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SIH’s Think On These Things: Catching Many Fish

The catching of many fish is the next miracle in our series…This miracle is recorded for us in Luke 5:3-10

In the background of this miracle, we see our Lord sitting teaching a great crowd as He sits upon Peter’s ship that was sitting a short distance from shore. He, probably, did this to avoid being engulfed by the overwhelming mass of people.

Following His teaching, the Lord commands Peter to move the boat to deeper waters and drop down his net to so that he can catch fish.  Peter, a fisherman by trade, cast his net over the side of the boat wanting to be obedient to His Lord.  He had been fishing all night without catching a single fish.

Much to Peter’s surprise his catch of fish was so great that he had to have help from his partners, James and John, to pull in the net filling two boats.  An astonished Peter, when he realized his weak faith, makes the statement Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.In response his gracious Lord does not find fault, but calls the three men to the ministry of evangelization of the lost.

Many times, the Lord uses our secular labors and experiences to prepare us for a ministry that He desires for us to fulfill.  In this case, the Lord used the occupation of fishing to teach Peter, James and John very important lessons to be used in their upcoming ministry.  Here are two of the lessons they learned through this experience:

  1. When we are presenting the gospel message to the lost (through our actions and words) patience and consistency are necessary.  Peter and the others had fished all night without catching a single fish.  By patiently trying again, under the Lord’s direction, they began to see results from their labors.
  2. Most importantly, when they fished using their own efforts and abilities apart from Christ’s intervention they were unsuccessful.  But when the Lord intervened in the situation and worked on their behalf… it was ONLY then that they saw results.  Because of this we must always be in prayer for God’s grace to be shown to both those presenting the truth and those who are receiving the truth.  For without His intervention there can be no eternal gain.

Perhaps, you are currently in a situation that is preparing you for the Lord’s future use. Are you facing a difficulty that is requiring your patience?  Or perhaps, you are working with others who are mocking your stand for Christ.  Could it be the Lord is preparing you to be used in even greater ways?

By His grace, there will be greater opportunities to use this very lesson you are struggling to learn. 

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Healing Various People

The healing of many various people is the next miracle in our series…This miracle is recorded for us in Mat 8:16; Mar 1:32, Luk 4:40-41

In this account of the miracles of Christ, we find Him healing many individuals with various sicknesses, as well as those who were demon possessed.  In Matt 8:16 we read “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:”

This account helps us to understand the totality of the authority of Christ.  For, here, we find He is exercising authority over both the physical (healing sicknesses) and spiritual realm (casting out demons).  Our Lord’s authority over all is described in Col 1:14-20…

In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.  For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.

To summarize the lesson of this miracle …. Our Lord controls ALL things!  Knowing this, during the many struggles of life, let’s approach Him prayerfully with confidence knowing that He can intervene and remedy ANY situation.  Nothing is too hard for the Lord, nor is it outside the realm of His sovereign control.  The next time we feel as if our situation is absolutely hopeless; let’s all remember the lesson King Nebuchadnezzar teaches us about our Lord in Dan 4:35-37….

… all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?… Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works [are] truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:39-40

Heb 11:39-40  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:  (40)  God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Here we find a very basic recap of our series of studies from Hebs 11:

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith,

All of these faithful Old Testament saints were a good witness of the grace of God and the coming Messiah.  Their lives spoke to all around them of how what is meant by relying on Jehovah in their day to day walk and in their mighty works for His glory.

received not the promise:

Although they were faithful to their Lord, even unto their death, they still have not received all the blessings that are awaiting them.  At the Lord’s second coming they will receive their eternal riches in their entirety.

God having provided some better thing for us,

Our wonderful, gracious Lord has prepared a far better place for us than the fallen sinful earth.   In the place of sin, suffering, pain and death, He has prepared for us the New Jerusalem the eternal place of perfect fellowship, glorification, joy, and peace.  (Rev 21:-22:).

that they without us should not be made perfect.

Although the Old Testament saints are now with the Lord in heaven, they have not received their glorified bodies nor their eternal dwelling place.  What are they waiting for?  The second coming of Christ.  At His coming, the Old and New Testament believers will receive this eternal inheritance.  For now, those who have died before us are eagerly awaiting that great day…  Rev 22:20-21 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen.

Folks, as we eagerly await His second coming, let us follow the example set by the OT saints and, by FAITH, turn over our entire lives to Him for His use…. This is the best way we can glorify and honor Him, the One who gave His life for us…

Rom 12:1 beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.

