Monthly Archives: June 2020

In God We Trust

Category : General

Micah 7: 5(KJV)

5 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.

 

When any person gets the idea that he is the only good person remaining alive, he drifts into a detachment from his fellows and thereby forfeits all possibility of rendering further usefulness.–Wolfe 

Society is rotten, ripe for destruction – the way our own society seems to be going. Do you ever look around you at what is going on in the world and get filled with despair? How can it be righted? Does the situation ever seem to be hopeless?

 

It has been observed, “Passion and sin break every band of friendship, kindred, gratitude, and nature.” So it was in the times of the gospel persecutions. “A man’s foes are they of his own household” (Matthew 10:35-36Luke 12:53). These words would be applicable to “any seriously troubled times.” Certainly, it was the great crisis brought about by the total defeat of Israel that lay at the heart of the conditions indicated here. “This is the condition that developed in the midst of the punishment and confusion.” “It was an unnatural breakdown of cohesion in the home, the microcosm of society.” Trust ye not in a friend – faith is kept nowhere: all to a man are treacherous (Jeremiah 9:2-6). When justice is perverted by the great, faith nowhere is safe. Put ye not confidence in a guide – a counselor (Calvin) able to help and advice (cf. Psalms 118:8-9“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in princes;” Psalms 146:3). Micah means the head of your family, to whom all the members of the family would naturally repair in emergencies.” 

 

We can understand what the Prophet means by saying, Trust not a friend; that is, if any one hopes for anything from a friend, he will be deceived; for nothing can be found among men but perfidy. he had spoken of an associate or a friend, so he now adds a counselor. And it proves what he had in view, when he says in the next clause, that no enemies are worse than domestics. We hence see that the Prophet simply means, that the men of his age were not only avaricious and cruel to one another, but that without any regard to human feelings the son rebelled against his father, and thus subverted the whole order of nature; So that they had none of those affections, which seem at the same time to be incapable of being extinguished in men. 

 

Micah looked at his nation and saw that there was nothing left of righteousness and justice – it was utterly worthless – corrupt, ripe for judgment. Most prodigiously treacherous were the people of that age, and since none upright, all lay in wait for blood, and were turned hunters of brethren, it is but necessary caution that they trust no friendship. Loyalty and faithfulness, trust, could not be found in this “dog eat dog” society where everyone was only concerned with furthering his own ends. Just as it is today. In such a corrupt society you can trust no one. Lives are ruled by suspicion, looking for ulterior motives. Even those closest to you, you cannot trust or rely upon, for anyone could betray you if the price of the bribe was right. Any indiscreet word may be used against you if it works to another’s advantage. A husband must even watch what he says to his wife. What a terrible situation it is when faithfulness, loyalty and commitment have disappeared! Who can you trust? What can you rely upon? It is walking on sinking sand! Nothing firm or reliable! Just like today

 

This is not said to lessen the value of friendship; or to discourage the cultivation of it with agreeable persons; or to dissuade from a confidence in a real friend; or in the least to weaken it, and damp the pleasure of true friendship, which is one of the great blessings of life; but to set forth the sad degeneracy of the then present age, that men, who pretended to be friends, were so universally false and faithless, that there was no dependence to be had on them. People will rise up to oppress true believers; and these must abandon their nearest relations, when they prove an obstacle to salvation. Thus are the moral, and the other the literal sense. 

 

Have a great and godly day!

 

Pastor C


God is our Strength

Category : General

Habakkuk 3: 19 (KJV)

19 The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

 

The expressions are of a highly metaphorical and imaginative character, but they admit of being brought down to very plain facts, and they tell us the results in heart and mind of true faith and communion with God. This is an imitation, if not a quotation, from Ps.18:32-33. The prophet does not inwardly only exult and triumph in God, but he confesses also in words of praise, that in Him he hath all things, that He is All things in him. And as he had confessed the Father, under the Name whereby He revealed Himself to Moses, and the Son, “the Lord God of my salvation,” so he confesses God the Holy Ghost, who, in us, is our strength. “He is our strength,” so that through Him, we can do all things; “He is our strength,” so that without Him, we can do nothing; “He is our strength,” so that when we put forth strength, we put forth nothing of our own, we add nothing of our own, we use not our own strength, of which we have none, but we do use His; and we have It ever ready to use, as if it were our own. For it is not our own and it is our own; not our own, i. e., not from or of ourselves; but our own, since It is in us, yea “He the Lord our God is our strength,” not without us, for He is our strength, but in us. 

