PERFECTED The love of God…

PERFECTED

The love of God is perfected in a person’s life when he or she obeys from the heart the words of Christ (Rom. 6:16-18); without obedience, one has not reached a mature state (1 Jn 2:5). Perfection is not a matter of being flawless or sinless (in this context), but the willingness and desire to allow the will of God to control one’s life. It was Jesus who said to those around Him, “Why do you call me ‘Lord’, ‘Lord’ and do not the things that I say?”

Jul. 22. Isaiah’s Vision Continued

Is. 3:1-5:30

As Isaiah continued to reveal the revelation of his vision, he pictured the desolation and poverty of the once mighty and proud Judah. Even in their destruction, the righteous would eventually enjoy the fruit of their righteousness.

The prophet likened Judah to a vain woman concerned only with her appearance. In the day of their impending captivity all of that would be taken from them. They were also pictured as a fertile well-dressed vineyard that yielded only wild grapes. God had nurtured His people from the wilderness to the vineyard of Canaan. He had cleared the rocks from the ground by fighting their wars for them. Judah was yielding only bitter grapes of disobedience in return for all that God, their vine dresser had done for them.

As the owner of a vineyard destroys his unfruitful vineyard, God also promised to allow Judah to be laid waste. Isaiah enumerated a list of woes that would befall the unfaithful nation. Listed among those woes: Woe to those who follow intoxicating drink; call evil good and good evil; darkness for light and light for darkness; wise in their own sight and other woes.

God still had a plan for Judah. Eventually, there would be a Branch—the Messiah that would come to purify His people.

#chronological-bible-study

Jul. 21. Isaiah Begins to Prophesy

Is. 6:1-13; 1:1-2:22

At the end of King Azariah’s reign in Judah, God had called Isaiah to prophesy against Judah. He related that call in highly figurative language as a vision that he had seen. God was in His temple with the train of his robe filling the entire temple. The majesty and magnificence of God’s presence were overwhelming to the prophet as he recognized his unworthiness to view the sight before him.

In an act of purification, one of the seraphim that was present touched Isaiah’s lips with a hot coal and purged his sin. That action signified that his lips were clean to speak the words of the Lord.

Isaiah’s answer to God’s call: “Here am I! Send me.” That should be our answer to the call to spread the Gospel of Christ. Sow the seed; some will grow.

Isaiah’s vision concerned events that would occur in Judah during the reigns of Azariah/Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. He referred to Judah as Israel various times in his prophecy because Judah was a part of the original Israelite nation.

The prophet stated the condition to which Judah had allowed themselves to fall. He compared them to a person’s body that had been corrupted with open sores from the sole of its foot to its head. No attempt had been made to medicate the body with the ointment of repentance. They were also likened to the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah that God had destroyed many centuries earlier.

God had instituted the type of worship that He required. Even though they had followed a form of that worship, it was from pretentious hearts and was abominable before Him. When the heart is not right, even the right form of worship becomes wrong before God.

“Come now, and let us reason together.” Isaiah appealed to the people to repent and to wash themselves clean. He pictured their sins as like scarlet and red like crimson. With their repentance and God’s forgiveness, they would become white like snow and wool. However, since Judah insisted on remaining in her rebellious condition, God would do the cleansing of them from the dross of their sin and restore them to their former righteousness.

Isaiah looked into the future and saw the Judah that God desired. He prophesied the coming of the Lord’s house, the church in the last days. All nations, Gentiles included, not just the Hebrews would be included in its fellowship. The law of that house would come from Jerusalem.

Before the future Judah could be seen, the old Judah must be cleansed of its sins. Judah’s sins were numerous. Their chief fault was in depending upon themselves and the works of their own hands. They attributed their successes to the various idols that they worshipped instead of recognizing the true source from the living God. Man may look to himself in pride for the possessions that he has, but in time, GOD WILL BE EXALTED!

#chronological-bible-study

Why Bother?

For a brother in Christ I bother,
With love for the family of faith;
We care for one another,
Walking the narrow path.

#poetry #quatrain #love

The crystal-clear path that leads home

The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. (Psalm 45:17-20 ESV)

Праведен Господь во всех путях Своих и благ во всех делах Своих. Близок Господь ко всем призывающим Его, ко всем призывающим Его в истине. Желание боящихся Его Он исполняет, вопль их слышит и спасает их. Хранит Господь всех любящих Его, а всех нечестивых истребит. (Псалтирь 144:17-20 Russian)

O LORD our God ~ thank you merciful, most holy, and righteous Father in heaven ~ we are amazed when we consider how much you love those who love and obey your beloved Son. Forgive us dear Father for those times in this mortal life when our minds and deeds have wandered away from the righteous way that you expect from us. Lead us today into the crystal clear path that leads home to joy now and our never-ending home in Heaven. Expose those who falsely teach that all people will inherit eternal life regardless of their devotion to Christ as Lord. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

Why are you persecuting me? Acts 9.4

“He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'”

Acts 9.4

In a special vision, Saul, persecutor of the church, saw the Lord Jesus, who asked him why he persecuted the Lord. What is done to the church is done to the Lord.