For those of you wondering what our next Think On These Things subject will be…Tune in Monday for our next posting! (I am not being ornary… I’m just not sure what it will be!)

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

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:33-38

Heb 11:33-38  Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,  (34)  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.  (35)  Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:  (36)  And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:  (37)  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;  (38)  (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

Here, we find a listing of the great accomplishments when faith and submission to the Lord’s will are combined.   The above accomplishments can be summarized as follows:

1. Great acts of service and miracles performed according to the will of the Lord.

2. Great acts of self-sacrifice and martyrdom for the cause of Christ.

3. Great victories in warfare (physical and spiritual warfare).

4. Great blessings (both temporal and eternal blessings) received from the Lord.

Folks, if we have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are called upon to place our faith in Him for every aspect of our life. This faith in Him will lead us to come to an understanding and submission to His will for our lives.  (Proverbs 3:1-6) ….

5) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

What areas of our lives have we totally submitted to His will and ways?  Are there any areas of our lives that we are “holding back” from total submission?  It is maybe a sinful activity, or an unwillingness to serve Him in some ministry to which He is calling us?  What about something, or someone, that we hold dear that we are unwilling to give up for Him?  Maybe, it’s a talent He has blessed us with that we are unwilling to use for His glory, or for which we are unwillingly to give Him all the credit?  Or are we holding back giving to His service the time He has given to us, because we have “too much to do”?

As our studies in Hebrews 11 draw near to a close… Let’s remember the Godly men and women we have studied in this series.  They all excelled in His service based upon their faith which accompanied their submission to His will and ways.  And then, by the Lord’s grace, let’s trust Him with EVERYTHING that is ours and glorify Him in great ways.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:32g

Heb 11:32g And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of… the Prophets,

In our text, we find “the prophets” being lumped together as an example of those who exercised great faith in the Lord.

What type of faith did all the prophets display in their life? All the prophets shared in exercising a faith that trusted God’s Word with a certainty that it would come to pass…

  1. Can you imagine Moses standing before Pharoah and declaring the coming of the 10 plagues if he did not believe the Lord would bring them to pass?
  2. Or what about the prophets who warned the people of Israel of God’s judgment      coming upon them through a Gentile nation takeover? Would they have announced the coming judgment if they did not fully believe God would bring about that which He had said?
  3. Finally, think of all the faithful prophets who gave Israel hope by revealing to them truths about their coming Messiah? What cruel prophecies these would have been if these hopes had been based upon falsehood and deceit.

In every case, without exception, the mighty prophets of God were convinced that the words they were speaking would come true.  They trusted in the promises that “God who cannot lie, promised before the world began.” (Tit 1:2)

When God, through His Spirit, reveals to us the principles of His Word are we thoroughly convinced of their truthfulness?  When we are faced with the difficulties in life are we absolutely certain that He will be with us and keep His many promises of comfort?  When we feel as if we are alone and no one understands our situation, do we know with certainty that He is with us and will never leave us nor forsake us?

If we are truly, honestly, sincerely, totally convinced of the truthfulness of His Word, we will never experience worry nor fear again.  My prayer is that for each of us, this will be the dawning of a new day, a day that in which the “faith of the prophets” becomes our own personal experience of faith.

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

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:32f

 

Heb 11:32f  And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of…  Samuel,…

The life of Samuel is described for us throughout the book of 1 Samuel and then in other various portions of the Scriptures.

Just like in the life of David, there are so many different times that Samuel exhibited faith in his Lord that it makes it difficult to decide which event is the best to emphasize for this short study. Understanding that Samuel’s faith was exhibited in his life in many ways… let’s turn our attention to one aspect of his faith; his great faith exhibited in his prayer life…

Psa 99:6  Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.

At least twice during the life of Samuel as he prayed to Jehovah, in faith, the miraculous took place:

  1. Samuel prayed and offered sacrifices to Jehovah which led to the Philistines being afflicted by God when He sent a storm upon them.  (1 Sam 7:8-12)
  2. Samuel prayed following the Israelites sin and God sent thunder and lightning to warn the Israelites of His anger, but then forgave them.  (1 Sam 12:18-25, Jer 15:1)

When we come before the Lord in prayer, let us remember the example that Samuel has set for each one of us.  Prayer according to His will, in faith, will bring about miracles.

