Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


May 21, 2017
Be Content
“I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11)
 
The English word “content” can bring up thoughts of indifference and mild temperament. Modern usage tends to give “content” a negative connotation, as though such an attitude has little ambition or drive.
 
Not so of the Greek term that the Holy Spirit chose for this passage. It is composed of the pronoun for “self” and the noun for “sufficiency.” Both in Scripture and in secular Greek literature, the word demands an ability to conquer whatever circumstances that may oppose one’s purpose or goal and to continue through in spite of difficulties.
 
The context of our text is a prime example. Paul had experienced hunger and satisfaction. He knew what it meant to be obscure and to be a celebrity. There were times when he had more than enough resources to accomplish what he understood God had called him to do, and other times when resources were very scarce. In whatever state he found himself, Paul had learned to be self-sufficient.
 
Our problem is that we often are looking only at the physical and circumstantial issues and have not learned that our Lord Jesus provides grace that “is sufficient for thee: for [His] strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The resources of the omnipotent Godhead are enough for us to “be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
 
The self-sufficiency of the twice-born rests on the eternal fact that God “worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). HMM III

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS III, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH
 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Sunday Sermonette


May 14, 2017
The Mother of Us All
“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (Genesis 3:20)
 
Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was called the mother of all “the children of promise” (Galatians 4:28), and the wife of Noah was the mother of all post-Flood mankind, but Mother Eve, alone, was “the mother of all living.” “Adam was first formed, then Eve,” Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:13, and so-called “Christian evolutionists” have never yet been able to explain God’s unique formation of Eve’s body in any kind of an evolutionary context.
 
Eve, as our first mother, experienced all the great joys and great sorrows that all later mothers would know. She evidently had many “sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:4) and probably lived to see many generations of grandchildren. With Adam, she had even known paradise, but sin had entered their lives when they rebelled against God’s Word, and God had to say, “In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children” (Genesis 3:16). The greatest sorrow was no doubt when Cain slew Abel, and as with another mother whose Son’s innocent blood was shed many years later, it was like a sword piercing her own soul (Luke 2:35).
 
Nevertheless, as near as we can tell, after her first great sin, Eve trusted God’s Word henceforth and received His forgiveness and salvation. Later, as the mother of Seth, she taught him and her grandson, Enos, about the Lord and all His promises. “Then began men to call upon the name of the LORD” (Genesis 4:26).
 
Most Christian believers are looking forward to seeing their own mothers again someday—restating their love and appreciation for all they did in bearing them, and in caring, teaching, and praying for them. But it will be a wonderful experience to meet our first mother, also, as well as Sarah, Hannah, Mary, and all the other godly mothers of old. HMM

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


May 7, 2017
He Counted Me Faithful
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” (1 Timothy 1:12)
 
The testimony of a changed life is perhaps the best evidence that God is alive and active today. The fact that at salvation a dead slave to sin is given life and a new nature comprises the only rational explanation for one who lives in victory and power after a lifetime of defeat.
 
Take Paul, for example. Our introduction to him is at the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58), after which his ardor for the Jewish traditions and hatred of Christianity caused him to wreak “havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison” (Acts 8:3). This was not just casual opposition, for he was “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1). He was a “blasphemer, and a persecutor [not only of Christians, but of Christ Himself—Acts 9:5], and injurious” (1 Timothy 1:13).
 
However, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I [Paul] am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15), he said. Paul “obtained mercy” (v. 13), not receiving the punishment he deserved, through “the grace of our Lord [which] was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (v. 14), even though he was not even seeking God (Acts 9:1-5).
 
To a greater or lesser degree, God has worked that same work of grace in each life that now belongs to Him. Paul called himself the chief of sinners, but each of us has done or has been capable of equally heinous acts. Through His grace, we are not only rescued from addiction to sin, but rehabilitated and empowered and given, as we see in our text, missions to accomplish that are of eternal significance. Let us “thank Christ Jesus our Lord” with Paul. JDM

h/t: J D MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


April 30, 2017
Christ the Foundation
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11)
 
The only sure and lasting foundation for either a Christian institution or an individual Christian life is the Lord Jesus Christ. No other foundation will endure in that coming day when “the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (v. 13).
 
