you for your diligence and heart to serve.

  5. Shofar says:

    Thank you, Pastor Rob, for your ministry of building us up in God’s grace and peace through the study of His Word. You are fulfilling 2 Tim 2:2, God’s multiplication table of making disciples of Christ, and not of man. God bless you!

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    Thanks for the study from Peter’s epistle that puts things in perspective of what we get out of studying God’s Word. Like you I’m also amazed at what didn’t get a big hit. Thank you for your blog and your posts. Will be looking forward to them soon.

  7. Debbie says:

    I am so encouraged by your faith and willingness to serve Him and us . .that you would even do a poll and ask what we would like to study! Thank you so much and God bless you as you continue to teach and explain His word!

  8. >> “I wanted to share this text with you to help you to understand the motivating forces in my choices for the postings on the SIH blogsite.”
    I’ve always understood and appreciated your motives for posting here, Rob, and I say a hearty thank you for your diligence and your help and encouragement.

    I love the ‘riches’ found in Ephesians (my second-favourite book after Romans) and I look forward to your studies there.

    Thank you again for your faithfulness to our incredibly amazing God in posting here.

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