In Every Thing Give Thanks

Thursday, November 24, 2016

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV).

Dear saints, take a moment this Thanksgiving to learn a valuable lesson from the Holy Scriptures!

God wants “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4). To be “saved” here means you have been rescued from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire), and that you have a home in heaven, because you have trusted the death, shed blood, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for your sins. To “come unto the knowledge of the truth” is when a person who has trusted Christ, begins to understand why God saved him or her, and how God will use him or her for His glory. Although soul salvation is instantaneous, spiritual maturity is a life-long process (that is especially true regarding handling difficulties, the grace way!).

It is human nature to avoid difficulties and stress, to flee them, rather than confront them. This self-preservation is advantageous, particularly in “life or death” situations. However, running from troubling circumstances is not the way God has designed our life in Christ to function. Today’s Scripture says, In every thing give thanks,” notFor every thing give thanks.” We do not thank God for our troubles; we thank God while we are enduring those troubles. This is tough, I know, but it takes time for us to learn it. Even the Apostle Paul had to learn this.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Be thankful in every thing. God’s grace is sufficient for you, dear saint, in all of life’s circumstances. When you learn this, you are “[coming] unto the knowledge of the truth.”

*Excerpted from our Thanksgiving 2012 Bible study with the same name. That study can be read here or watched here.

You may also see, “What are our spiritual blessings in Christ?

In Every Thing Give Thanks

Thursday, November 26, 2015

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV).

Dear saints, take a moment this Thanksgiving to learn a valuable lesson from the Holy Scriptures!

God wants “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4). To be “saved” here means you have been rescued from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire), and that you have a home in heaven, because you have trusted the death, shed blood, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for your sins. To “come unto the knowledge of the truth” is when a person who has trusted Christ, begins to understand why God saved him or her, and how God will use him or her for His glory. Although soul salvation is instantaneous, spiritual maturity is a life-long process (that is especially true regarding handling difficulties, the grace way!).

It is human nature to avoid difficulties and stress, to flee them, rather than confront them. This self-preservation is advantageous, particularly in “life or death” situations. However, running from troubling circumstances is not the way God has designed our life in Christ to function. Today’s Scripture says, In every thing give thanks,” notFor every thing give thanks.” We do not thank God for our troubles; we thank God while we are enduring those troubles. This is tough, I know, but it takes time for us to learn it. Even the Apostle Paul had to learn this.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Be thankful in every thing. God’s grace is sufficient for you, dear saint, in all of life’s circumstances. When you learn this, you are “[coming] unto the knowledge of the truth.”

*Excerpted from our Thanksgiving 2012 Bible study with the same name. That study can be read here or watched here.

You may also see, “What are our spiritual blessings in Christ?

The Truth of the Gospel

Monday, September 14, 2015

“But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Galatians 2:14-16 KJV).

What is “the truth of the gospel?”

The Gospel of the Grace of God is how God’s grace is manifested to us through Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). “Being justified [declared righteous by God] freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Romans 3:24,25).

The truth of the gospel” (today’s Scripture) is that we are saved today by simple faith in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary alone. Works are not the issue (water baptism, dietary laws, confession, commandment-keeping, and so on). Had our works been enough to give us a right standing before God, Jesus could have stayed in heaven!

Peter’s error in today’s Scripture was that he encouraged Law-keeping among Paul’s Gentile converts. Paul’s converts were under no such legalistic commands. Neither are we. “Ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14b). Paul rightly rebuked Peter. In our Dispensation of Grace, God has abolished Israel’s system of works, and ushered in the system of grace. Paul would sadly rebuke many Christians today, those who incessantly mix law and grace. His words to Peter would echo throughout Christendom, “Ye walk not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel!”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain Galatians 2:11-16?

Where True Love is Found

Saturday, September 12, 2015

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10 KJV).

Behold where true love is found!

Many people today seek “love” in all the wrong places—“pimping,” prostitution, homosexual unions, pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, and all sorts of other illicit acts. Even concerning “straight” couples (involving two humans), there is usually a very shallow understanding of what true love is. There is a lot of “take, take, take” from one or both sides, and a lot of “me, me, me” on one or both sides. There is very little, if any, altruism (“give, give, give”). Both people really seeking the other person’s best interest—the rarest of all!

Beloved, let us never, ever, ever place another human on a level he or she will never attain. We are all sinners. Mistakes will happen. Other people will disappoint us, as individuals have done before. Break-ups happen, divorces happen, infidelity happens, betrayal happens. Even though both sides try their very hardest, there is still heartache and heartbreak. (Then, there is one or both parties doing nothing to make the situation better, leading to the same dismal end.)