 

The prophet does not inwardly only exult and triumph in God, but he confesses also in words of praise, that in Him he hath all things, that He is All things in him. And as he had confessed the Father, under the Name whereby He revealed Himself to Moses, and the Son, “the Lord God of my salvation,” so he confesses God the Holy Ghost, who, in us, is our strength. “He is our strength,” so that through Him, we can do all things; “He is our strength,” so that without Him, we can do nothing; “He is our strength,” so that when we put forth strength, we put forth nothing of our own, we add nothing of our own, we use not our own strength, of which we have none, but we do use His; and we have It ever ready to use, as if it were our own. For it is not our own and it is our own; not our own, i. e., not from or of ourselves; but our own, since It is in us, yea “He the Lord our God is our strength,” not without us, for He is our strength, but in us. 

 

Our strength does not lie within us. The Lord is our strength – Psa.27:1; Isa.40:31; Phil. 4:13. And though this strength is inward, and used by man, still God who gives it, Himself guides it. Not that man shall “direct his own ways,” but “He will make me to walk (as on a plain way) upon my high place.” Steep and slippery places and crags of the reeks are but ways to the safe height above, to those whom God makes to walk on them; and since he has passed all things earthly, what are his high places, but the heavenly places, even his home, even while a pilgrim here, but now at the end, much more his home, when not in hope only, but in truth, he is “raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus?” Ephesians 2:6) When we are unable to stand, He enables us. When we can’t go on, He helps us. When we are in the deep valley; He leads us to higher ground.

 

Have a great and godly day!

 

Pastor C


Comfort One Another

Category : General

1 Thessalonians 5: 11

11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

 

When Handel’s oratorio of the Messiah had won the admiration of many of the great, Lord Kinnoul took occasion to pay him some compliments on the noble entertainment he had given the town. “My lord,” said the composer, “I should be sorry if I only entertained them: I wish to make them better.” It is to be feared that many speechmakers at public meetings could not say as much; and yet how dare any of us waste the time of our fellow immortals in mere amusing talk! If we have nothing to speak to edification, how much better to hold our tongue. (C. H. Spurgeon.

Paul had laid before them many comfortable truths, which they were to comfort one another by; and if we read the words, exhort one another, it refers to the necessary duties of religion he had mentioned in this and the foregoing chapter. The apostle had used this expression “comfort yourself together” in 1 Thessalonians 4:18. All that he has said since, concerning the time of Christ’s coming, and the necessity of preparing for it, is to be looked upon as a parenthesis, or digression, though an exceedingly proper and useful one: and here, by his using this expression again, he shows that he is returning to where he left off, and closing this part of his Epistle. These words are an exhortation to the whole church of Thessalonica, to comfort and edify one another. Though the ministry is appointed to this by especial office, yet private Christians are to practice it to one another; the former doth it in way of authority, the latter in a way of charity.

It is the same word that we had in the close of the preceding chapter, and which we rendered comfort, because the context required it, and the same would not suit ill with this passage also. For what he has treated of previously furnishes matter of both — of consolation as well as of exhortation. He bids them therefore, communicate to one another what has been given them by the Lord. He adds, that they may edify one another — that is, may confirm each other in that doctrine. Lest, however, it might seem as if he reproved them for carelessness, he says at the same time that they of their own accord did what he enjoins. But, as we are slow to what is good, those that are the most favorably inclined of all, have always, nevertheless, need to be stimulated.

Therefore it is important that we understand that the responsibility of Christians is to do, practice, say and engage in only those things that contribute constructively to the building up (the figure is that of a building) of fellow Christians. It is not enough merely to refrain from saying what will discourage or damage another, or from practicing what will offend another, or from doing what may tempt another. The mandate is to do what will help the spiritual life and growth of fellow-Christians. This sure hope is a sound basis for mutual encouragement and edification among believers. Not only can we comfort one another when believers die ( 1 Thessalonians 4:18), but we can also strengthen one another while we live.

 

Have a great and God filled day!

