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Showing posts with label Bible Study. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bible Study. Show all posts

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - The Weight of the Past - 01/29/2023


 

Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 01/29/2023

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: The Weight of the Past Podast

Or watch the Video Zoom Session of our Study on YouTube: 




The Weight of the Past

 

“...forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”    Phil. 3:13,14

Adam was created from the dust, in the image of God, and received the breath of life. He was a man without a past, but he was also designed to have a memory. When God commanded “the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat…”

 Gen. 2:16,17, it was necessary for Adam to remember that command.

As we have seen in past studies, there are good dimensions to design and corruptible dimensions. Memory is a gift of God’s design and a reflection of His likeness. In Gen. 9:15 God says to Noah, “and I will remember My covenant…” God charges the children of Israel to remember the Passover, and we are directed by Jesus, when celebrating the supper to, “do this in remembrance of Me”

Remember is translated “be mindful” in the YLT. and, Phil. 4:8 gives a list of good things to, “think on” or “meditate on”. These are God honoring expressions of the use of memory.

But we see how memory is subject to frailty and corruption.

In Gen. 3:1 we see Satan engaging “the Woman” in the realm of remembrance, and He immediately exploits her failure. In the wilderness of Exodus the children of Israel are inappropriately remembering Egypt (Num. 11.5) and longing to return as if there was some virtue there. The entire letter to the Galatians is a corrective epistle compelling them to remember the means of their salvation that they may not depart from the Spiritual life in Christ.

In essence, corrupted or inaccurate memory is a lie. It is a distortion or an outright departure from the truth. And we know who is the “father of” lies. Jn. 8:44

When we distort or exaggerate the truth, in the form of a story, or a remembrance, or prophecy a lie in the form of something comical or outright ungodly, we are exalting self and walking in the likeness of Satan. This was Satan’s real temptation in Gen. 3; exalt yourself by knowing the hidden knowledge, and be like me, desiring and receiving worship.

We may tell a story inaccurately hoping to get a favorable reaction (worship) or demonstrating ourselves to know something fully that we only know in part (exaltation).

Pastor Finn use to say, “the past is only useful for the school of remembrance”, but if that remembrance is inaccurate then the movement forward will also be off course.

Our words are powerful; more so than we understand. James says, “no man can tame the tongue”: Read Js. 3:1-12. We can and will have our confession.

We are new creations in Christ, II Cor. 5:17 and Eph. 4:20-24

The old man is dead, Rm. 6:3-6

Yet we resurrect him by giving him a voice with our perky stories about our past (which may be true), with inaccurate remembrances from our past, and with inappropriate prophecies about ourselves and others. Satan gains access and authority through our voices.

When we declare someone evil, that is a lie against the word of God. Rm. 12:14, “bless and do not curse.”

When we declare someone (even ourselves) contrary to how God created them; a loser, stupid, ugly, incompetent, gay, we; “bear false witness” Ex. 20:16

When we distort the truth we align with, “savage wolves”

                                                                                            Acts 20:29,30

We must be far more mindful of our speech!

Why exalt the old man by giving him a voice?

 Col. 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

Rom. 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient”

Col. 3:16,Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Col. 3:9, “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.”

II Cor. 10:5, “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought (and subsequently, every word) into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” 

For My yoke is easy and My burden is light”  Jesus,                                                                  Mt. 11:30

Throw off the weight of the past. Give it to Jesus!


Give Him glory, honor and praise!!!


-----Join us for another Bible Study Next Week -------

or

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Doin' Business with God - 01/22/2023


 Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 01/22/2023

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Doin' Business with God Podcast

Or watch the Video Zoom Session of our Study on YouTube: 




Doin’ Business With God

 

       “Search me, O God, and know my heart;

       Try me, and know my anxieties;

       And see if there is any wicked way in me,

       And lead me in the way everlasting.”         Ps. 139:23,24

 

Eventually each one of us will have to do business with our God. The most dangerous thing you can do is to take your faith seriously.

 

Jesus said, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his life father       and mother, wife, and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.  Lk 14:26

 

These are fighting words. A war within rages between the new creation man, and the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Our worst enemy is casual, melancholy, sentimental, Christianity. Jesus says He will, “vomit you out of My mouth.”

Believe it or not, God is serious about this stuff.