When we pray let us remember that our Lord is the Sovereign Lord over all.  He can do all things according to His divine counsels that were set before the world began.

Matt 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:32e

Heb 11:32e  And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of…  David,…

The life of David is spoken of in 1 Samuel 16:1-1 Kings 2:11 and King David is mentioned in many other places in the Scriptures.

I’m going to begin our devotion this morning with a question…. “Where do I begin?” (ugh!) Anyone who is familiar with King David’s life understands that there are many, many different times when David exercised faith in the Lord…. 1. From standing against and defeating Goliath, to…. 2. Trusting the Lord in many victorious Israelite battles against far stronger enemies, to… 3. Trusting the Lord as he hid in the caves trying to escape the armies of his son, Absalom… 4. The list could go on and on.

But for this short study I would like us to center on an area of David’s faith that many overlook and some do not know existed.  It was David’s faith as he trusted the Lord when his newborn son died. The son’s death was the direct result of sins committed by David when he took Bathsheba. (2 Sam 11:1-12:23)

When David exercised this faith, he was not only suffering the pain of the death of his son, but also, suffering from the knowledge that his son had been taken as a judgment against his sins.  In the midst of all this turmoil, guilt and sorrow, David had a clear understanding and overwhelming faith in one simple truth…  Anyone who dies without the ability to understand the concept of sin and salvation is kept safe in the arms of the Lord.

David was assured that at his own death, he would be reunited with his son in heaven…

2Sam 12:22-23 – And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell [whether] GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

Perhaps you have experienced the horrible pain of having a child taken from your arms in death. Whether their death was due to miscarriage, stillbirth, disease, a tragic accident, or even an abortion, one thing you can know for certain… If they were mentally incapable of understanding right from wrong, if they were unable to understand the gospel message, then they are safe being held by God’s grace and mercy.

There is something else of which you can be assured… if you have been saved from your sins through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, you will see your child again.  They are in heaven awaiting your arrival.  To God be the glory great things He hath done.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:32d

Heb 11:32d  And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of…  Jephthae,…

The life of Jephthah is related to us in Judges 11:1-12:7.

After being cast out of his own family because his mother was a harlot (prostitute), Jephthah is used of God to deliver the Israelites from the hand of the invading Ammonites.   Following the great victory over the Ammonites, Jephthah kept the promise he made to God, and gave up the possibility of descendants (Judges 11:34) by giving over his virgin daughter to a lifetime of service in the temple (a living sacrifice for God’s use and glory).

We see great faith on the part of Jephthah in, at least, three areas:

  1. He had great faith in believing God would use him, although he was son of a      prostitute and rejected by his own family.
  2. He had great faith in trusting God to deliver the much larger Ammonite army into defeat at the hands of the Israelite army.
  3. He had great faith in keeping the promise he had made to God, by giving up his only child to full-time service of the temple.

One of the many lessons we can learn from the life of Jephthah is the ability, by faith, to overcome human rejection and become faithful servants of the Lord….

Have you ever been rejected by others that you have wanted to have a relationship?  Perhaps you were rejected by a former spouse or romantic interest, school mate, co-worker, friend, or even family member?  Has this left scars in your life, causing you to feel unworthy and useless in service to the Lord?

Just as Jephthah did not allow rejection by his family stop him from serving His Lord… Now is the time for you to place your faith in God, knowing that no matter why you may be rejected by man, the Lord will use you in great ways for His honor and glory if you only come to Him in submission to His will and ways.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:32c

Heb 11:32c  And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of…  Samson,…

The life of Samson is related to us in Judges 13:24-16:31.

Samson was blessed by the Lord with extraordinary strength to deliver the Israelites from the captivity of the Philistines.  But with this strength came an attitude of pride and self-sufficiency which led Samson to ignore the desires of God for his life.  Samson married a Philistine woman going against the counsel of his father and mother and the Lord will for his life.

As his life continued, Samson continued to ignore the will of God and slowly allow the temptress Delilah to complete his spiritual downfall.  Samson lost his miraculous strength after confessing to his Delilah the source of his strength.  As an act of national allegiance, Delilah used this information to take his strength and allow Samson to be enslaved by the Philistines.

In the final, sad scene of his life, the blinded, weakened, enslaved Samson looks to his Lord and asked for one final blessing.  The ability to avenge his blindness and enslavement by pulling down the pillars of the prison house resulted in his death as well as the deaths of a host of the Philistines.

