[Matthew 22:11-14 NASB] 11 "But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And the man was speechless. 13 "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14 "For many are called, but few are chosen."
This remarkable parable of Jesus illustrates for us the need to be clothed with the right things if we are going to partake in the greatest wedding celebration of all time (Revelation 19:7-9). The Lord is primarily teaching us here that we must be clothed with the righteousness of Christ Jesus, the Messiah, by faith (Galatians 3:26-27). He is the only proper outfitter for our eternal clothes. We cannot get into His perfect paradise of Heaven without Him. Trying to get in without the proper clothes will find us as imposters and unworthy of the call of God. For Him to chose us as legitimate guests and inheritors, we must have His Son's redemption through our acceptance of His work on the cross and resurrection. This is what God calls all to, but few actually answer the call and get clothed with the right fitting. Jesus is the only true way to life (John 14:6).
Friday, February 2, 2018
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
"Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?" (Matthew 20:15)
As Jesus put it, the Kingdom of Heaven is like this. The Father is generous with His grace to the 11th hour, wanting all to come and partake in His generosity. Hopefully this doesn't cripple some of us who have dedicated our entire lives to Christ from early on with the complaining and envious spirit that is portrayed in this passage (Matthew 20:11,15). May we ever live with the enjoyment of the Father's great and extravagant grace and acceptance to all who call upon Him, even at the last moments of this earthly existence.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Psalm 19:12-13 New Century Version (NCV)
People cannot see their own mistakes.
Forgive me for my secret sins.
Keep me from the sins of pride;
don’t let them rule me.
Then I can be pure
and innocent of the greatest of sins.
Let's make sure we examine ourselves as we pray prayers of confession. Not only do we need to be aware of the sins we disobediently commit against God, but even the ones we may be totally unaware of. Ask the Lord to reveal our secret sins for exposure's sake. Then, we can grow in our self-awareness and humble ourselves before the mighty Hand of God. Notice in these two verses that doing this will keep us "pure," and from getting caught up in the "greatest of sins," in other words, big-time mistakes.
Saturday, September 30, 2017
1 Chronicles 29
-This is a great climactic chapter that is full of the joy and generosity of a grateful people with a whole heart after God at the end of David’s reign over Israel and the beginning of Solomon’s reign, which would complete the Temple building. The provision had been made by David with great passion, consideration, and care. And now he was excitedly and prayerfully turning the project and kingdom over to his son in a releasing of authority. The LORD was greatly blessed and honored for all that He had done among the nation and the people. His rightful credit was verified in many different ways. Gifts were given directly to God for His great Name, His provision, His lasting authority, His greatness, His power, His glory, His victory, His majesty, His dominion, His headship, His exaltation, His riches, His honor, His rule, His might, and His strength (1 Chronicles 29:10-13). God’s abundance and blessing on an undeserving and sojournering people was realized, and all was now His because of the people being generous, grateful, and thankful in their gifts of return (1 Chronicles 29:14-16). They made sacrifices willingly unto their LORD in celebration and extended honor and homage to both their God and their king, David.
-After this, Solomon was made king a second time, and he was anointed ruler over Israel for the LORD (1 Chronicles 29:22). Zadok was made the priest. Solomon prospered in all he did as king and received the obedience and allegiance of all the officials, mighty men, and other sons of David (1 Chronicles 29:23-24). Solomon would rise in exaltation in the sight of all Israel with royal majesty like no other king before him in the land (1 Chronicles 29:25).
-David passed away “in a ripe old age, full of days, riches and honor.” He reigned over Israel for 40 years, 7 in Hebron and 33 in Jerusalem. Other chronicles from Samuel, Nathan, and Gad were written of him, regarding “his reign, his power, and the circumstances that came on him, on Israel, and on all the kingdoms of the lands (1 Chronicles 29:28-30).”
-*Application* “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people (Proverbs 14:34).” “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked man rules, the people groan (Proverbs 29:2).” Thus says the Proverbs, and it is true. Are we seeing rejoicing or groaning in our nations today? What does that say about our leadership? Pray for our nations that times of rejoicing may return as God is exalted and praised. He is deserving and should always be glorified by our rulers and the populace. This will ensure prosperity and blessing. The other key to this passage is generosity. Be a cheerful and abundant giver to the work of the LORD always (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Verse to Memorize: 1 Chronicles 29:9
Friday, September 29, 2017
1 Chronicles 28
-Now the account of David’s address to all the officials of Israel and primarily his son, Solomon, who was chosen to be the heir of the eternal promise of the Kingdom, is given with clarity and boldness. Bullet points for this meticulous address include:
*David’s desire to build a permanent House of rest for the Ark of the Covenant and his preparations and plans for its building by the writing of God’s Hand upon him (1 Chronicles 28:2, 11-19).