It is vital, therefore, to build on the foundation that Christ Himself has laid. This is laid in three courses, each of which is essential for its permanence. First of all, we must acknowledge with the apostle that “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands” (Hebrews 1:10). He is the Creator of all things, and therefore Lord over all.
 
Second, we must acknowledge with Peter that we have been “redeemed . . . with the precious blood of Christ . . . who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:18-20). His foreordained work of redemption thus was foundational even to the foundation of the world!
 
Then there is the Word of God, which is foundational to everything beyond creation and redemption. “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them. . . . He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock” (Luke 6:47-48).
 
The Lord Jesus Christ is the true foundation, for He has Himself laid every sure foundation. He created all things, His shed blood is the price to redeem all things, and His written Word, by His Holy Spirit, reveals all things needed to build a beautiful, fruitful Christian life or ministry. No other foundation will last, and “if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). HMM


h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Last Sunday

My apologies for not posting last Sunday. I was travelling and not well!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Resurrection Day Sermonette


April 16, 2017
The Resurrection and the Believer
“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)
 
The resurrection of Christ is no less crucial to the gospel than the death of Christ. If He did not rise from the dead, then we who believe in Him “are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19).
 
Christ’s resurrection assures us, first of all, of our justification. Speaking of Abraham’s faith and the imputation of God’s righteousness to him, Paul writes, “For us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:24-25).
 
God imparts to us the power to serve Him effectively through the resurrection, “that [we] may know . . . what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead” (Ephesians 1:18-20). As the passage continues, Paul declares that through the resurrection Christ is now “the head over all things to the church, which is His body” (vv. 22-23 and also in our text).
 
In His resurrected and glorified state, Christ continues His ministry to us. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens. . . . Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14, 16).
 
Finally, Christ’s resurrection assures us that we too will one day be resurrected, if we should die before He returns. “He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:14). JDM

 h/t: J D MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH






 
 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


April 9, 2017
Judgment Is Coming
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)
 
There is only one thing that is absolutely sure to happen to every person—everyone will have to face God some day. Not even “death and taxes” are certain for every one, but meeting God for an accounting of one’s life is certain!
 
Therefore, as the prophet Amos warned some 2,500 years ago: “Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel” (Amos 4:12). “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
 
To the Christian believer, of course, there is no need to fear hell, for there is “now no condemnation [that is, ‘judgment’] to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). The Lord Jesus has paid for our sins and purchased our redemption with His shed blood. He “was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25).
 
Nevertheless, we as Christians still “must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10), where “the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide . . . he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).
 
Those who die in unbelief, however, not having trusted Christ as their Savior, will face a different meeting with God. John describes the awesome scene as he saw it in his prophecy. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12). But no one can ever be saved by his works (Ephesians 2:9). Therefore, “whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). HMM

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


 April 2, 2017
Health and Wealth
“If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous. Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.” (Job 8:6-7)
 
Bildad was reflecting the half truths and logic Satan used with Eve (2 Corinthians 11:3). When theology or philosophy differ from Scripture, the choice is either one or the other. Attempting to amalgamate the differences always leads to error. The prosperity gospel often taught today is an extension of that error.
 
Satan refused to understand that some of the human race were “perfect and upright” like Job (Job 1:1) and loved and trusted God for their eternal destiny. Such godly people cannot be bought by possessions or circumstances. As Job later said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).
 
Satan’s original lie to Adam and Eve was that they could obtain the power of God by grasping the “secret” of evil. As the human race grew more despicable, embracing Satan’s lie, Satan began using the duplicity of angelic power and human procreation (Genesis 6:1-4) to attempt his coveted coup (Isaiah 14:13). That was destroyed by God with the great Flood.
 
