Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Devotion Thoughts - 15/07/2011

1 Chronicles 19:1-19. 1 Chronicles 20:1-8. 1 Chronicles 21:1-30

Satan wanted to bring trouble on the people of Israel, so he made David decide to take a census (21.1,GNB).... God was displeased with what had been done, so he punished Israel (21.7,GNB).... David said to God, "I have committed a terrible sin in doing this! Please forgive me. I have acted foolishly." (21.8,GNB).

David sinned in that taking a census of the people was not only an act of pride but was also a slight on God, showing misplaced confidence in his own ability to self-protect the nation. When things started to go wrong he confessed his sin, and asked God for forgiveness.

Believers know that every sin they will ever have committed through life is carried by Jesus at Calvary, and so they are all forgiven. But the reality is that we still find ourselves sinning daily. What to do about it? Without going into theological depths, here is the answer: see your confession on the day of your salvation as clearing the slate of sins committed up to that point. Thereafter, sins committed daily (although already forgiven at Calvary) must be admitted to and confessed. That's basically it!

Romans 2:25-29. Romans 3:1-8

If you obey the Law, your circumcision is of value; but if you disobey the Law, you might as well never have been circumcised (v.25,GNB).

This should be easy to understand. I can scrupulously pay my taxes and tell myself I am a good citizen. But paying my taxes will not keep me out of jail if I murder someone.

With some denominations the emphasis is placed on what that denomination considers essential Christian living in order to obey God's commands. For example, by taking communion. But taking communion will be negated if we lie or steal. It is pointless to keep only certain parts of the law.

Where does that leave us as Believers? Take care that we don't belittle the practices of denominations that differ from us!

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Devotion Thoughts - 14/07/2011

1 Chronicles 16:37-43. 1 Chronicles 17:1-27. 1 Chronicles 18:1-17

O LORD, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee (17:20).
The LORD preserved David whithersoever he went (18:13).

In a world where the worship of idols was the norm, it was no wonder that David, who worshipped only God, was so blessed. It is God's way to bless those who worship Him and reject idol worshippers. That did not mean David never had problems; as king of a country surrounded by many enemy nations, some stronger than Israel, he had plenty to contend with, but he always turned to God for help and guidance, and God looked after him. Believers have the same God, and the same privilege of being able to approach Him with their needs. Like David, believe that He cares for you and has met your needs [in Christ]; tell Him what the needs are, and leave the rest to Him; He will respond in your best interests.

Acts 2:1-24

We are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against those [who sin]. (v.2).
[He] will render to every man according to his deeds (v.6).

God is a just God, which is why we can trust His judgment to be true and fair. To ensure that God's judgment of man will be absolutely fair He has left judgment to His Son, because Jesus has lived as a man and knows what men go through. Jesus knows what it takes to stay true when tried; has experienced rejection; so He is able to justly judge and reward everyone according to their deeds.

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Devotion Thoughts - 13/07/2011

1 Chronicles 16:1-36

Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. (v.8) Sing to him, sing psalms to him; talk about all his wondrous works. (v.9). Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. (v.10). Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. (v.11)

Never forget Who God is and what He can do, and worship Him. Many miss out on blessings from God because they don't ask. James, the leader of the church in Jerusalem, wrote: 'You don't have because you don't ask for it ... but sometimes you ask yet don't receive because you ask for the wrong reasons [such as lust]" ... (James 4:2,3).

Try asking for things that enable you to glorify God; you'll soon discover that He is there for you!

Romans 1:18-32

Because what may be known about God is plainly visible ... for God has shown it to them (v.19)... so that there is no excuse [for ignorance about God] (v.20)... professing that they are wise, they became fools... (v.22, my editing).

I can think of many highly educated men and women who, because of their exalted education, are know-it-alls who claim that there is no God. The Biblical description of them is that they are fools. In this reading Paul makes it clear that God's presence is visible in the world around us, and that only fools will choose to deliberately ignore the signs and pretend that there is no God. That is the meaning behind verse 4 from Psalm 10 which is in the next scripture portion.

The Gospel is so simple to understand that children and those with simple, childlike faith can, with the help of God, work through our life's problems. Praise the Lord!

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Devotion Thoughts - 12/07/2011

1 Chronicles 12:19-40. 1 Chronicles 13:1-14. 1 Chronicles 14:1-17

David became famous in all the countries. The LORD made all nations afraid of him (14:17,ERV).

When someone is doing well the wider world gets to know about it. David was blessed because of his trust in the Lord, something he was not shy to write about judging by his many psalms. If we trust God as David did we, too, will be blessed. Then it is up to us to tell the world around us that God has been God to us, so that they can also be blessed by Him.

Psalm 9:13-20

Death is the destiny of all the wicked, of all those who reject God (v.17,GNB).

The death written about here is the 'second death' referred to in Revelation 21:8. It is about everlasting separation from God. Those who don't believe that God would cast someone away forever should ask themselves why God needs to force into heaven those who have rejected Him. Rejection was their choice, a choice that will be respected by God.

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Bible Poetry - Proverbs 19:25

Proverbs 19:25

Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge. (v.25,ESV).

When simple see the silliness of scoffers they will learn;
and knowledge will be gained by those with wits that can discern!

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Devotion Thoughts - 22/07/2011

Romans 7:14-25. Romans 8:1-8

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.(v.5,ESV).
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (v.8,ESV).

Living according to the flesh is about controlling our lives ourselves: operating in pride; being self-centred; believing in God but not allowing Him to have any real say in how we live our Christian lives. As the verse says, such a life cannot be pleasing to God.
Living according to the Spirit happens when we trus God so much that we allow Him full control of our lives; we are guided by the Spirit and by the Word. Such a life does please God!

Psalm 18:1-15

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (v.12,ESV).

David has no doubt that God is everything He needs to help him to succeed in life. And David's life was proof that God was able to protect him through many trials. What God is to us determines His relationship with us. If we have no faith and trust in God, then we will receive nothing from His hands. If we rely on Him for everything we need in life then He will not let us down!

Proverbs 19:24-25

The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth. (v.24,ESV).

The thought here is that those who are lazy will not get anywhere. Believers should never stop honouring and serving God, and looking to Him for help in all that they are involved with. 'As your days so shall your strength be' (Deuteronomy 33:25) assures us that whatever strength we apply to God's service will be renewed in us.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Bible Poetry: Proverbs 19:22, 23

Proverbs 19:22, 23

What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar (v.22,ESV).

I will not impress my Father
with my trophies won in sport;
for I know that He would rather
see what I through love have wrought!

The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm (v.23,ESV).

To fear the Lord will lead to life,
for fear shows our respect
for God's great power to still all strife
that might harm His elect!

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