Nuggets – Who Is Faithful?

“Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6)

Faithfulness is like a rare and precious gem. It is difficult to find a real such gem, though there are many who will offer their virtues as a substitute.

Moses, however, was one such man. “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house” (Hebrews 3:5). So was Abraham. “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham” (Galatians 3:9). Moses and Abraham were full of faith in God’s Word; therefore they were faithful to God’s Word. The very word “faithful” means “full of faith.”

God is not impressed with those who boast of themselves and their qualifications or who belittle others. “It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory” (Proverbs 25:27). Actions speak louder than words, and it is better to let one’s works speak for themselves. “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works” (James 2:18). The rare quality of faithfulness—firm and reliable commitment to one’s convictions and responsibilities, in accordance with God’s Word and God’s leading—is proved in practice rather than proclamation. May God help us to be faithful servants, for “it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). It is quality, not quantity, of service that God measures. Faithfulness—not fruitfulness—is required.

There is one glorious promise regarding faithfulness—not our faithfulness, but the faithfulness of our Savior. “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith [literally, ‘faithfulness’] of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be [found] true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:3-4). HMM 

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – Garments of Salvation

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

One of the beautiful biblical metaphors of salvation is that of clothing appropriate for coming into God’s presence. Such clothing is not something we ourselves can make or purchase; it must be prepared and provided by God.

Adam and Eve tried to dress themselves in fig leaves, but that could not avail. Their Creator God first had to slay two innocent animals, and then He made “coats of skins and clothed them” (see Genesis 3:7, 21).

So it is today. If we try to come to God dressed in our works of righteousness, we can never make it, for “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” in the presence of a holy God (Isaiah 64:6). He must provide the clothing. As our text says, “he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.”

In Jesus’ parable of the wedding feast for the king’s son, there was one man who wanted to participate in the feast, but who tried to come in his own attire, disdaining the wedding garment provided by the king for his guests. When the king asked, “How camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?” he was speechless (Matthew 22:12), and then was bound hand and foot and thrown “into outer darkness” (v. 13).

When “the marriage of the Lamb is come,” His bride must be “arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: . . . the righteousness of saints” (Revelation 19:7-8). But this righteousness will be His, “for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10). Therefore, we are exhorted to “put on thy beautiful garments” (Isaiah 52:1) and be prepared to meet our King. HMM 

From the Institute for Creation Research

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I was not raised in church.. Continue reading

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Nuggets – Kingdom of Priests

“And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:6)

These were the words of God to Israel, even before they received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. As a priest serves as an intermediary between God and men, so this “kingdom of priests” had been called by God to bring God’s Word to man. As a holy nation with such a high calling, its people also should have been holy (that is, consecrated to God) in life and witness. But instead, after almost 2,000 years, God had to lament: “All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people” (Romans 10:21).

A day will come when “all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26), but God has, in the meantime, chosen a new people, in whom “there is neither Jew nor Greek . . . for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). We are now “one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Romans 12:5).

We now have been given the same high privileges long ago given to Israel. We who belong to Christ have been “born again” into the “kingdom of God” (John 3:3), and this is nothing less than a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. Peter said: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).

Not only are we a holy priesthood, we are a royal priesthood, a kingdom of priest-kings. “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (v. 9). We, indeed, have a high calling, and should devote our lives to showing forth His praises, for He “hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; unto him be glory and dominion for ever and ever” (Revelation 1:6). HMM 

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – The Nature of Our Calling

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” (2 Timothy 1:9)

Our “calling” (Greek klesis) to follow Christ was not a matter of human decision, and certainly not one based on human works, for it was issued in Christ before He had even created us. In some inscrutable way, we were a part of His eternal purpose, and it was altogether by His grace. We were “chosen . . . before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4).

Our calling is therefore a most “holy calling,” that is, a sacred calling to be consecrated and separated unto God.

It is, moreover, a “heavenly calling,” one originated in heaven, by our heavenly Father, centered in His divine will and purpose. In the Father’s sight, in Christ Jesus, we are nothing less than “holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling” (Hebrews 3:1).

We should therefore be able to say with Paul: “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). The high calling is not quite the same as the holy calling or the heavenly calling, though all are components of one great whole.

