Careful—But Not Careful! #8

Saturday, April 4, 2020

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7 KJV).

Friend, as we live in these strange times, let us “be careful for nothing!”

Prayer is the means whereby we express to Almighty God our understanding of His Word to us. However, when we listen to people pray, it is abundantly clear they have little to no understanding of the rightly-divided Scriptures. They are fervent in wanting to talk to God, and they want Him to give an ear to their words, but they have not been diligent in looking in the Bible and listening to what He has already said to them.

But, why would God care to hear us repeat to Him what He already told us? Does He not already know His own words to us? Indeed, He does. But, do we know His words to us? Prayer is not for God’s benefit but ours. We are giving the indwelling Holy Spirit opportunity to reinforce in our minds what we have read in Scripture earlier (after all, we did read it, yes?). Here is how prayer should work, how it was designed to work—but often does not function like that because we are too busy talking when we should have been listening to the Scriptures first.

The God of the Bible is not stingy or apathetic. He already knows what we need, and He is willing to provide it. When today’s Scripture says, “in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God,” it means we should pray in all circumstances (not just trials). “Prayer” is the general term for speaking to God in light of His words to us. “Supplications” (Latin, “supplicare”—“plead humbly”) are our asking Him to work concerning a particular matter. “Thanksgiving” is critical: He may not give us what we want but we can be absolutely sure He will furnish us with what we truly need. “Requests” are general, we asking Him to do what we need Him to do. Again, this is not for His benefit but our own….

Careful—But Not Careful! #7

Friday, April 3, 2020

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7 KJV).

Friend, as we live in these strange times, let us “be careful for nothing!”

Anxiety is the feeling of being overwhelmed with apprehension, worry, distress, or fear. It can also be called “inner turmoil,” an inward reflection of an outward issue. Looking at our grim situations and circumstances, we start to consider all the awful contingencies and dread the future. Uncertainty building, it eats away at our soul and spirit. We never know what trouble to expect next. Here is such a miserable existence!

When today’s Scripture exhorts us to “be careful for nothing,” it means we should not be “full of care.” Rather than that aforementioned all-consuming sensation of fear controlling us, we let the Holy Spirit dominate us. Instead of falling into the above emotional and mental trap, the Bible says we are to “in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let [our] requests be made known unto God.” Friend, draw your attention to the preposition “in.” While we are “in” the dire situation, “in” the dreary circumstance, we are to especially “pray” because we are vulnerable to the effects of Satan’s policy of evil.

Now, before the difficulties arose, before all those vicissitudes (changes) in life pummeled us, we should have already been reading the Scriptures. As soon as we came to Jesus Christ by faith in His death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4), we should have been familiarizing ourselves with the Bible. Unfortunately, new Christians usually neglect this. Lacking spiritual grounding, even the slightest distressing time will easily disorient them and destroy their life. Furthermore, if they ever are reading any Scripture, they are likely not understanding it dispensationally. This is most disastrous too, as they are unaware of what God is doing in the present-day (and how He can aid them in those troubles). Looking at their tribulations, they have likely concluded He is “doing nothing,” “on vacation,” “asleep,” “unconcerned.”

Once again, Pauline prayer is key to “be careful for nothing….”

Careful—But Not Careful! #6

Thursday, April 2, 2020

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7 KJV).

Friend, as we live in these strange times, let us “be careful for nothing!”

In Luke chapter 10, we read about sisters Mary and Martha. (According to John chapters 11 and 12, they are actually Lazarus’ sisters.) The Bible says Martha hosted the Lord Jesus in her home. Mary “sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word” (verse 39). Yet, Martha “was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me” (verse 40). That Greek word rendered “cumbered” means “drawn around, distracted, driven about mentally, over-occupied, too busy.” Martha was hypervigilant, fretting about serving (likely food to her “honored Guest?”).

The Lord calmed her with a gentle rebuke: “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (verses 41,42). “Careful” here is the Greek word identical to the one rendered “careful” in today’s Scripture: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Martha’s problem was anxiety: her circumstances distressed her and diverted her attention away from listening to Jesus’ words. On the other hand, her sister Mary had left her, and was now sitting at His feet and listening to Him teach spiritual truth. Mary would not be distracted like her sister, for she knew the Lord’s teaching was of greater value than her own efforts. Similarly, as Philippians chapter 4 says, instead of allowing our circumstances to sidetrack us, we simply pray the Pauline way. Prayer is the means whereby we reinforce in our minds what the Lord already said about those conditions. Therein is spiritual stability during such situations….

Without Honour #10

Friday, March 27, 2020

But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house (Mark 6:4 KJV).

What valuable lesson can we learn from Nazareth—a moral the Nazarenes deliberately failed to learn?

Firstly, it is infinitesimally important that we positively respond to the Scriptures rightly divided as soon as possible. If we do not immediately react in faith, it becomes less and less likely that we will ever believe it. The Nazarenes were exposed to God’s Son, Jesus Christ, for almost three decades. He grew up among them, so they knew Him better than any other group in Israel or the world. Unfortunately, the Nazarenes started off with ungratefulness. As the years passed, they grew increasingly opposed to Him. Their animosity toward Him became so great they finally attempted to throw Him headfirst off a hillside. If only they had believed on Him the very moment He arrived in their town. Alas, they did not! If only they had believed their own Hebrew Bible as soon as they read it. Alas, they did not!