Satan tried again with Nimrod at Babel and was defeated when God confounded human language. Lucifer then attempted to “trick” God into taking away His blessing on Job so Satan would have an example to show of God’s capricious care. All Satan got for his efforts was the testimony of this great man enshrined in Scripture to encourage the rest of humanity. “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (James 5:11). HMM III

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS III, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


March 26, 2017
The New Heavens and New Earth
“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” (Isaiah 65:17)
 
There is a glorious future awaiting the redeemed. Although God’s primeval creation of the heavens and the earth is eternal (note Psalm 148:6, etc.), these are now groaning in pain under the effects of sin and the curse. When the Lord returns, they will be “delivered from the bondage of corruption into . . . glorious liberty” (Romans 8:21), and God will make them all new again, with all the scars of sin and death burned away by His refining fires (2 Peter 3:10).
 
There are four explicit references in the Bible to these “renewed” heavens and Earth. In addition to our text, which assures us that they will be so wonderful that this present earth and its heavens will soon be forgotten, there is the great promise of Isaiah 66:22: “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.” Thus, that heavens and Earth will remain eternally, and so will all who dwell there, with their true spiritual children. Note also that both God’s “creation” and “making” powers will be applied to the new heavens and new earth, just as they were to the first (Genesis 2:3).
 
The third and fourth references are in the New Testament. “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13). Not only will no sin be present there, neither will the results of sin and the curse. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; . . . And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:1, 4). HMM

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


March 19, 2017
The Terror of the Lord
“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” (2 Corinthians 5:11)
 
The use of the English word “terror” in this verse as a translation of the Greek phobos (from which we get our word “phobia”) indicates that the frequent Old Testament phrase “fear of the LORD” means much more than implied in the modern euphemism “reverential trust.” The only other New Testament use of this phrase is in Acts 9:31: “Then had the churches rest . . . and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”
 
These two passages seem to be informing us that when a church is “walking in the terror of the Lord,” its members will be seeking every means whereby to “persuade men” to come to Christ, and therefore its numbers will increase.
 
This impassioned persuasion of the lost is motivated by knowledge that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10). That is, we know that the Lord Jesus, who died for lost sinners and has commissioned us to tell them of His great salvation, will be highly displeased if we don’t do so, or if our testimony is compromised by our selfish lives. At His judgment seat, “the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. . . . If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:13, 15).
 
The terror of the Lord, when we appear before Him in that day, is not the only motive for witnessing, of course. “The love of Christ constraineth us,” and when our testimony is received (our motives being “manifest unto God” and even to the “consciences” of those to whom we witness), then the glorious result is “a new creature” in Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:14, 17). HMM

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


March 12, 2017
In the Spirit
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18)
 
We cannot see or hear the Holy Spirit, but He is very real and is, in fact, the very life of each true Christian. It is only through Him that we have access in prayer to the Father, as our text points out. Christ in His resurrection body is seated at the right hand of the Father in the distant heavens, but the Holy Spirit has His temple in our very bodies.
 
He not only hears each spoken prayer, but also each thought of our hearts. From the moment we receive Christ, we live in the Spirit; He is always with us, to guide our steps, to bear witness with our spirits that we belong to God, to illumine our understanding, and, when needed, to convict and chasten when we get out of His will.
 
Therefore, “if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). When we yield to some worldly temptation, it is because we have ignored this admonition, for the promise is “walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). The very presence of the Holy Spirit assures our eternal salvation, so how can we ignore His holy constraints on our behavior? “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). We speak of worshiping God in church, or home, or elsewhere, but if we really worship Him, we must “worship God in the spirit” (Philippians 3:3), for we have access to the Father, and the Son, only in the Spirit.
 
When we pray, we must be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18). “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. . . . For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:9, 14). HMM

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


 March 5, 2017
The Unmuzzled Ox
“Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.” (Deuteronomy 25:4)
 
This Mosaic regulation would seem rather insignificant except that it is quoted twice in the New Testament. “For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?” (1 Corinthians 9:9-10). Yes, but that is not the main purpose behind this law. “Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.” This application is drawn in verse 14: “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” That is, supporting financially those who devote full time to God’s work is not “charitable giving” but compensation for services, with the pay to be provided by those who receive the benefit of their labors.
 