The word translated “high” is only so translated this one time. It is the usual word for “up” or “above.” Thus, the prize toward which we press is the “up calling.” It is similar to what is expressed in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, where we are promised that one day all who are in Christ Jesus, dead or living, will be “caught up together,” thereafter to “ever be with the Lord.”

He has called us before the world began, He is calling us daily to a heavenly walk with the Lord, and He will call us up to His eternal presence some day soon. HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Who holds the key? Isaiah 22

Praise the Lord, He holds the key that opens doors, no man can shut.

Bible in a Year Blog

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Today’s reading: Isaiah 18-22.

When you got the keys to your first car, you received much more than the freedom of a set of wheels. You also received the power of that car and authority over its movement. Keys are important. We talk about key ingredients, key leaders, key principles – all because of the significance of keys. Today’s devotional is about a man and a nation who forgot the one holding the keys of the kingdom.

The nation was Judah and the man was Shebna. He was the king’s treasurer, holding the keys to the wealth of the kingdom. Isaiah looked down the years to come and saw evil actions coming from the nation and the man. The event that precipitated their sin was Assyria’s invasion in the reign of King Hezekiah. We know that the Assyrians were eventually defeated when God destroyed their army with a plague. At…

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The day of the LORD: Isaiah 13

It will be terrible to fall into the judgement hand of God when mercy is no more extended. Lord save us from it.

Bible in a Year Blog

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Today’s reading: Isaiah 13-17.

For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. Obadiah 1:15

The Golden Rule says, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Obadiah seems to be saying the opposite: “what you do unto others will be done unto you.” Though simple, the concept is frightening in its implications for those who carry out programs of cruelty and oppression. That’s the message that Isaiah brings to all the nations around Jerusalem – Babylon, Assyria, Damascus, Moab, and the Philistines. God will use them to judge his rebellious people, but their surpassing cruelty will be turned back on their own heads. None will feel it more than the ruler of Babylon. It will happen on the day of the LORD.

How you have fallen from…

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Boasting when humility is needed: Isaiah 9

Let us remember that without Him we can do nothing.

Bible in a Year Blog

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Today’s reading: Isaiah 9-12.

Between two major prophecies about the Messiah, the prophet Isaiah tucks a little story about the foolish pride of the Israelites. Before the story Isaiah proclaims that a child is born, the wonderful counselor who will be the prince of peace and establish a righteous government on David’s throne for all time. After the story the prophet describes the millennial kingdom of the Messiah when even nature is restored to peaceful coexistence as the wolf lives with the lamb and the lion eats straw like the ox. But the Messiah’s kingdom lies somewhere in the future. The present reality consists of foolish men who ignore God’s rebuke and pridefully believe they have the power to overcome the consequences of their sin.

The story goes like this. The northern kingdom of Israel has suffered much from the attacks of the Assyrians. Though God has allowed this invasion…

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Hearing but not listening: Isaiah 6

Lord help us to listen to your voice and be obedient to thy Word.
We suffer when we choose our own way, diverting from the will of God.

Bible in a Year Blog

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Today’s reading: Isaiah 5-8.

“You’re not listening to me!” How many of us heard that from our mother growing up? She said it to grab our attention. We weren’t doing what she wanted, either through ignorance or rebellion, and she was determined to change our behavior. God tells Isaiah to deliver the same message to the people of Judah. The question is whether the people still had the ability to change or had completely crossed the line and were destined for judgment.

“Go and tell this people: ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” Then I said, “For how long, O Lord?” And he answered: “Until the cities lie ruined…

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Judgment and Mercy: Isaiah 1

May we be merciful as He is merciful . He is all knowledge and administers justice perfectly while we are imperfect and must defer to the mercy we have benefitted from Him.

Bible in a Year Blog

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Today’s reading: Isaiah 1-4. 

“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” Abraham Lincoln

Some Christians, at least the vocal ones, are too quick to hand down judgment and too slow to offer mercy. Not so with God. Though he is sure to judge, his judgments for his people come only after warnings, and are always followed by mercy. That’s a major theme of the whole book of Isaiah and the prophet places it front and center in the first chapter.

When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case…

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