 

What is it that we speculate Jesus meant when He said things like, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.Mt. 12:36

                                             or

“Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Lk. 9:23

 

God is determined, through sanctification, to change us into the image of His Son. Rom. 8:29, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…”

                                             and

II Cor. 3:18, But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

So, how does He do this?

 

         When a metallurgist, when purifying gold, will turn up the          heat in order to bring the dross to the top of the liquid gold.    He scoops it off, and when he can see his own reflection in   the pot, he knows that the gold is pure.

 

                           How can we miss the metaphor?

For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God Deu. 4:24

I Pet. 1:7 says, “that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Does God turn up the heat? That’s hardly a fair or worthy question.

But in Lk. 22:31, Jesus said to Peter, “Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat." Satan turns up the heat in order to break us, but the next vrs. reveals the Lord’s heart toward us, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail.”

 

take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ” II Co. 10:5

Before it becomes a word.

For, “The tongue has the power of life and death” Prov. 18:21

Balak said, “Must I not take heed to speak what the LORD has put in my mouth?” Num. 23:12

That was the Spirit of Christ in him, who would say more perfectly later, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.” Jn. 12:49

 

         When trials come to the believer, waves of conviction should likewise accompany it. It’s time to do business with God. We should be willing and anxious to purge out the leaven, even the subtle sins, as Peter says, “laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and evil speaking.” I Pe.2:1. It’s time to take inventory. Not that God would instantaneously remove the trial but that He would give us grace to endure it. He said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” II Cor. 12:9

-----Join us for another Bible Study Next Week -------

or

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Sunday, January 15, 2023

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Lord, Open Our Understanding! - 01/15/2023

Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 01/15/2023

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Lord, Open Our Understanding! Podcast

Or watch the Video Zoom Session of our Study on YouTube: 



 



Lord, Open Our Understanding!

 

“And He opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures.Lk. 24:45

 

How often have you used the phrase, “I believe that we have a misunderstanding”?

Understanding can be pared into two types:

         Understanding the way things are; how things work.

         Understanding people, and their intent.

 

In both cases God is the Author of true, accurate, and appropriate understanding.

Regarding the way things are, Ex. 31:1-6 tells the account of how God called Bezalel, and “filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.” vs. 3

They may have acquired some skills up to that point, but we must never forget Heb. 3:4, “For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God.”

 

Prov. 4:7 says, “Wisdom is the principal thing;

                           Therefore get wisdom.

                           And in all your getting, get understanding.

 

When faced with situations, tasks or problems that seem to defy solution, this is the time to turn and ask the One who created all things.    See Js. 1:5

I marvel at the ingenuity of man. I sometimes marvel at my own abilities, but so much more over the talents and abilities of others concerning that which I could never figure out apart from the grace of God.

This ingenuity is an act of, what is called, “common grace” weather the possessor of such admits it or not. It comes from somewhere, and we know that the source of all good is God.

See Js. 1:17

More tedious, at times, is the capacity to know, or understand. another person. This relies upon a confluence of factors including language, cultural framework, past encounters, and depth of relationship.

It is often life’s greatest joy to truly understand another person in all their complexity. We are truly, fearfully and wonderfully made.”

 

Imagine trying to figure out God. This is the effort of every false religion. Paul says, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!” Rom. 11:33

 

Apart from revelation, we fail terribly.

 

The Scriptures may lead the natural man into some practical wisdom in order to navigate life. This was the intent of the Law.

 

On the road to the village of Emmaus, two men, who knew the Scriptures, were walking, and talking, and trying to figure out what had just happened, when Jesus came along side and walked with them. In this encounter they heard some of the greatest preaching ever heard, but yet did not understand. They say, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” Lk. 24:32

 

Pr. James Finn observes this pattern from this text:

         “He took...He blessed...He broke…and He gave”

         “Then their eyes were open and they knew Him” Lk. 24:30,31

 

Remember, the call to eternal life, from Jn. 17:3 is to, “know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

 

In all our interaction with God we should pray for revelation. Otherwise, we will be swept away by winds of false doctrine.

Jn. 16:13 says, “The Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.”

Wait for the taking, the blessing, the breaking, before giving!

-----Join us for another Bible Study Next Week -------

or

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, or Arthur Cincotti, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the authors may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



Sunday, January 8, 2023

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Hypocrisy - The Curse of Religion - 01/08/2021

 



Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 01/08/2023

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Hypocrisy Podcast

Or watch the Video Zoom Session of our Study on YouTube: 




Hypocrisy

The Curse of Religion

 

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” Jas. 1:27

 

Two reasons I’ve chosen to study, and consider hypocrisy are because, 1) it is one of the strongest condemnations that the Lord Jesus wielded in some of His discourse, and 2) because it is the most common criticism wielded against believers.

