The Door Will Be Open

The rain is coming down on a dark evening. It’s early, not much activity is taking place; in fact, not any activity is taking place except to wait for a snow storm to come dropping 2, 3, maybe 5 inches, with an additional treat of high winds.

Services on Sunday morning….well, not sure if the saints and visitors can make it in. Still, the doors will be open for those who can.

In the dark evening, early evening, there is time to reflect on the Scripture.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Somehow, in the quiet evening these words are just right.

#door, #just-right

Jan. 20. Job Replies to Eliphaz’s new Accusation

Job 22:1-24:25

As one might say today, Eliphaz threw the book at Job. Nothing that man can do will add to the glory of God. All that a man can do is for his own good. Previously, his friends had accused Job of unspecified sins. Eliphaz turned from vague accusations to specific charges. He stated that Job had falsely obligated people; taken clothing from the needy and failed to provide food, water and aid to the hungry, weary, widows and orphans. Those were and are grievous sins against society. Man’s actions cannot be hidden from God even though one may think that clouds and darkness will conceal them. Eliphaz questioned Job if he would continue in his old ways of sin. He then began to urge Job to repent and return to the Lord. If he would repent, he would see the many blessings that God provides.

“But I didn’t do it!” could have been Job’s reply. One can imagine how Job felt as he had been accused of sins that he did not commit. All of us have probably been in that position at some time during our lives. After Eliphaz had finished speaking, Job spoke again. He began with the desire to find God. His wish to speak face to face with God had not been realized. He was confident of his innocence and had faith that he would be justified. However, he was terrified at the thought of being in the presence of the Almighty but he wanted to understand why in his righteousness he was suffering.

Job continued his line of thought by enumerating a large number of transgressions that were being committed by wicked men, but seemingly being overlooked by the Lord. In his mind, they should have received swift punishment for their deeds, but it did not happen. He concluded that even though the wicked seem to prosper and escape retribution for their deeds, God knows and will eventually bring them to justice.

#chronological-bible-study

Jan. 19. Bildad, Zophar and Job Continue to Speak

Job 18:1-21:34

Bildad rebuked Job for his many words of denial. In his eyes, Job had rejected their counsel as foolishness. However, even they were serving Satan by adding to Job’s mental misery. He then renewed and repeated the charges that he and the other two friends had leveled against the suffering Job. Truly, the punishment of the wicked as Bildad described it is certain and universal as it includes all sinners from the far east to the far west. He continued to ignore the fact that many times innocent people do suffer hardships and afflictions.

“But I don’t know a thing in this whole wide world That’s worse than being alone.” Those words from a popular hymn describe the feeling that Job expressed as he replied to the scathing words of his “friend” Bildad. As a once respected patriarch, he lamented his position as being alienated from God, family, servants and friends. Even in his lamentation, Job remained hopeful that his innocence would result in the Redeemer eventually rescuing him from his torment. He had faith in a future new body with God. In closing his reply, he warned his friends of the danger of their being punished for their persecution of him.

“This is the portion from God for a wicked man, The heritage appointed to him by God.” Even without openly calling Job a wicked man, Zophar strongly intimated in his reply to him that his misery was the direct result of his wickedness. The wicked may seem to prosper, but that prosperity will eventually be cut off short and he will be soon forgotten. Sin has a sweet taste, but as sweet food turns sour in the stomach, the results of sin turn sour and become as poison as a viper’s venom. In the end, there is no permanent joy in a sinful life—only misery. Zophar refused to accept Job’s belief that a Redeemer would rescue him, but instead God had rejected him and that the heavens would reveal his iniquity.

Job asked his friends to listen carefully and to let him speak. After that, they could continue if they wished. He began by pointing out that the wicked do often live long and powerful lives. Everything that they do seems to prosper and that they live a life of pleasure. When the time of death comes, they die without prolonged suffering. They accomplish all of those without knowing God in their lives. Job inferred that conversely the opposite could also be true for the righteous—that they could suffer hardships and go to an early grave. It is all in the hand of God (Mt. 5:45). One’s wealth and status do not determine his final destiny. He also refuted their idea of the wicked being punished in this life, as he stated, “For the wicked are reserved for the day of doom; They shall be brought out on the day of wrath.”

#chronological-bible-study

Too Busy to Pray

The devil is not far away when you are too busy to pray. This sentiment also applies to one who is too busy to gather with the saints or who enjoys the company of those who do not belong to the Lord more than with those who do. The reason for this is in relation to that with which one is comfortable. “I’ll be fine…” “I don’t need…” “You’re too judgmental…” and other walls of excuses are put up, as Satan encourages them to be put up. RT

 

#busy, #pray

Damage Done

If you marry a child of the devil you will have trouble with your father-in-law.