The church is Christ’s body. In judgment he wills say, “… just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me” Mt 25.40.

#votd #Acts #church

Jul. 20. Reigns of Azariah/Uzziah and Jotham in Judah; Tumultuous Times in Israel

II Kin. 14:21, 22; 15:1-26; 32-38; II Chron. 26:1-27:9

After the death of King Amaziah, his son, Azariah began to reign over Judah. He had a fifty-two-year reign and was mostly well pleasing to God during that time. The prophets, Jonah, Amos, Hosea and Isaiah began prophesying during the reigns of Jeroboam II of Israel and Azariah of Judah.

While Azariah ruled Judah, they enjoyed much prosperity. God helped him to capture many cities in the area. He had much personal farm land and many cattle. Judah also had a strong army with “modern” weapons.

As Israel had forgotten God during their prosperity, Azariah also became prideful. Idolatrous nations around Judah looked upon their kings as gods and priests. The king was in charge of the offerings to their gods. Under the Law of Moses, only priests were permitted to perform the religious rituals associated with worshipping the Lord. Azariah took it upon himself to go into the temple and to burn incense to God.

Azariah, the priest, with eighty other priests confronted the king because of his trespass of the sanctuary. King Azariah was highly angered by the confrontation with the priests and was struck with leprosy. He spent the remainder of his years in an isolated house cut off from the house of the Lord, the king’s house and from his people. His son, Jotham was in charge of the king’s house until Azariah’s death at which time, he became king of Judah.

Jotham was twenty-five years of age when he became king of Judah and he reigned for sixteen years. Since he had been over the king’s house while his father, Azariah was isolated because of leprosy, Jotham’s transition onto the throne was relatively uneventful. He continued in his father’s way of following the Lord, but the people were corrupt.

King Jotham built cities and fortresses and was successful in a war against the Ammonites. He was a mighty king because he had, “prepared his ways before the Lord his God.” At the time of his death, there was much unrest in Israel, Syria and Assyria. He was succeeded by his son, Ahaz.

During a period while the prophets, Jonah, Amos, Hosea and Isaiah prophesied, Jeroboam II, Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah and Pekah reigned as kings in Israel. Jeroboam’s reign ended and Pekah’s reign began during the last fifteen years of that time. All of those kings were displeasing to God because they continued in the sins of the first Jeroboam of Israel.

Zechariah succeeded his father, Jeroboam and served only six months before being assassinated by Shallum. His death fulfilled the promise that God had made to his great-great grandfather, Jehu that his sons would only serve to the fourth generation.

The tumult continued to build as Shallum was himself assassinated by Menahem after only a month on the throne. Assyria was becoming stronger and more powerful after a period of weakness that had occurred during the reign of Israel’s King Jeroboam II. Menahem paid King Pul of Assyria a thousand talents of silver to keep him from attacking Israel. That was only a temporary relief from the prophesied disaster predicted by God’s prophets.

After Menahem’s death, his son, Pekahiah became king of Israel. He also continued in the evil ways of his predecessors. Assassination seemed to be the rule during that era. Pekahiah was king for only two years before being killed by Pekah.

#chronological-bible-study

Tangled vines of worldliness and discontent

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 ESV)

Y el mismo Jesucristo Señor nuestro, y Dios nuestro Padre, el cual nos amó y nos dio consolación eterna y buena esperanza por gracia, conforte vuestros corazones y os confirme en toda buena palabra y obra. (2 Tesalonicenses 2:16-17 Español RVR1995)

Almighty God, our eternally strong, wise and merciful Father in heaven ~ thank you, Lord, for showing us your kindness in so many wonderful and eye-opening ways. Give us a portion of your perfect wisdom as we read and obey your inspired word that is a lamp to lead us. Help everyone who has become lost in the tangled vines of worldliness and discontent, to come home in sincere repentance to your strong arms of comfort. Give all followers of Christ a sense of hope, joy, peace, and comfort while humbly serving our Lord. Extinguish the false light of worldly wisdom that promises hope but delivers misery and death. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

Not in idle talk, 1 Corinthians 4.20

“For the kingdom of God is demonstrated not in idle talk but with power.”

1 Corinthians 4.20

Man talks, God transforms. The Corinthians loved oratory and philosophy, but none of that saved. In fact, it only divided and destroyed. The gospel unites and redeems.

It is time for the church to get away from politics, social issues, and material help. It is urgent that we stick with the gospel. This and this alone is our mission and our power.

#votd #1-Corintians #power

Jul. 19. God’s Love, Mercy and Justice for Sinners

Hos. 11:1-14:9

Hosea reviewed how God had delivered the Israelites/Ephraim from Egypt and how they had ignored Him and had followed the gods of the lands. The Lord is depicted as a loving Father teaching His child to walk; grieving as He gives His child up as lost; a loving Savior desiring to save His people. However, the prophet stated that they would not return to Egypt, but would have Assyria as their king. Even as Israel was forever lost as a nation, Judah would eventually return to God.