We might ask how the life of Samson illustrates a Godly type of faith, after living much of his life in disobedience to the desires of God for his life. The key to understanding the great faith of Solomon is found in his final act.  Even after living a life of disobedience, he believed in the mercy, forgiveness and faithfulness of his Lord.

He approached the Lord asking for one final blessing to enable him to fulfill the call of God for his life. The Lord graciously forgave him of his prior sin, and mercifully blessed him with a final apportioning of the strength he required to defeat the Philistines.  What a display of God’s forgiveness and a display of Samson great faith believing God would forgive and restore his great strength.

Have we failed the Lord in the past?  Do we feel that our sin is so great we cannot be forgiven and enter into a blessed state?  In these instances, the Lord’s added measure of faith is needed to allow us to believe in, and accept, His forgiveness and to begin again to seek to serve Him with all of our hearts.  He will not turn His back on us… He will forgive and He will use those who come to Him humbly, repenting of their sin and seeking to serve Him once again.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:32b

Heb 11:32b  And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of…  Barak,…

The life of Barak is related to us in Judges 4:1-4:24.

Barak was a military leader in the Israelite army in the days when the judges ruled over Israel. The story of Barak is very similar to the story of Gideon.  Barak led the smaller, weaker army of Israel against an oppressive Canaanite army, whose strength and numbers was emphasized by the statement that “they had nine hundred chariots of iron”.

In spite of the similarity to Gideon, there is one big difference between Barak and Gideon.  Barak stepped out by faith in obedience to the Lord’s will ONLY when he was encouraged and accompanied by Deborah. (Deborah was a judge and prophetess in the land of Israel whose faith and courage allowed her to become an outstanding example of a Godly woman who is faithful to the Lord while holding a high position of authority.)  There are at least three main ideas for us to consider in the story of Barak…

  1. We must consider Deborah…The Hebrews 11 reference to the faithfulness of Barak MUST INCLUDE an acknowledgement and consideration of the greater faith of Deborah.  In Deborah we find an excellent example of a woman who was dedicated to her Lord who was faithful in the God-given position of authority.
  2. We must consider Barak… The faith, or lack thereof, of Barak can teach us much about the faithful servants of God as well.  Those who serve the Lord are not perfect, at times their faith fails. Just because our faith may falter at times, it does not mean that we are eliminated from the service of God.
  3. We must consider Deborah and Barak…. Probably the greatest lesson to be learned is the importance of those who are stronger in faith to support and help those who are struggling in their faith towards God.  Without Deborah’s strong stand, Barak would not have led the Israelites to victory (Jud 4:8).

Is our faith strong?  Look about us and see those who are struggling in their faith, stand with them, encourage them, and sacrifice for them… great things can be accomplished when we stand together for the Lord.

Is our faith weak?  Pray, search the Scriptures, and then look about us and seek out those who are stronger in the faith.  We should ask for their advice, ask for their aid, ask them to stand with us in prayer and physically accompany us when appropriate.  The Lord will bless you as you Scripturally seek aid for your weakened faith.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:32a

Heb 11:32a  And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon,…

The life of Gideon is related to us in Judges 6:11-8:35.

In the early part of Gideon’s ministry, the Lord commanded Gideon to tear down the altars that had been built to the false god Baal.  Although Gideon knew that tearing down the idols of Baal would place his life in jeopardy, by faith, he obeyed the Lord and tore down the idols of Baal (Judges 6:24-27).

Later in his life, Gideon was called upon to lead the Israelite army of 300 against the Midianites and the Amalekites that are described as “like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude”.

The Israelite army, originally was 32,000 men strong.  Before Gideon led them into battle the Lord instructed Gideon, through a weeding out process, to eliminate soldiers until only 300 remained.  The Lord was insuring that everyone understood that, when the Israelites won, their victory had been gained by the Lord’s gracious intervention alone.  (Judges 6:33-7:25).

In the life of Gideon, we have displayed how the Lord prepares each of us to take a great leap of faith in our service for Him.  He prepares us for this great leap by incrementally leading us to take smaller steps of faith.  In this way, He gradually builds our faith and submission to His commands.  Although the faith needed by Gideon to destroy the altars of Baal was great, there is no doubt that it took a much stronger faith for him to lead an army of 300 against the vast, innumerable army of Midian.