The above is a bulletin anecdote I thought to be interesting. With the thought in mind, consider: Marriage is the Lord’s institution wherein two people become one. If one is a descendant of Satan’s ways, a child of God has no earthly idea the struggles he or she will face. Into the marriage one goes with blinders, only to come out scarred and eyes wide-open, but damaged.

Damage is already done. Recovery is difficult. RT

#marriage

With Jesus?

People can’t recognize you as having been with Jesus (Acts 4:13) if you 1) don’t attend with the saints, 2) do not speak the words of God but give your opinion, 3) speak in such a way to do more harm than good, 4) do not live a holy, sanctified life. If you do all these you are recognized only as a wannabe!

#wannabe

Blinded

It’s impossible for one to see good done by another when the one looking has much difficulty in implementing good herself. She looks and all she sees are spots and blemishes in the other person because she sees them so well in herself. RT

Jan. 18. Eliphaz Speaks Again and Job Replies

Job 15:1-17:16

Eliphaz responded to Job’s defense even harsher than before by insinuating that he was a fool because a wise man would not have answered as he had with “empty knowledge.” He tried to show Job’s absurdity by sarcastically asking if he were older than the hills and if he knew more than the aged men before him. Eliphaz charged that wise men had stated that, “The wicked man writhes with pain all his days…” That again placed the cause of Job’s pain on his wickedness. A life of wealth lived in wickedness was described as a bitter disappointment in the end. Whatever prosperity Job may have possessed had been destroyed because of his sins. The truths of those ancient wise men had been misapplied to Job’s circumstances.

Job bluntly replied to Eliphaz with his own harsh words. He had expected comfort from his friends, but instead had received condemnation. Jesus commanded, “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Mt. 7:12) Job expressed that same sentiment as he spoke to Eliphaz. He stated that if Eliphaz had been in his position, he could have spoken against him, but he would have strengthened and comforted him instead. Job was worn out. Nothing he said helped and to remain silent brought no ease either. His body even spoke against him by revealing the torment that seemed to be evidence of a sinful man’s punishment. However, Job knew that his conscience was clean and he was confident that God also knew of his innocence.

Most people have a sympathetic feeling for those who are near death. Job felt that the end was near for him, but instead of sympathy, his friends were heaping mockery upon him. In prayer to God, Job lamented that his life was over and his only future was a bed in the darkness of the grave.

#chronological-bible-study

Jan. 17. Zophar’s Counsel; Job’s Answers/Address to God

Job 11:1-14:22

Zophar the Naamathite was the third of Job’s friends to speak. Eliphaz and Bildad, instead of sympathizing with their friend had only added to his misery by stating that sin had caused his loss of health and wealth. Surely Zophar would be more sympathetic, but that didn’t happen. He only intensified the previous unmerciful accusations against Job. Zophar “comforted” Job by saying that he was receiving less punishment than his sins had deserved even though he had proclaimed his innocence.

Job’s friend continued by insinuating that he did not know the Lord. He described the limitless deep things of God. They are higher than heaven, deeper than Sheol, longer than the earth and wider than the sea. He is all knowing and all powerful. According to Zophar, if Job would return to God in repentance, his life would be restored—bright and beautiful. The child of God may suffer in this life, but he has the promise of a much more glorious eternal life after his days on earth are finished.

There are people who think that they are the only ones who know all of the answers to life’s calamities. Job was exasperated with his friends because of their superior know-it-all attitude toward him. Even though they were mostly correct in their wisdom, he refused to accept their assertion that he was somehow inferior to them. Earthly wisdom would not die with them. He desired comfort. Instead, he was ridiculed by them. Job did not accept their contention that only sinners suffered loss. Nature and life show that the all wise and all-powerful hand of God is in control of all things.

Job repeated his contention that his wisdom was equal to that of his friends and that he was not inferior to them in any way. He had heard enough of their false accusations and worthless remedies. They were speaking as fake doctors. He would consider them wise if they would keep quiet. Their words were as ashes and clay. Job’s desire was to speak directly with God and to plead his case with Him. His friends had presumed to speak for God as they presented their charges against Job. He had confidence that he would be vindicated of any sins in his life.

“Only two things do not do to me…” Job asked that God not withdraw His hand from him and to let him be brave as he spoke to Him. He then presented his case to God. His chief concerns were to know what his sins were and why God had hidden His face from him.

Job began a long lament to God regarding the lowly estate of man. Man’s fleeting existence, like a flower and shadow, is present for only a brief time and then vanishes away. There is even hope for a tree that has been cut down to sprout from its roots and return anew, but man dies and does not return. Job called for God to look away from his misery to allow him rest—even if it could be a temporary death from which he could return. That desire led him into his next question. “If a man dies, shall he live again?” As he sought relief, he charged God with destroying his hope. Job could not see beyond the grave.