 

         I think that it is important to note that in a culture that has essentially jettisoned any semblance of moral standard, absolute truth, or universally accepted virtues, hypocrisy is still rejected, sneered at, abhorred, and pretty much considered as disgusting.

 

         Hypocrisy is a complicated word. Some synonyms would include: insincerity, pretense, and double mindedness. The Greek definition refers to being, “under as mask” and refers to a stage actor playing a part. The generally accepted meaning is the act of when one’s outward actions contradict their inner convictions, or their professions of such.

 

         Jesus first usage of the word is found in the “sermon on the mount,” Mt. 6:2-16. In three instances, calling out charitable deeds, prayer, and fasting, Jesus declares, “hypocrites” proclaiming that, when the practice of the above are engaged in for the “approval of men,” other than obedience to God, a deep insincerity lies at the core of the action. His condemnation is, “I say to you, they have their reward” and that reward is temporal.

 

 

Later, in Matthews gospel Jesus is speaking more specifically to the scribes, Sadducees and  Pharisees, the religious leaders of that culture, directly calling them out as, “hypocrites!” for outwardly professing adherence to the law, while inwardly clinging to all forms of corruption.  See Mt. 15:1-9, Mt. 16:1-4, Mt. 22:15-21

all of Mt. 23.

Finally, in a parable Jesus uses very powerful language, “and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Mt. 24:45-51

 

Since Jesus spoke so forcefully against hypocrisy, it might be wisdom for us to carefully consider this evil.

 

James speaks of this evil in ch. 3:13-18, saying, “wisdom that is from above is...without hypocrisy.”

 

As believers we feel the weight of this condemnation from the world. Though we intend to live righteously before men, we fail miserably.

Like Paul, in Rom. 7:15 we scarcely understand our actions; “For what I am doing, I do not understand, For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”

That’s hypocrisy!

Except for one caveat; we don’t claim to be perfected. The only thing we rightfully claim is to be Christs’; that is, belonging to Him.

That’s why Paul can say in the next chapter, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus

 

Notice that the condemnation of “hypocrisy” is typically from the world, and “the world” is clearly confused about everything.

 

This doesn’t let us off the hook from walking in repentance. It grieves the Holy Spirit when fall short of the glory Christ purchased for us.

We hold in tension this harsh condemnation of hypocrisy by Jesus and His continuous extension of forgiveness (I Jn. 1:9)

 

We’re not perfect, and don’t claim to be, so there is no hypocrisy, but we are forgiven. The world knows nothing of this.

 

But they should. We should tell them!!!

-----Join us for another Bible Study Next Week -------

or

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Saturday, January 7, 2023

First Things First - Purity 935

First things First -   Purity 935

Purity 935 01/07/2023 Purity 935 Podcast

Purity 935 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun over a stream or inlet of Cliffside Lake in Highlands NC comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this photo on social media on the first of the year. This is the third and final photo that Fred shared from that First Day trip, and it may be only seven days into the new year and it may seem that the photo of the day has been dominated by Mr. Dimmick lately but I thought all of his photos were all more than worthy to be used to give God glory.  And that is the first thing, we always want to do when we are appreciating nature, to recognize the beauty that we see as the Lord’s handiwork and to give credit where credit is due, to worship the Creator and not the creation.  

Well, It’s the first Saturday of 2023, and although I have to work today I am still staying positive because my job provides for my financial needs and even though I could imagine better ways to make a living, this is the way that I am making a living.  So I will be content and remember all the ways my job has blessed me and continues to bless me rather than pine away for something else.  Yes, if we are discontented with our current situations in life, I suppose we have three choices: we can ruin our mental health by lamenting over our current state, we can decide to be content with it, or we can set goals and take action to change it.  Two out of three of those choices will provide the space we need for peace and joy in our life. So whether you decide to stay or go, don’t lose your peace by dwelling on the negative aspects of life.  That’s the enemy’s trap, to deceive us by painting everything in a negative light.  