 

Pastor C


Honor God, NOT Man

Category : General

Isaiah 29:13 (KJV)

13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

 

The flippant references about God and lack of respect for authority that are rampant in our culture reflect the primal sin of not giving honor to the Creator. Unfortunately, even those of us in the church are not entirely guiltless when it comes to these sins. We must therefore seek to use the name of the Lord honorably at all times and show the proper deference to our leaders in both the tone of our speech and our deeds.—Anonymous.

 

This paragraph registers still further complaints against Israel. Their religion is not sincere. He shows that the people have deserved this punishment chiefly on account of their hypocrisy and superstitions. When he says that “they draw near with the mouth and the lips,” he describes their hypocrisy. Sure, they still sing the old songs and repeat the terminology of worshiping God; but their hearts are simply not in it at all. One cannot avoid the fear that today there must be some worship of God that falls into the pattern of what is condemned here. “Their religion had become a mere formality.” Jesus Christ reiterated the thought here in Mark 7:6,7. 

 

As is pointed out, it is sufficiently evident, that those who learn from “the inventions of men” how they should worship God, not only are manifestly foolish, but wear themselves out by destructive toil, because they do nothing else than provoke God’s anger; for he could not testify more plainly than by the tremendous severity of this chastisement, how great is the abhorrence with which he regards false worship. The flesh reckons it to be improper that God should not only reckon as worthless, but even punish severely, the efforts of those who, through ignorance and error, weary themselves in attempts to appease God; but we ought not to wonder if he thus maintains his authority. Christ himself explains this passage, saying, “In vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines, and the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9.) 

 

We are to study Jesus Christ “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart.” We are to copy his example, not only in its dignity and power and lustre, but in its condescension, humility, gentleness, tearfulness, and infinite kindness. There is a way of administering reproach which misses its very object; there is a way of speaking the right word which turns it, for all practical purposes, into the wrong word. Song of Solomon, then, it must be to Christ we come, and in Christ’s school we study. Lord, help us to speak from the height of thy Cross! Knowing the mystery of love in thy love, may our lips say the right word in the right way, and thus save souls from death and turn many to righteousness! 

 

We need to remember that we live to do His will, and to promote His glory. This is the grand purpose of the life of the Christian. Other people live to gratify themselves; the Christian to do those things which the Lord requires. In Romans 14: 9 we see the phrase “the Lord”. Here the apostle evidently intends the Lord Jesus; and the truth taught here is, that it is the leading and grand purpose of the Christian to do honor to the Savior. It is this which constitutes His special character, and which distinguishes Him from other people. It is not too difficult to see how the lack of honor for the Creator leads to other sins. After all, human beings are made to worship, and we cannot help but honor someone or something. If our honor is not directed to the Lord who made all that exists, then it is going to be directed to something else. This makes us guilty of idolatry. 

 

Have a great and godly day!

 

Pastor C


A God of Order

Category : General

1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV)

33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

 

 “Storms can bring fear, cloud judgment, and create confusion. Yet God promises that as you seek Him through prayer, He will give you wisdom to know how to proceed. The only way you will survive the storm will be on your knees.”  Paul Chappell

 

This adds another dimension to Paul’s picture of the Corinthian assembles: they were scandalous examples of utter and complete confusion. Was God the author of it? Certainly not! Is he the author of similar confusion in our own times? Certainly not! Who is the author of such confusion? Both then and now the author is Satan. Paul here appeals to them, and says that this was the fact wherever the true religion was spread, that it tended to produce peace and order. The apostle calls such conduct tumult, sedition; and such it is in the sight of God, and in the sight of all good men. How often is a work of God marred and discredited by the folly of men! For nature will always and Satan too, mingle themselves as far as they can in the genuine work of the Spirit, in order to discredit and destroy it. Nevertheless, in great revivals of religion it is almost impossible to prevent wild – fire from getting in among the true fire; but it is the duty of the ministers of God to watch against and prudently check this; but if themselves encourage it, then there will be confusion and every evil work.