All the unlovely people we have met in our life, the horrible individuals who treated us as though we were utter scum, we need not be bitter against them. We need to pray for them. They have not got a clue what real love is, and were thus unable to show it to us. We should take a moment to remember today’s Scripture. If no one else loves us, if everyone else betrays us, if everyone else disappoints us, if everyone else abandons us, there is still Father God and His free gift offered to us. His only begotten Son shed His rich, royal blood, that He may pay our sin debt. He had nothing left to give! Jesus Christ was Father God’s most precious relationship, and He (yea, They) gave it up, that we sinners might enjoy that perfect relationship forever!

In no other Person but Jesus Christ will we find true love. Let us not search for it elsewhere. Such a search is a waste of time… and of true love.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What about unmarried, divorced, and remarried men in the ministry?

When the Roll is Called Up Yonder #4

Saturday, April 11, 2015

“To die is gain…. Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better” (Philippians 1:21,23cd KJV).

The chorus of James Milton Black’s classic 1893 hymn “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” highlights today’s Scripture.

“When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.”

Religion’s “sin of presumption” forbids anyone from claiming or believing in assurance of immediately going to heaven upon physical death. Theologians argue, “No sinful person can enter heaven without first being cleansed.” Hence, a purgatorial state is speculated to exist: the “faithful” soul, post-death and pre-heaven, is allegedly tormented to atone for any un-paid sins (sounds like hellfire to me!). Dear friends, purgatory belittles—and ignores—the efficacy of Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. Jesus paid for a Christian’s sins in full (Romans 4:1-8; Colossians 2:13), so why would the Christian have un-paid sins? Friends, religion never makes sense (frankly, purgatory does not make sense because it is a money-making gimmick).

Saint Paul undoubtedly knew where he was going upon death. He was not going to sleep in a grave, not going to “die like a dog and pass into non-existence,” and not going to suffer “purgatorial cleansing.” Paul affirmed, We are confident [fully assured!!!!], I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8; cf. today’s Scripture). He had such confidence because Jesus Christ was reliable, faithful. Had Paul been relying on his works, he could not be confident. Yea, to rely on faulty works is sure to introduce doubt! Beloved, the payment for sin is Jesus Christ’s suffering at Calvary, not our temporary suffering in purgatory!

Brethren, whether the Lord happens to call our name in physical death, or calls our name while we are living at the time of the Rapture, up we will go to Heaven to meet our Saviour and be with Him forever. We will be there in Heaven because, at Calvary, He paid the “airfare!” Let us keep looking up for our flight! 🙂

In Every Thing Give Thanks

Thursday, November 27, 2014

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV).

Dear saints, take a moment this Thanksgiving to learn a valuable lesson from the Holy Scriptures!

God wants “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4). To be “saved” here means you have been rescued from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire), and that you have a home in heaven, because you have trusted the death, shed blood, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for your sins. To “come unto the knowledge of the truth” is when a person who has trusted Christ, begins to understand why God saved him or her, and how God will use him or her for His glory. Although soul salvation is instantaneous, spiritual maturity is a life-long process (that is especially true regarding handling difficulties, the grace way!).

It is human nature to avoid difficulties and stress, to flee them, rather than confront them. This self-preservation is advantageous, particularly in “life or death” situations. However, running from troubling circumstances is not the way God has designed our life in Christ to function. Today’s Scripture says, In every thing give thanks,” notFor every thing give thanks.” We do not thank God for our troubles; we thank God while we are enduring those troubles. This is tough, I know, but it takes time for us to learn it. Even the Apostle Paul had to learn this.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Be thankful in every thing. God’s grace is sufficient for you, dear saint, in all of life’s circumstances. When you learn this, you are “[coming] unto the knowledge of the truth.”

*Excerpted from our Thanksgiving 2012 Bible study with the same name. That study can be read here or watched here.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What are our spiritual blessings in Christ?

Keep Yourselves in the Love of God #6

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21 KJV).

How will today’s Scripture benefit the nation Israel in “the ages to come?”

Jesus predicted that Messianic Jews would be hated for His sake during the reign of false Messiah (Antichrist) (John 15:17-25 cf. 1 John 3:11-13). The Bible student will compare Jesus’ words with today’s Scripture and 1 John 3:16: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

Later in that same epistle, the Apostle John continued: “[7] Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. [8] He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. [9] In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. [10] Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. [11] Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4:7-11).

Israel’s believing remnant is not to focus on those who hate them; they are to focus on the love of the Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, whose love alone matters, whose love alone never fails. The Apostle John reminds Israel’s believing remnant that it was Jesus Christ who loved them so much that He died for them, going to Calvary’s cruel cross to purchase their spiritual freedom. Likewise, they, now enduring the awful seven-year Tribulation, can lay down their lives for their suffering Jewish brethren, risking their lives to help them who are suffering utmost deprivation because of the satanic Antichrist (James 2:14-18). If God’s love is truly operating in them, if they are mindful of God’s love for them, they will let that love manifest itself in deed (1 John 3:14-24)!

Let us conclude this devotionals arc….