This is even more clear in the second reference: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward” (1 Timothy 5:17-18), the latter part quoting words of Christ (Luke 10:7). Incidentally, note that both New Testament and Old Testament Scriptures are considered divinely inspired and authoritative on any subject with which they deal.
 
The subject here is just compensation for those who devote their time, training, and abilities to the work of the Word, under the call and leading of God, as recognized by the people of God. This seemingly insignificant principle, if faithfully obeyed, would greatly enlarge the effectiveness and outreach of the Christian witness in the world. HMM


h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


February 26, 2017
Shadows of His Presence
“And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” (Isaiah 32:2)
 
In the context of this beautiful verse, the “man” is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. To one who had been traveling in the heat of the desert, such as the Sinai wilderness, nothing was so welcome as the cool shadows behind a great rock in which one could rest for a while from the hardships of the wearying land. The symbol of the shadow is often used in the Old Testament to illustrate the refreshing presence of the Lord.
 
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1). Wherever His loved ones go, He is there, and our dwelling place is there in His shadow.
 
There is safety there, also. “Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice” (63:7). “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust” (91:4). He is the great Eagle as well as the great Rock, and finally also the great Tree. “As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste” (Song of Solomon 2:3).
 
The shadow of a great rock in a weary land, the shadow of the wings of a great eagle, the shadow of a delightful fruit tree, all of these speak beautifully of the refreshing, protecting, satisfying shadow of His presence. These are the shadows of the Almighty God, who made heaven and Earth, and now holds us in His hand. “I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people” (Isaiah 51:16). HMM

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


February 19, 2017
Naming Names
“Their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” (2 Timothy 2:17-18)
 
Many Christians decry the citing of actual names of those Christian leaders who teach heretical doctrines, saying that such an act is “unloving.” Paul, however, considered it an important evidence of true love to warn against those who would “overthrow the faith of some,” realizing that generalities would be useless.
 
Not only did Hymenaeus and Philetus make Paul’s list, but so did Demas (2 Timothy 4:10), Alexander the coppersmith (2 Timothy 4:14), the Cretians (Titus 1:12), another Alexander (1 Timothy 1:20), and even Peter (Galatians 2:11-14) when he began to teach legalism. Likewise, John warned against Diotrephes (3 John 1:9) and the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:6).
 
On the other hand, Paul was much more generous with name recognition when he was giving out commendations (e.g., Romans 16:1-15;Colossians 4:7-17). We undoubtedly need to follow his example in appreciating by name those who are faithful in teaching and living the truth.
 
Likewise, we need to be ready and willing to name those individuals, churches, schools, and other organizations that are denying biblical inerrant authority, compromising the doctrine of special creation, requiring humanistic works for salvation, or bringing in other heretical doctrines. We obviously need to be sure of our facts when we do this and also to bring such charges only if motivated by genuine concern for those apt to be led astray if we don’t speak out. But then we must, indeed, “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). HMM

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday Sermonette

February 12, 2017
The Golden Scepter
“And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near and touched the top of the sceptre.” (Esther 5:2)

Queen Esther knew she was risking her life when she came unbidden into the presence of the mighty king of Persia in his throne room. Even though she was his favorite wife, he did not know she was a Jew or that she was hoping to get Haman’s terrible order for genocide of the Jews reversed. She knew that it was a capital offense for even a queen to go into the throne room without authorization, and that only the king—by holding out to her his golden scepter—could save her life. But she also knew that she had “come to the kingdom for such a time as this,” and so she said: “If I perish, I perish” (4:14, 16). The king, however, did extend his golden sceptre to her, and even said: “What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee” (5:6).