 

As it has been observed and noted, this is as true now as it was then. And we may learn, therefore, “that where there is disorder, there is little religion. Religion does not produce it; and the tendency of tumult and confusion is to drive religion away. True religion will not lead to tumult, to outcries, or to irregularity. It will not prompt many to speak or pray at once; nor will it justify tumultuous and noisy assemblages. Christians should regard God as the author of peace. They should always in the sanctuary demean themselves in a reverent manner and with such decorum as becomes people when they are in the presence of a holy and pure God, and engaged in his worship.”

Also as Calvin pointed out, “we must understand the word Author, or some term of that kind. He noted that here lies a most valuable statement, by which we are taught, that we do not serve God unless in the event of our being lovers of peace, and eager to promote it. Whenever, therefore, there is a disposition to quarrel, there, it is certain, God does not reign. And how easy it is to say this! How very generally all have it in their mouths! Yet, in the meantime, the most of persons fly into a rage about nothing, or they trouble the Church, from a desire that they may, by some means, rise into view, and may seem to be somewhat. (Galatians 2:6.) 

 

Let not the persons who act in the congregation in this disorderly manner, say, that they are under the influence of God; for He is not the author of confusion; but two, three, or more, praying or teaching in the same place, at the same time, is confusion; and God is not the author of such work; and let men beware how they attribute such disorder to the God of order and peace. Let us, therefore, bear in mind, that, in judging as to the servants of Christ, this mark must be kept in view whether or not they aim at peace and concord, and, by conducting themselves peaceably, avoid contentions to the utmost of their power, provided, however, we understand by this a peace of which the truth of God is the bond. For if we are called to contend against wicked doctrines, even though heaven and earth should come together, we must, nevertheless, persevere in the contest. 

 

“Confusion and impotence are the inevitable results when the wisdom and resources of the world are substituted for the presence and power of the Spirit.”  Samuel Chadwick

 

Have a great and godly day!

 

Pastor C


Be Kind

Category : General

Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

 

Kindness is not weakness, it is being human–CM 

“A roughness of manners is to some unavoidable; it is partly owing to the peculiar texture of their mind, and partly to their education. But there are others who glory in, and endeavor to cultivate, this ungentle disposition; under this is often concealed a great degree of spiritual pride, and perhaps some malignity; for they think that this roughness gives them a right to say grating, harsh, and severe things.”— A. Clarke 

 

Here we find that the exhortations given in this chapter, if properly attended to, have the most direct tendency to secure the peace of the individual, the comfort of every family, and the welfare and unity of every Christian society. He recommends to us to be tender-hearted This will lead us not only to sympathize with the distresses of our brethren, as if they were our own, but to cultivate that true humanity which is affected by everything that happens to them, in the same manner as if we were in their situation. The contrary of this is the cruelty of those iron-hearted, barbarous men, by whom the sufferings of others are beheld without any concern whatever. That God never prohibits any thing that is useful to us, is an unshaken truth. And that he never commands what has not the most pointed relation to our present and eternal welfare, is not less so. How is it, then, that we do not glory in his commandments and rejoice in his prohibitions? If the gratification of our fleshly propensities could do us good, that gratification had never been forbidden. God plants thorns in the way that would lead us to death and perdition.

 

It has been tried and proven that Christianity produces true courteousness, or politeness. It does not make one rough, crabby, or sour; nor does it dispose its followers to violate the proper rules of social contact. The secret of true politeness is “benevolence,” or a desire to make others happy; and a Christian should be the most polite of people. There is no religion in a sour, misanthropic temper; none in rudeness, stiffness, and repulsiveness; none in violating the rules of good breeding. There is a hollow-hearted politeness, indeed, which the Christian is not to aim at or copy. His politeness is to be based on “kindness;” Colossians 3:12. His courtesy is to be the result of love, good-will, and a desire of the happiness of all others; and this will prompt to the kind of conduct that will render his conversation. with others agreeable and profitable.

It is very important especially for Christians to understand that it is the will of God to properly instructed; that they should become wise and intelligent; and have their understandings well cultivated and improved. Sound learning is of great worth, even in religion; the wisest and best instructed Christians are the most steady, and may be the most useful. If a man be a child in knowledge, he is likely to be tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine; and often lies at the mercy of interested, designing men: the more knowledge he has, the more safe is his state. If our circumstances be such that we have few means of improvement, we should turn them to the best account. “Partial knowledge is better than total ignorance; he who cannot get all he may wish, must take heed to acquire all that he can.” If total ignorance be a bad and dangerous thing, every degree of knowledge lessens both the evil and the danger. It must never be forgotten that the Holy Scriptures themselves are capable of making men wise unto salvation, if read and studied with faith in Christ. 