I can also be content today because I am in relatively good health.  Sure, I still need to do some work and be disciplined if I ever want to accomplish my health goals, to change that BMI number to a “normal” range and to possibly lose enough weight to make my need for a sleep apnea machine to disappear, but I can’t change that overnight and the truth is that I am in better shape now at 50 than I was in my 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. So I may not be where I want to be yet, but I can rejoice over where I am today. I can be content with where I am but still endeavor to make things even better.  

As for our health, things can change quickly.  Today we are asking for prayers for Fred Dimmick because his health turned south quickly, and we learned yesterday that he is slated for surgery today for appendicitis.  So, we will be praying for Fred’s surgery, healing, and recovery today and will continue to pray for him until he is back on his feet.

My other friend Bob Griffin is battling cancer.  We are also praying for Bob daily. 

So yeah, I work today – on a Saturday boo hoo – but I am not going in for surgery, and I am not battling cancer.  The point is that no matter what our situations are, there are, most likely, other people who are going through things that would make our plight seem to be a walk in the park.   The point is not to figure out who has it worse but to encourage all of us to recognize the positive aspects of where we are no matter what our circumstance are. 

If we have Christ, we have everything we need.  And if we look at our circumstances truthfully, don’t take our blessings for granted, and do some comparative analysis we will see that we have many things to be thankful for and thus we have things to thank God for.  

As I rise each day, I practice gratitude. G iving thanks to God, keeps me grounded in the reality of just how wonderful my life is – regardless of the problems and trials I may have to face.  When you stay close to God and continually give thanks for Him, what He has done, and what we have received, we can not only face trials with strength and hope for good outcomes, we can be content and be at peace with whatever we receive. That’s why I make gratitude, one of the first things I do each morning.  

Gratitude is form of prayer, as we are thanking God, and after I thank Him for a new day and the continual good things in my life, I go to the Lord with the challenges I and others face.  I pray for my friends who facing hard things. I pray for people who are asking for prayer though my local church. I pray for my family, and I pray for people to either put their faith in Christ or to follow Him.  So prayer is another one of the first things I do each day.

I have discovered that it is by abiding with God, and by following His lead, that our lives are transformed from exercises in frustration and bitter disappointments to lives of peace, wonder, and joy. So it is my prayer that other people trust the Lord enough to follow Him so they can discover this too.  That’s what this blog is all about – I’m pointing to the Truth, the Way, and the Life – to Jesus – and the new abundant life that results from our decision to follow Him, come what may.  

Another thing I like to keep first is Bible study. My musings and speculations are compelling I suppose. I can figure out some things from the cause and effect results of my actions, but God’s word tells us the truth. The Bible tells us what is right and wrong and gives us the wisdom we need in life. God’s word is our guidebook and when we follow it we tend to prosper, but even if we don’t, it reminds us that God is still in control and is somehow working all things together for good.  

So because I ran out of time to share the “Bible Verse of the day” over the last few days I am sharing it now: 

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verses are:

2 Timothy 2:10-13 (NLT2)
10  So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.
11  This is a trustworthy saying: If we die with him, we will also live with him.
12  If we endure hardship, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us.
13  If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.

Today’s verses encourage us that our attitude towards life is that we should be willing to endure anything if it could possibly bring salvation to others or glory to God.  

Ironically, our endurance itself can give glory to God.  Bob Griffin, who is in pain and battling cancer,  took to Instagram the other day to encourage others to take their pains to God in prayer.  Bob’s endurance and his faithfulness to point others to the Lord gives God glory.  Bob is no stranger to pain, as His testimony that I share on the MT4Christ247 YouTube channel can tell you.  But it is because Bob has walked through the fire with the Lord before that he can still trust Him and encourage others to put their faith in Jesus and follow Him. 

As these verses say: If we die with Him, we will also live with Him.   If we endure hardship, we will reign with Him. 

But if we deny Him, He will deny us.

But even if we are unfaithful, God doesn’t follow suit.  

God remains faithful because that’s who He is: faithful and true – and He can’t deny who He is.  

These are just a few verses from the word of God that can give us the hope to endure through our trials and can remind us of our eternal relationship with the Father.  When we know this, we can endure, we can be content, and we can face possible death and whatever hardships this world may throw at us with peace and confidence because we know that God is faithful. 

The life giving wisdom from God’s word is the reason why Bible study is one of the first things I do each day.  