We should never count anything the Lord calls us to do as a small ministry.  Keep in mind two things.  First, there is no such thing as a “small” ministry in God’s eyes. If we are faithful in whatever He asks of us, He is greatly pleased and much is being accomplished for His glory.   Secondly, in many cases, a seemingly small ministry is what the Lord uses to prepare us for greater areas of service.

Simply be faithful to whatever the Lord has given you to do … He will take care of the rest.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:31

Heb 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

The story of Rahab the harlot is found in Joshua 1:1-22 and Joshua 6:22-25.

A prostitute named Rahab, living in the city of Jericho, at the risk of her own life, had hidden two Israelite spies that had entered her city.  Later in time, because of this act of faithfulness, she and her family were saved from death as the Israelites were given the victory over the army of Jericho.

How did the Israelites know which home contained the faithful lady who had previously hidden their spies?  She had been instructed to place a line of scarlet cord in her window.  This would designate to the Israelites that this home was to be protected from harm.

What great faith is shown on the part of this Gentile prostitute named Rahab!  How could a Gentile prostitute, living in Jericho, come to see the need to trust in Jehovah?  What knowledge gave her the courage to place her life in the Lord’s hands twice… once as she hid the spies and, then, a second time when she hung the scarlet line in her window?   It was by her hearing what Jehovah had done on behalf of the Israelite nation, beginning with their deliverance from Egyptian captivity. (See Josh 2:8-11).  Notice the last part of her statement to the spies…  “And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”

As we face the many trials of life with a peaceful, confident, expectant attitude, others who see our composure are confronted with a testimony of the greatness of our Lord and their need of a close relationship with Him.  As we remain faithful to our Lord during times of great stresses, we are telling the world around us that we have the indwelling presence and enabling of the Lord within us.

Those around us may not be receptive to our verbal testimony of their need of a Savior, but do not be discouraged…. Through the actions of our lives, we can show the lost around us His greatness and their need of a relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:30

Heb 11:30  By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

The story of the defeat of the city of Jericho is told to us in Joshua 6:1-20.  Jericho, a walled city in the Promised Land, seemed to be an unbeatable obstacle that was set before Joshua and the Israelites in their quest to inhabit the Promised Land.

After giving Joshua a clear promise of ultimate victory, the Lord instructs Joshua on what actions needed to be taken to gain the victory over Jericho. These instructions included:

  1. Day 1 to 6 – Joshua was to lead the army of Israel to silently march around the city once a day for six days.  Seven priests would accompany the army carrying 7 trumpets.
  2. Day 7 – Joshua was to lead them to march around the city 7 times. At the completion of the 7th circuit, they were to blow the horns and shout loudly.

Can you imagine what took place on each of the first six days? Probably the first day or two was a time of confusion for the people of Jericho, as they asked themselves, “What are these guys doing?”  After a few days of not being threatened, my guess is that the people of Jericho’s confusion turned to laughter as the poor Israelites, day after day, would silently march around their city.

Then, to make matters worse, on day 7, instead of marching around the city once, they began making a second circuit.  Can you imagine the people of Jericho?  They were probably saying… “Look at those guys, marching around our city once did nothing, so they think a second time will make a difference!”  How bad the mocking must have gotten by the time the Israelites began their 7th trip around the city.   Little did Jericho know that what they have been witnessing was the Israelite’s faith in Jehovah’s word being put into action.  Finally after the seventh circuit, the horns were blown, the people gave a shout and the walls of Jericho fell.  It was only then that the people of Jericho’s laughter turned to cries of mercy and regret.

Have you ever been mocked for simply obeying your Lord?  Have you ever been not taken seriously, mistreated, or even shunned for your stand for Christ?  If so, you are not alone.  There are MANY examples of men and women of God who endured the rejection of this world for the sake of obeying their Lord.  Keep on keeping on!

As Paul said in 2Co 4:17-18 … “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

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

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:29

Heb 11:29  By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

The account of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea is found in Exodus 14:21-31.

The Israelites, as they were being pursued by the Egyptian army, followed the pillar of fire and pillar of cloud to the banks of the Red Sea.   What were they to do?  The following is the conversation that took place between the people of Israel and Moses (Ex 14:11-14):

Children of Israel: Because [there were] no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? [Is] not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For [it had been] better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

Moses: Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.  The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

Based on the above conversation, it is obvious that the Israelites no longer trusted the Lord with their safety and future.  Moses, however, continued to stand strong in his faith which led to a miraculous deliverance of Israel from the Egyptians.