Let the rule be observed, “As God has forgiven you, so do you forgive others.” Let a man recollect his own sins and follies; let him look over his life, and see how often he has offended God; let him remember that all has been forgiven; and then, fresh with this feeling, let him go and meet an offending brother, and say, “My brother, I forgive you. As Christ has forgiven me; so I forgive you. The offence shall be no more remembered. It shall not be referred to in our contact to harrow up your feelings; it shall not diminish my love for you; it shall not prevent my uniting with you in doing good. Christ treats me, a poor sinner, as a friend; and so I will treat you.”

 

Have a great and godly day!

 

Pastor C


Confidence in God NOT Man

Category : General

Psalm 9:10 (KJV)

10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

 

It is said Man, whilst ignorant of God, is always leaning on an arm of flesh. See God’s ancient people, how continually were even they, notwithstanding all their advantages, trusting in the creature, rather than in God. To Egypt or Assyria they looked, in their troubles, rather than to their heavenly protector. Indeed, there was not anything on which they would not rely, rather than on God (Isaiah 22:8-11). But, when they were made sensible of their folly, and had discovered the real character of God, they instantly renounced all these false confidences, saying, “Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses; neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in Thee the fatherless findeth mercy. (Hosea 14:3).

In the tenth verse, the Psalmist teaches us, that when the Lord delivers the righteous, the fruit which results from it is, that they themselves, and all the rest of the righteous, acquire increasing confidence in His grace; for, unless we are fully persuaded that God exercises a care about men and human affairs, we must necessarily be troubled with constant disquietude. But as most men shut their eyes that they may not see the judgments of God, David restricts this advantage to the faithful alone, and, certainly, where there is no godliness, there is no sense of the works of God. It is also to be observed, that he attributes to the faithful the knowledge of God; because from this religion proceeds, whereas it is extinguished through the ignorance and stupidity of men. Many take the name of God simply for God himself; but, as I have observed in a remark on a preceding psalm, I think something more is expressed by this term. As God’s essence is hidden and incomprehensible, His name just means His character, so far as He has been pleased to make it known to us. David next explains the ground of this trust in God to be, that He does not forsake those who seek Him. God is sought in two ways, either by invocation and prayers, or by studying to live a holy and an upright life; and, indeed, the one is always inseparably joined with the other. But as the Psalmist is here treating of the protection of God, on which the safety of the godly depends, to seek God, as I understand it, is to submit ourselves to Him for help and relief in danger and distress. It is all about trust!

Few words are more frequently used in the Bible than the word faith, and the thing which it is intended to describe is of prime importance. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews devotes an entire chapter to showing its majesty and weight. In the Epistle to the Romans the word faith plays a leading part, but the word is not defined. Still, the word is not always used in the same sense. Sometimes it is applied to what a man believes, the body of doctrine which constitutes the Divine deposit of the Church. Sometimes the word is used to describe the firmness of a man’s personal convictions, or the consistency of his conduct, as when it is said that whatever is not of faith is sin. In the great majority of instances, however, faith describes a personal relation of unqualified confidence between man and God. This is the simple root from which the other forms of faith grow. Faith is trust, a trust without suspicion or fear, trust passing into glad and habitual surrender, so that He in whom we trust becomes our teacher, guide, and master. 

The idea of this psalm is that is, all who have any just views of God, or who understand his real character, will confide in him. This is as much as to say, that He has a character which is worthy of confidence and since they who know Him best most unreservedly rely on Him. It is the same as saying that all the revelations of His character in His word and works are such as to make it proper to confide in Him. The more intimate our knowledge of God, the more entirely shall we trust in Him; the more we learn of His real character, the more shall we see that He is worthy of universal love. It is much to say of anyone that the more He is known the more He will be loved; and in saying this of God, it is but saying that one reason why men do not confide in Him is that they do not understand His real character. As Micah pointed out, our God is a God of mercy, justice and humility. He is also a Peacemaker and those that follow Him must demonstrate those qualities as well.

 

Have a great and godly day!

Pastor C