In a beautiful way, this is also a picture of our own coming to Christ, the King of kings. One does not have to be a queen, however, for “whosoever will” may come (Revelation 22:17) if he has the courage to die to the world and the faith to believe that Christ can save. The Lord Jesus Christ graciously says to those who come to Him in faith, believing: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do” (John 14:13).

The invitation is to “whosoever” and the promise is for “whatsoever”! “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). None dared enter the court of the Persian king without being called, but we have been called by our heavenly King, for “a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom” (1:8). HMM

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sunday Sermonette

February 5, 2017
Working by Faith
“So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.” (Matthew 20:8)
 
This parable has long caused perplexity, not only among the workers in the parable, but also among readers ever since. Why would the Lord teach that wages paid for a given type of work should be the same for one hour’s work as for 12? His only explanation was that it was the owner’s right to do what he wanted with his own money, and that “the last shall be first, and the first last” (v. 16).
 
He also pointed out to the complaining workmen that he had completely fulfilled his contract with them. Early in the morning, this group of laborers had negotiated their own terms with him, and “he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day” (v. 2). Those he hired later in the day had said nothing at all about pay, being glad merely to work and willing to trust the lord of the vineyard to treat them fairly. This most probably means that the owner had first approached the early morning workers on the same basis, but they were unwilling to work without a contract negotiated on their own terms.
 
This is the difference. The first group insisted on a firm contract, and the owner therefore insisted on honoring it. The others worked by faith, trusting in the lord, knowing him to be a man of integrity and justice. Furthermore, they would have been willing to work all day long on this same basis, but they had no opportunity. They needed the job, and the owner, knowing their needs and their willing hearts, decided to pay them on the basis of what they would have done had they had the opportunity.
 
In any case, the parable surely teaches us that our heavenly rewards are not based on quantity of services rendered but on quality, with full account taken of opportunities, motivation, and trust in the Lord. HMM
 h/t:  HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH
 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


 January 29, 2017
Lovingkindness and Tender Mercy
“Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.” (Psalm 25:6)
 
These beautiful words, “tender mercies” and “lovingkindness,” may sound somewhat old-fashioned in today’s sophisticated jargon, but the divine attributes they represent have been “ever of old” and will continue to characterize our tender and merciful, kind and loving God of all grace forever. Dropping them from our conversation (even in most newer translations of the Bible) is a sad loss that, to some degree, has impoverished our speech and, perhaps, our souls.
 
Note some of the rich scriptural testimonies associated with them: “[The LORD] redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (Psalm 103:4). “Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me” (Psalm 40:11). “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1). “Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good; turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies” (Psalm 69:16).
 
Other than Proverbs 12:10 (“the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel”), all the occurrences of these two terms, either alone or together, are applied by the translators only to the Lord, never to men (the Hebrew words are rendered by other words in the King James when applied to people). This is beautifully appropriate, for our gracious God is uniquely the God of love and mercy. In spite of the fact that none of us deserve His lovingkindness or tender mercy, “the LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Psalm 145:8-9). HMM


h/t:  HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


January 22, 2017
The Psalm of Life
“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” (Psalm 91:2)
 
This marvelous psalm of life and security follows a psalm of frailty and death (Psalm 90) written by Moses, who may have been the author of this psalm as well. For our devotional study today, attention is called to the change of personal pronoun throughout, implying a dialogue between three speakers.
 
The psalm begins as a godly teacher, or prophet, or perhaps an angel bestows a benediction upon the believer: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1), ascribing the security of the believer to the character of God.
 
The believer responds to this blessing by avowing his trust in God and in His character (v. 2).
 
To the testimony of the believer, the first speaker replies, expounding on the former blessing, detailing the protection provided by God (vv. 3-8) and the blessings of that care. Note, “because thou [the believer] hast made the LORD [Jehovah], which is my [the speaker’s] refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone” (vv. 9-12).
 
At the end, Jehovah Himself responds, confirming all that the speaker has said: “Because he [the believer] hath set his love upon me [Jehovah], therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation” (vv. 14-16). JDM

h/t: JD MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH