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Showing posts with label Leviticus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leviticus. Show all posts

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Awe and Reverence - Continuously Devoted to God - Purity 1178

 

Awe and Reverence - Continuously Devoted to God - Purity 1178

Purity 1178 10/21/2023  Purity 1178 Podcast

Purity 1178 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the heavens touching the earth through the awesome power of a lightning strike touching down on the waters off of Hallet Cove in South Australia comes to us from Dave Baun Photography (https://www.facebook.com/DaveBaunPhotography) , as Dave shared this scene, from the stormy Monday night of October 2nd, on his photography FB to “light up  Saturday night!” back on October 7th.  

Well, it is Saturday and I share Dave’s photo because of its beauty and power to fill us with awe and wonder, and because rain is in the forecast in my neck of the woods, but it is my prayer that all my friends who hear or read this message will recognize the awesome power of God, be humbled by it, obey His commands, and take some time this weekend to thank and worship Him.

While lightning may have been used as a conduit of God’s wrath in the past, (Elijah’s “fire from heaven” in 2 Kings 1) it is definitely listed as an accompanying sign of the “final chapter of“ God’s future wrath as it coincides with the sounding of the seventh trumpet (Rev 11:19) and the pouring out of the seventh bowl of God’s wrath (in Rev 16:17-20). which some theorize as simultaneous events of God’s judgment on the “Day of the Lord”, when those who don’t stand with God through faith in Jesus Christ will be destroyed as Jesus comes back to reclaim the earth to rule and reign for 1,000 years (Rev 20:4-6). 

While the idea of God’s wrath and the events of Revelation can be scary, Christians should not be afraid for they have been forgiven of their transgressions, have peace with God, and are members of His kingdom -right now- because of Jesus. But at the same time, we should never lose our sense of reverence and respect for the Lord because of His magnificent power and because of our love and respect for God seek to do His will always.  

My morning Bible study today had me in Acts 2, and I was reminded of the reverence and obedience of those who put their faith in the day of Pentecost.  

After the three thousand heard Peter’s message of how Jesus was the promised Messiah, whom they had crucified, they were compelled to put their faith in Jesus and repent to be “saved from this perverse generation (Acts 2:40). The text then tells us in:

Acts 2:41-42 (NASB)
41  So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.
42  They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

The thing that struck me to the heart this morning as I read these words is the fact that I know and love many people who would call themselves Christians who have either lost the awe, wonder, and reverence for the Lord and are not “continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching, fellowship and prayer” or who may have never had love or reverence for the Lord at all - as they have not only – not continued in -displaying the fruits of Christian discipleship practices – they have steadfastly refused to participate in them or in the clear command to be baptized.  

Devotion is an act of love, not discipline. So while I of all people understand the great value of grace and our freedom in Christ, I fear that those who claim their freedom as a reason to NOT devote themselves to the apostle’s teachings, fellowship, and prayer and refuse to be baptized may discover that their hopes of heaven or claims to God’s kingdom will be denied as their wanton disobedience and rebellious spirit will revealed as the evidence that Jesus never knew them and they will instead face God’s wrath rather than receiving His mercy.   

When I hear supposed “Christians”, say things like: 

“I don’t believe that!” or “I don’t have to do that!”  when they are confronted with Biblical truth, I truly wonder and worry about their eternal destiny and whether they will be saved. 

But I don’t worry too much. I can’t believe for them, and I trust that God will do what is right with all of us. He knows who has trusted in Jesus and while those things – those spiritual practices - we should be continually devoted to can be a wonderful way to express our understanding and love of God – none of them will save us. 

It doesn’t matter if you take the plunge of baptism, read the Bible, go to church, or pray if you don’t have genuine faith in Jesus.  Our faith is a relationship with God and while those outward expressions of spirituality could fool our fellow man, and possibly ourselves, into believing that we are united with God. the Lord knows who are His and who are just “going through the motions.”

When the truth of God is revealed to us and we say “Yes” to Jesus, the Lord invades our minds and hearts with the Holy Spirit and He drives us to seek and live by God’s truth.  The realization of our wicked condition prior to Christ and the generous grace and mercy that has been given to us by God breaks our hearts, causes us to love God, and drives our devotion to follow Him in all our ways.   