Following Moses’ declaration of his faith in his Lord, we find that God delivered the nation of Israel from this predicament.  The Lord opened the Red Sea, caused dry land and walls of water to appear which formed a corridor through which they escaped.  When the Egyptians attempted to cross the Red Sea in this corridor the walls of water collapsed drowning the Egyptian army.

In our text, we see it was through the faith of one man that blessings came upon an entire nation…. Perhaps you are the only one in your family, neighborhood, workplace or church that is trusting in the Lord to meet a specific need. Or maybe, you are the only one that is saved among a group of unbelievers.

In either case, you have been placed in that position and given an added measure of faith from the Lord for a reason. By standing fast in your faith, trusting your Almighty Sovereign Lord, you could be the instrument our Lord uses to be a blessing to those around you.

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

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:28

Heb 11:28  Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

The account of Moses’ role in the last of the 10 plagues is recounted in Exodus 11:4-12:30.

The final plague, the destroyer bringing death to every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, led to the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt.

The Lord told Moses that, if the blood of a sacrificial lamb was applied to a home’s door frame, then the Lord would not allow the destroyer to visit that home.  In other words, the Lord would “pass over” the blood protected house, saving the first-born male from death. This is why this sacrifice was described as “the sacrifice of the Passover”.

Moses believed God’s Word and, by faith, led the Israelite nation to apply the lamb’s blood to the doorposts of their homes.  The application of the blood to the doorpost seemed like a foolish action by the Egyptians, but ended up saving the lives of the firstborn males of Israel.

The death of the firstborn, gives us an understanding that sin results in death.  Two different types of death are the result of sin…

  1. physical death which is the separation of the immortal spirit from the body.
  2. spiritual death which is the separation of the immortal spirit from God for eternity in     the Lake of Fire.

Likewise, the blood of the sacrificial Lamb gives us an understanding of the need for a sacrifice to be made on our behalf to allow us escape the results of sin in our lives…

  1. The blood of the sacrificial Lamb is a picture of Christ, His sacrificed life, and His blood that was shed on the cross.
  2. The application of the blood to the doorposts of the homes pictures for us the blood of Christ being applied to our account making FULL and COMPLETE payment of our sin debt.

Finally, Moses’ faith in the Lord, and His Word of promise, pictures for us the need for each one of us to trust in Christ and the gospel message for salvation from our sin and it’s results.

May each one of us examine our hearts to be sure we have turned from our sins, trusted in Christ and received the salvation that He so graciously offers to all who will come unto Him, the True Passover Lamb.

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

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

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:27

Heb 11:27  By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

The call of God for Moses to stand against the Egyptian enslavement of Israel is found in Ex 3:1-22.

Moses confronted Pharaoh on several occasions during the course of the 10 plagues against Egypt (Ex chps 4-14).  During these meetings with the Pharaoh, his anger towards Moses was continually increasing.  Pharaoh’s anger came to a head when, during one of their last meetings (Ex 10:28-29) these words are spoken ….

Pharaoh: Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in [that] day thou seest my face thou shalt die.

Moses: Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.

How was Moses able to boldly stand against the ruler of the nation of Egypt under threat of death?  It was by his God-given faith.  Moses trusted in his Lord to keep His promises, deliver His people and keep him safe in the process.

Our text describes the two results of Moses faith:

  1. “he endured” – By faith, he continued by strength
  2. “as seeing Him who was invisible.”  – By faith, he kept his spiritual attention fixed upon his Lord.  He remembered His blessings, His promises, and His eternity that awaited Moses.

Do we have our heart and mind fixed upon our Lord and His promises for us?  Are we constantly aware of His presence in our life?  Do we count His blessings every day?  By doing this we will be able to continue in the strength of the Lord as we face the many testings this world brings our way.

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

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:24-26

Heb 11:24-26  By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;  (25)  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;  (26)  Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

Moses’ defense of his Israelite brother is retold in Exodus 2:10-14 & Acts 7:21-25. When we look at both passages together this is what we find out…

At the age of forty, Moses saw an Israelite being beaten brutally by his Egyptian overseer.  Upon seeing this, Moses defended the life of his Israelite brother by killing his abusive Egyptian taskmaster.