Right now there is a worship song on the Christians stations that speaks the truth to keep the first things first.  God’s the first thing and He is the One we need to connect with.   The song is “First things First by Consuming Fire” and the lyrics echo my heart’s intention. A portion of that song that speaks to God says:  

I don't wanna love what the world loves
I don't wanna chase what the world does
I only want you
I only want you

First thing's first
I seek Your will
Not my own
Surrender all my wants to you
Keep the first thing first
To live Your truth
Walk Your ways
Set my eyes
Lord I fix my face on you
All my desires reversed
To keep the first thing first”

 

God and our relationship with Him is THE FIRST THING.  So each day we should surrender our will and ways for the wisdom of the Lord.  We should make the first things we do each day things that will draw us close to God. Gratitude, prayer, Bible study, and praising the Lord are easy ways to come into God’s presence and give you the peace and confidence to remain content with whatever circumstances each new day brings.  

So, if you have the day off today enjoy it, but remember to keep the first things first by choosing to keep on walking and talking with God.    

___________________________________________

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

By  ARTHUR W. PINK

CHAPTER TWO

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN CREATION, concludes

Look at the animal kingdom and note the wondrous variety. What comparison is possible between the lion and the lamb, the bear and the kid, the elephant and the mouse? Some, like the horse and the dog, are gifted with great intelligence; while others, like sheep and swine, are almost devoid of it. Why? Some are designed to be beasts of burden, while others enjoy a life of freedom. But why should the mule and the donkey be shackled to a life of drudgery while the lion and tiger are allowed to roam the jungle at their pleasure? Some are fit for food, others unfit; some are beautiful, others ugly; some are endowed with great strength, others are quite helpless; some are fleet of foot, others can scarcely crawl—contrast the hare and the tortoise; some are of use to man, others appear to be quite valueless; some live for centuries, others a few months at most; some are tame, others fierce. But why all these variations and differences? What is true of the animals is equally true of the birds and fishes.

But consider now the vegetable kingdom. Why should roses have thorns, and lilies grow without them? Why should one flower emit a fragrant aroma and another have none? Why should one tree bear fruit which is wholesome and another that which is poisonous? Why should one vegetable be capable of enduring frost and another wither under it? Why should one apple tree be loaded with fruit, and another tree of the same age and in the same orchard be almost barren? Why should one plant flower a dozen times in a year and another bear blossoms but once a century? Truly, “whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He in heaven, and in the earth, in the seas, and all deep places” (Psa. 135:6).

Consider the angelic hosts. Surely we shall find uniformity here. But no; there, as elsewhere, the same sovereign pleasure of the Creator is displayed. Some are higher in rank than others; some are more powerful than others; some are nearer to God than others. Scripture reveals a definite and well-defined gradation in the angelic orders. From arch-angel, past seraphim and cherubim, we come to “principalities and powers” (Eph. 3:10), and from principalities and powers to “rulers” (Eph. 6:12), and then to the angels themselves, and even among them we read of “the elect angels” (1 Tim. 5:21). Again we ask, Why this inequality, this difference in rank and order? And all we can say is “Our God is in the heavens, He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased” (Psa. 115:3).

If then we see the sovereignty of God displayed throughout all creation, why should it be thought a strange thing if we behold it operating in the midst of the human family? Why should it be thought strange if to one God is pleased to give five talents and to another only one? Why should it be thought strange if one is born with a robust constitution and another of the same parents is frail and sickly? Why should it be thought strange if Abel is cut off in his prime, while Cain is suffered to live on for many years? Why should it be thought strange that some should be born black and others white; some be born idiots and others with high intellectual endowments; some be born constitutionally lethargic and others full of energy; some be born with a temperament that is selfish, fiery, egotistical, others who are naturally self-sacrificing, submissive and meek? Why should it be thought strange if some are qualified by nature to lead and rule, while others are only fitted to follow and serve? Heredity and environment cannot account for all these variations and inequalities. No; it is God who maketh one to differ from another. Why should He? “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight” must be our reply.

Learn then this basic truth, that the Creator is absolute Sovereign, executing His own will, performing His own pleasure, and considering nought but His own glory. “The Lord hath made all things FOR HIMSELF” (Prov. 16:4). And had He not a perfect right to? Since God is God, who dare challenge His prerogative? To murmur against Him is rank rebellion. To question His ways is to impugn His wisdom. To criticize Him is sin of the deepest dye. Have we forgotten who He is? Behold, “All nations before Him as are nothing; and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God?” (Isa. 40:17, 18).[1]

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 



[1] Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 37–38.