Jesus answered Job’s question many years later. He said, “Let not your heart be troubled…In My Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you…I will come again to receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (Jn. 14:1-3) Jesus also demonstrated life after death by His resurrection from the tomb.

#chronological-bible-study

Our future close to our hearts

By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones. (Hebrews 11:22 ESV)

Верою Иосиф, при кончине, напоминал об исходе сынов Израилевых и завещал о костях своих. (Евреям 11:22 Russian)

Almighty God, our most holy, merciful and righteous Father in heaven ~ help us Lord on this new day as we hear of many more who doubt the certainty of eternal life. Restore the faith of those who are growing cold in the faith of Jesus as Lord. Thanks you Lord, for reminding us of the faith of your servant Joseph, who was sold into slavery in a foreign land and yet never forgot your plan. Help every Christian to hold our future beautiful and eternal home close to our hearts. Bless all new believers and other citizens of the Kingdom to remain good examples as we march toward the New Jerusalem. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr.

Cedar Key Church

#david-binkley

No one in two places at once

No one can be in two places at the same time. That is true physically and spiritually. One cannot be baptized into Christ and baptized into a denominational body. It is either one or the other.

This is a strong argument, among other good ones, for rejecting to baptize denominationals and for the proper immersion of those who have received some sort of ceremony in sectarian groups. For if one enters into a group that is not the church of the Lord through a water-ritual of some sort, it stands to reason that that person did not enter into Christ and into the salvation that is in him.

#baptism

The righteous holds to his way: Job 17.9

“But the righteous man holds to his way,
and the one with clean hands grows stronger.”

Job 17.9

Was Job speaking ironically here, in the midst of his despair? Was he throwing back in the face of friends what they were saying? Or was this statement a glimmer of hope before all hope died?

Job’s friends had good thoughts, but bad application. May we see in Job what God wants: for man to know him. May that truth hold us to our way and cause us to grow stronger.

#votd #Job #righteousness

Jan. 16. Bildad Speaks; Job Replies

Job 8:1-10:22

When a person is down, he needs his friends to pick him up. Job was down, but the words of Bildad the Shuhite did not comfort him. Like Eliphaz, he harshly placed the reason for Job’s misfortune upon the sins that he obviously had committed. Even his children’s deaths were supposedly caused by their sins. He reasoned that God is just and would not allow evil to overcome those who were faithful to Him. Even in nature, there are direct consequences from adversities such as drought or other conditions. Bildad reasoned that if Job would repent and seek God, his life would again be blessed. However, he did not recognize that bad things do sometimes happen to good people. Conventional wisdom from previous generations truthfully stated that for the righteous everything would ultimately be good. The apostle, Paul taught that same principle when He wrote, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28) When in the midst of adversity, it is difficult most times to see how that could be, but eventually in God’s time, it happens. We should listen and learn from the wisdom of past generations.

Job agreed that God is a just God, but defended his own righteousness. He also recognized the Lord’s supremacy and his own weakness. One may wish to challenge God, but he would be facing an impossible task. Even though blameless, Job knew that he could not prevail against the righteous Judge. God is not a man; therefore, we do not answer Him as such. Job then wished for a mediator to plead his case before God, but there was none. He must plead for mercy. FAST FORWARD TO THE PRESENT. We do have such a mediator in Jesus the Christ. “Therefore I exhort…For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all…” (I Tim. 2:1-5)

As he continued his response to Bildad, Job recited to him further thoughts toward God. He questioned what his sins were and why God would allow him in his righteousness to be condemned. Job had begun to equate God’s justice with man’s justice. He even doubted God’s love for His creation. Job seemed to be in a no-win situation. If he sinned, he would be punished and he was suffering misery in his righteousness. He again lamented the very fact that he did not die at birth. That would have prevented the life of pain that had enveloped him. He then begged to escape to the darkness of the grave.

#chronological-bible-study

Diotrophes’s evil

“If evangelists were not supported, then many people would never have an opportunity to hear and obey the gospel. Those who live the gospel know this. Diotrephes’ behavior, however, was disrupting the evangelistic function of the body of Christ because he was threatening Gaius and others who supported the preaching of the gospel. In contrast to living the gospel, he was doing evil by obstructing the evangelistic function of the body of Christ.” —Roger Dickson

#gospel #evangelism #mission

Hugh’s News & Views (Sins Of Presidents)

SINS OF PRESIDENTS

Back on November 13 of last year I sent out a “News & Views” titled “Sins of Preachers.” One of my readers suggested that I needed to also write about the “Sins of Presidents.” He thinks I should especially be “calling out” President Trump for his sins. He is not one of Trump’s fans, although he acknowledges that the president has done some good things, but also some bad things. I am curious as to how he thinks that is any different from any other president. They all have been human, and they all have done some good things and some bad things! Continue reading