The prophet continued his discourse to Israel by reminding them of the life and deeds of their father, Jacob. Many of his possessions had been obtained through deceitful dealings with others. Under King Jeroboam II, Israel had enjoyed a period of prosperity. Much of their prosperity had also been received through deceit. They would soon learn that their riches were emptiness.

Hosea further reminded Israel that during times of repentance, God was pleased. However, they had fallen so deeply into sin that God had turned His back upon them. They must suffer the consequences.

The prophet concluded his message to Israel by pleading with them to, “Return to the Lord your God…” He even tried to put the proper words of a prayer of repentance into their mouths. Hosea ended his plea to Israel with a final exhortation, “Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right; The righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them.”

#chronological-bible-study

Our chief aim in life

Those who sow in tearsshall reap with shouts of joy!He who goes out weeping,bearing the seed for sowing,shall come home with shouts of joy,bringing his sheaves with him. Ps. 126:5-6 ESV

Сеявшие со слезами будут пожинать с радостью. С плачем несущий семена возвратится с радостью, неся снопы свои. (Псалтирь 125:5-6 Russian)

O LORD our God ~ dear most holy and awesome Father in heaven, you have done and continue to do so many great things for us! Thank you, Lord, for teaching us each day how to walk in truth and love. Encourage those who are daily sowing the precious seeds of the gospel of Christ our Lord. Be with their families and friends in the difficult times when their labors are opposed by local authorities. Encourage the Body of Christ to do more to sow gospel seeds during whatever time we have remained in this earthly life. Help us to make it our chief aim in life to encourage our family, friends, neighbors and those far away in distant lands to lovingly obey the good news message of Jesus Christ. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

All lives are mine, Ezekiel 18.4

“Indeed! All lives are mine – the life of the father as well as the life of the son is mine. The one who sins will die.”

Ezekiel 18.4

God gave man life, breathing into him at creation. All belong to him, and he will judge all. No one can assume that right. God knows what each one deserves.

How we blame others for our sins! v. 3. But we will answer for what we have done. God cannot be deceived by our games.

#votd #Ezekiel #judgment

Jul. 18. Israel Fails to fully Repent; Faces Punishment

Hos. 6:1-10:15

Even in those dark and sinful times in the lives of Israel, there seemed to be a hint of repentance from them. “Come let us return to the Lord…” They stated that God would heal, bind, revive and raise them up if they would only turn and seek Him.

Hosea speaking for God lamented over the shallow nature of Israel’s repentance. He compared it to the fleeting existence of a cloud and the temporary presence of dew. Decisive actions are more important to Him than mere words.

The prophet continued to enumerate the various shortcomings of the people of Israel. He pointed out the futility of their expected actions. They were compared to an unattended hot oven, a half-baked cake and a silly dove flying aimlessly into danger. In all of their pains and confusion, they had refused to call upon God from the heart.

One reaps what he has sown, whether good or evil. Judgment against Israel would be swift like an eagle’s attack. In addition to their idolatry, they had formed alliances with other nations instead of depending upon God. Their calls for deliverance would be ignored, because of their evil deeds. They would become subject to the godless nation of Assyria, just as their ancestors had been subject to the godless Egyptians many centuries earlier.

Hosea continued his message of doom from the Lord against Israel. He reminded them of their adulterous relationships with the various gods of the land as they had forsaken their God who loved them and had desired their fidelity. God loves His people and is merciful toward them. However, Israel had reached the point of no return because of their wickedness.

The prophet pictured the desolation that would befall Israel. At first, they were pleasing to God like grapes in the wilderness and the firstfruits of a young fig tree. Their punishment after going after the strange gods would cause them to be like barren women unable to give life and nourishment to a child. Even at that late date, Hosea called upon Israel to repent.

Israel had a long history of cruel bondage in Egypt. Because of their rejection of God, they were on the threshold of beginning another bondage in Assyria. They would be without their own king when they became under the control of the Assyrian kingdom. Israel would reap what they had sown.

#chronological-bible-study

Understandable words that teach us

Your word is a lamp to my feetand a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105 NRSV)

Слово Твое–светильник ноге моей и свет стезе моей. (Псалтирь 118:105 Russian)

Most holy and righteous God, our dear Father in heaven ~ thank you for providing understandable words that teach us and guide us by day and by night. Forgive the foolish thinking that has sometimes led us to put more trust in the words of some human sage than in your inspired words of life. Your word reveals your heart of lovingkindness and challenges us to be more like your beloved Son who has already conquered death, hell, and the grave. Teach us to love your enlightening Scriptures more than we cherish any other published documents of mere men. Guard our minds against blind spiritualists who do not know the Way of Truth and Life. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

Flagrant sins, Psalm 19.13

“Moreover, keep me from committing flagrant sins; do not allow such sins to control me. Then I will be blameless, and innocent of blatant rebellion.”

Psalm 19.13

The psalmist wants to please God, v. 14. He knows that keeping the Word will guide him to do that, vv. 7-11. He will commit errors, v. 12, but he prays he will never be consciously rebellious.

Where do we cross the line from inadvertent error to blatant sin? Premeditation may well define it, Rm 13.14.

#votd #Psalms #rebellion