Secondly, it is unfathomably critical that we believe the Bible in the heart. This is more than knowing, reading, or hearing Scripture—the Nazarenes did that for centuries, and still wound up in unbelief. It is more than a mental assent or agreement—the Nazarenes did that for centuries too, and were still unbelieving. This is more than “playing church,” attending services out of “obligation” or “duty”—the Nazarenes did that for centuries as well, and still wound up in unbelief. Having the Bible is not enough—the Nazarenes did that for centuries as well, and were still unbelieving.

Dear readers, as soon as we learn the Gospel of Grace—“Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)—we need to exercise heart faith in it. Immediately after we discover the Apostle Paul is God’s spokesman to us—“the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13)—we should exercise heart faith in it. If there is any delay, and anything other than heart faith, we will treat Jesus Christ and His Word with more dishonour than Nazareth did long ago!

Without Honour #8

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house (Mark 6:4 KJV).

What valuable lesson can we learn from Nazareth—a moral the Nazarenes deliberately failed to learn?

Romans 1:18-32 explains how the world declined in its morals and ethics to result in the worldwide problems we see today. All people once had opportunity to be the LORD God’s instruments in the Earth, but they willfully refused His revelation. Therefore, human civilization deteriorated in the centuries following Adam’s creation. In Genesis chapters 6–8, God finally sent the Great Deluge of Noah’s day to cleanse the world of evil (violence, murder). During chapters 9–11, the nations gather around the Tower of Babel. Such paganism summarizes man’s attitude during his first 2,000 years. The Creator God gave the nations over to their preferred spiritual darkness!

In chapter 12, the LORD God sets aside one man to begin a new nation—Abraham, the father of Israel. Through Abraham and his descendants, God will reach the entire world. Romans 3:1,2: “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles [Word, revelation] of God.” God gave Israel His Word, so Israel can teach it to the Gentiles. “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 147:19,20).

Moses told Israel in Deuteronomy 4:6-8: “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?”

Israel had that Word of God for 16 centuries, but she did not appreciate it. By the time her Messiah arrived, fulfilling that Word, she dishonoured Him too….

333’s 3200th(ish) – Informed, Not Ignorant!

Friday, March 13, 2020

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant (1 Corinthians 14:37,38 KJV).

(Oops!) Saints, it has recently come to my attention that we passed our 3,200-devotionals milestone a week ago—and we failed to commemorate it. Yes, when we are busy teaching and learning the Word of God, time just flies by so fast that we easily lose track of it! Over these last (almost) 9 years (can you believe it!), we have greatly benefited fellowshipping around the King James Bible.

Both the Scriptures of the prophetic program and the Scriptures of the mystery program have we considered to learn the entire mind and plan of Almighty God. We are certainly not infallible (unerring) or omniscience (all-knowing), but we surely know where to go to grasp everything God would have us know so we can do everything He would have us do. We have taken the time to compare Bible verses with Bible verses. It was hard work, it was a lot of thinking, but we have come a long way by God’s grace. Religious tradition was not our authority. Speculations and opinions of men were not our authority either. Rather, we have a firm foundation in “the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25).

For those who wanted to be informed, we have here delivered to you the sound Bible teaching needed to result in your spiritual stability. Contrariwise, for those who wanted to remain ignorant, they have been given over to their preference, too. The God of the Bible values free will—and so do we! “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). Now, dear reader, having come to the knowledge of the truth, it is your duty—yea, privilege—to tell this same information to others. Then, they can teach still others. Here is how we combat the spiritual ignorance that so pervades Christendom and the world!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is the Bible wrong to call Nebuchadnezzar the ‘father’ of Belshazzar?

To Pray a Better Way #10

Saturday, March 7, 2020

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26,27 KJV).

How does the Holy Spirit “maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God?”

Father God “searcheth [investigates, looks into] the hearts;” He is aware of “the mind of the Spirit” (today’s Scripture). The Holy Spirit works in us by activating His inspired words that we have read and believed rightly divided. Consequently, we can pray in agreement with Father God’s current will. The Holy Spirit uses sound Bible doctrine to work in the grace saint as that child of God prays with a heart of faith. He enlightens the believer’s understanding, so that saint not only perceives God’s will for the present age, but can also pray accordingly. Unlike in religion, in the Bible, the Christian is not left clueless, wondering how to pray!

Provided we are aware of “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2)—the doctrine outlined in Paul’s Epistles, Romans through Philemon—then we will not be disappointed with “unanswered prayer.” We cannot make God do something He is not doing. If the content of our prayers conflicts with Pauline doctrine, then displeasure and doubt will constantly beset us. Praying like a saint in Israel’s prophetic program, will get us nowhere because we are the Church the Body of Christ and we are in the mystery program. We cannot take Israel’s verses, assume God will respond that way, and then complain He “lied” when our expectations are not met. Indeed, non-dispensational prayer is more harmful than no prayer!

Saints, if we have any hope in the world of praying effectually, we must let God speak first. He has already spoken in Paul’s Epistles. Have we listened to Him before asking Him to listen to us? Or, are we operating in unbelief, naming and claiming non-Pauline Bible passages as though they are to and about us? Articulating dispensationally-correct prayers is to pray a better way! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who are the ‘Scythians’ and the ‘Barbarians?’