In this event in Moses’ life, we see him choosing to follow the calling of His Lord, to be deliverer of the children of Israel.   He had chosen to stand with his Israelite brother instead of remaining in the good graces of His adoptive family.  By turning against his adoptive Egyptian family and their kingdom, he was not only rejecting its benefits of wealth and great worldly authority, but was now inviting the kingdom’s wrath to fall upon him.

What was his motivation to choose against the sinful pleasures of the Empire to become hated fugitive?  It was his faith.  He understood that to be obedient to his calling, and suffer affliction for the cause of Jehovah, would result in much greater rewards than the pleasures this world has to offer.

The Lord has called each one of His people, out of a heart of appreciation, to be “living sacrifices” for His honor and glory (Rom 12:1).  Are we willing to do as Moses of old and fulfill our divine calling at the risk of losing the world’s acceptance and offerings? By His grace alone, our faith will be strong and we will choose His will when faced with personal sacrifice for His glory.

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

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:23

Heb 11:23 (KJV) 23) By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw [he was] a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. 

The birth of Moses is retold in Exodus 1:8-2:10.

During the enslavement of Israel by the Egyptian empire, the Israelite nation began to prosper under the Lord’s hand of blessing.  The Egyptian ruler, Pharaoh, feared that the growing Israelite nation would eventually overtake the Egypt. To remedy this situation, Pharaoh issued a decree for all the Jewish male babies to be killed.  In doing this, he was hoping to stem the growth of the Israelite nation and ensure their future enslavement to Egypt.

Following Moses’ birth, his parents (under penalty of death) refused to turn over their son to be killed. Instead, they hid him from Pharaoh.  Not only was this an act of their love for their son, but according to our text, it was also an act of faith.  Moses’ parents trusted in their Lord to protect their entire family as they worked to save the life of their son, Moses.

We are told that because of their faith in Jehovah, “they were not afraid of the king’s commandment”.  How wonderful it is to trust God to the exclusion of all of our fears.  As Christians, the next time we find ourselves faced with the need to step out in faith and go against our fears, keep in mind, we have trusted our Lord with our eternal destiny… surely we can trust our Sovereign, Loving, Lord with our temporal fears as well.

Mark 4:37-41 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?  And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

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

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:22

Heb 11:22  By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

This verse brings us to an end of a 6 verse section of Hebrews (Heb 11:17-22) that spoke of four generations of patriarchs that had trusted in the Lord. In each generation these men had lived lives that exhibited their great faith in the future fulfillment of the promises of God :

  1. Abraham trusted that God would keep the Abrahamic covenant, this faith enabled him  to be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac Vs 17-19
  2. Isaac showed his trust in the fulfillment of the promises of God by handing them      down to his sons, Jacob and Esau. Vs 20
  3. Jacob’s faith in God’s covenant was shown by blessing his grandsons upon his death      bed. Vs 21
  4. Finally, in our text today, we see Joseph’s belief in the future deliverance of Israel from Egyptian captivity, told others of the promise and gave instructions on how his bones   should be delivered back to the promised land following Israel’s release.      Vs 22

Four generations of men who trusted in the promises of God, being handed down from generation to generation.  Are we handing down God’s promises to the future generations?  Are we displaying our faith to our loved ones through our words and actions?

Folks, words are cheap and our children can see through our words.  By living Godly lives we give our faith life, meaning and importance to our loved ones and all those around us. May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:21

Heb 11:21  By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

The story of Jacob blessing his sons and grandsons followed by his death is found in Gen 48:8-49:33.

Here we are told that Jacob, physically weakened and facing his upcoming death (probably the same day – Gen 49:33), handed down the blessings and prophecies of God to his grandsons and then worshipped Jehovah.

If we knew that our death was approaching, how would we fill our final hours?  Would it be in the enjoyment of a worldly pleasure?  Perhaps spending time with our earthly family?   Or would we be hurrying to have arrangements made for the handling of our physical body and worldly possessions?   Worst of all, would some of us be quickly trying to find peace with God before facing Him in eternity?

How many of us, following the example of Jacob, would confidently know the Lord’s will for our lives and be seeking to fulfill it until we drew our last breath?

We do not know what tomorrow may hold for us.  It is very possible that someone who is reading this may never live another day.  Are we ready to meet our Lord?  If so, are we confident of His will for our lives and are we seeking to follow Him daily?  By actively making both spiritual and temporal preparations for our death now, we will be able to spend our last hours serving Him and experiencing His peace and the love of those around us.

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

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