That’s what happened to the three thousand who surrendered to the Lordship of Christ on the day of Pentecost, and that is what continues to happen today to those who believe and trust in Jesus.  

So this weekend, let’s remember the Lord and how awesome He is and let’s continue to devote ourselves continuously to prayer, knowing the Apostle’s teaching in the New Testament, and to regular Christian fellowship. 

MacArthur’s commentary states that “fellowship” literally means “partnership” or “sharing” and that:

 “Because Christians become partners with Jesus Christ and all other believers (1Jn 1:3), it is their spiritual duty to stimulate one another to righteousness and obedience (cf. Ro 12:10; 13:8; 15:5; Gal 5:13; Eph 4:2, 25; 5:21; Col 3:9; 1Th 4:9; Heb 3:13; 10:24, 25; 1Pe 4:9, 10).

So let me stimulate you by encouraging you to pursue righteousness and to walk in obedience to God’s word but to also remember to draw close to the Lord in love for our life in Christ is demonstrated not by regular disciplines but by a heartfelt continuous devotion to Him.  

John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Ac 2:42.     

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Bitterness, Resentment, & Hate.

Leviticus 19:16-17 (NASB)
16  'You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the LORD.
17  'You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him.

Today’s verses fall under the seventh point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Bitterness, Resentment, & Hate.

 7. Hatred is forbidden.

Today’s verses are clear commands from the Lord that instruct us to be the people He created us to be by telling us what NOT to do. 

We are not to slander. We are not to act against the lives of our neighbors. We are not to hate people in our hearts (our interior thoughts and emotions matter).  And while we are to be loving, we are also called to speak the truth in love as it is indicated here that we “may surely reprove our neighbor” – but not incur sin because of him.  

That’s a delicate balance there.  I thought the word “reprove” meant to “correct someone” but a quick google search revealed that while I wasn’t necessarily wrong with my definition – the word “reprove” goes a little beyond just “correction” as the words that define “reprove”, provided by Oxford Languages, include:

Reprimand, rebuke, scold, chastise, admonish, and berate.   Some colorful phrases were also listed for the word reprove that give you a sense of the severity of what the word means.  “Read someone the riot act”. “Haul over the coals” “Give someone a talking to (or telling off)”, “Slap someone’s wrist” and “Let someone have it” are all phrases that are listed to tell us what reprove means and obviously that goes beyond mere “correction”, and it is no wonder that the Lord warns us to “not incur sin because of him.”

So even though we should be clear in telling people what is true and righteous according to God’s word – we have to remember God’s word and not become a slanderer, work against someone’s life, or hate them in our hearts when we do so.  

As always, when we consider anger, bitterness, or hatred, we have to remember that we too have been wrong in the past and needed to be “Reproved” by God and brought to faith and repentance.  We have been forgiven and if we remember that we could very well reprove someone without hating or harming them by forgiving them for not knowing how wrong they were – because we were wrong once – and still are quite often on occasion. 

So be careful in “offering correction” and know that being a “hater” was not who God created you to be.

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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  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3) 

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

31 - The Spirit Endowing

Nine Gifts

In 1 Corinthians 12:8–10 we are supplied with a list of those extraordinary gifts of the Spirit which then obtained—we use the word “extraordinary” in contrast from His ordinary gifts, or those which obtain in all ages and generations. “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues” (1 Cor. 12:8–10). It will be noted that just as “the fruit of the Spirit” is divided into nine graces (Gal. 5:22, 23), so “the ministration of the Spirit” is here described under nine distinct gifts. A very few words must now suffice upon them.

“The word of wisdom” (1 Cor. 12:8) was a special gift bestowed upon the Apostles (hence it heads this list of gifts) for the defense of the Gospel against powerful adversaries: see Luke 21:15! “The word of knowledge” was a special gift bestowed on all then called of God to preach the Gospel: it supernaturally qualified them to expound Divine mysteries without protracted study and lengthy experience: see Acts 4:13! “To another faith,” a special gift which enabled its possessor to trust God in any emergency, and to boldly face a martyr’s death: see Acts 6:5. The “gifts of healing” and “the working of miracles” are seen in their exercise by the Apostles in the Acts. “To another prophecy” or immediate inspiration and revelation from God. Upon “tongues” and their “interpretation” we shall have more to say later.[1]

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).