*David’s inability to accomplish the building of the Temple because he was a man of war (1 Chronicles 28:3).
*The importance of the lineage and God’s plan through Judah, David, and Solomon (1 Chronicles 28:4-7a).
*The necessity of following the commandments and ordinances of God for the perpetuation of the Kingdom of Israel (1 Chronicles 28:7b-8).
*The importance of knowing God as David did and serving Him “with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts (1 Chronicles 28:9).”
*The essential nature of seeking after the LORD to find Him (1 Chronicles 28:9).
*The danger of forsaking the LORD because it will lead to His rejection forever (1 Chronicles 28:9).
*The courage, boldness, strength, and action that are needed for the task of leadership (1 Chronicles 28:10, 20)
*The response of fear, discouragement, and feeling dismayed should never be a part of the Kingdom (1 Chronicles 28:20).
*The fact that God is always with His anointed, and He will never fail or forsake His chosen ones in the work (1 Chronicles 28:20).
*David’s divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the House of God at his son’s command (1 Chronicles 28:21).
-*Application* Wholeheartedness for the work of God becomes a key theme for us here in this passage. The charge is given to us as well in our generation. The Christian walk revolves around knowing God, keeping His charge without compromise, having a willing mind that has been transformed and conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; 12:1-2), having God’s wisdom, being steadfast and immoveable (1 Corinthians 15:58), not fearing man, displaying strength, courage, and boldness in love, and taking action knowing that God is always with us. What incredible things to meditate on today. The Word of God in His Bible has complete unity and symmetry does it not?
Verses to Memorize: 1 Chronicles 28:4, 8-9, 20
Thursday, September 28, 2017
1 Chronicles 27
-What we see in this chapter are David’s regional leaders, chief officers over the tribes, and basically what we would call his “cabinet” in various areas of oversight in the united Kingdom of Israel. One of the interesting portions of this “team” of the king was his counseling team. His uncle Jonathan was a man of understanding and also a scribe in his counsel of the king. Ahithophel also counseled him on various matters. Hushai the Archite was described simply as a “friend” to the king (1 Chronicles 27:32-33).
-*Application* Any work of the LORD is never a one man show as we see in this passage. Israel’s success was not ultimately dependent on King David. Participation in the work of the Kingdom of God is a must (Philippians 1:5-7). When each person pulls his or her own weight, the team will be successful and multiply. I watched the Dallas Cowboys in football blow a lead one time (Oct. 27, 2013 to be exact) in one of the most debilitating comebacks against them ever. While the offense was good in some ways, their running game was so poor it could not run out the clock near the end of the game. Then, a worn and tired defense allowed the opponent to go the length of the field in less than a minute with the other team having no time outs. The super-star of the team, wide receiver Dez Bryant, was shown on the sideline arguing with his teammates in anger and frustration. All his personal accomplishments were for nothing as his team lost in the battle. Remember the principle, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” We must build our team, if we are a leader, with care, boldness, and consideration. Be a team player that is responsible with the duties that God has given.
Verse to Memorize: 1 Chronicles 27:32
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
1 Chronicles 26
-This chapter diagnoses the divisions of the leadership as far as the gatekeepers in Jerusalem, the Levities who had charge over the treasures of the House of God, and the ones assigned to outside duties in more remote parts of the Kingdom of Israel as officers and judges (1 Chronicles 26:1, 20, 29). Most of these names of men and their sons are obscure and distant to us as New Covenant believers, but their mission was of vital importance to the times in which they lived under King David. One was described as “indeed blessed (Obed-edom, 2 Samuel 6:10-12, 1 Chronicles 13:13-14; 26:5).” Others were mentioned as being “mighty men of valor” and “valiant men (1 Chronicles 26:6-9).”
-Lots were casted for which gates were to be manned on each side of the city. To the east and south, there was more natural protection with the Kidron Valley. To the north a counselor with insight was assigned, Zechariah (1 Chronicles 26:14). To the west, where the terrain ascends to greater heights and where there was a highway, they had to have better buttressing of guards (1 Chronicles 26:16).
-The treasuries of the nation housed the spoils of war for the repair of the House of the LORD (1 Chronicles 26:27). These items were dedicated by former men in the nation’s history with Levites having charge over these items for their perpetuity.
-The officers and judges that were assigned outside duties primarily were concerned with activities to the west of the Jordan River. These were capable and reliable men who were plentiful in number and were loyal to the king in all affairs (1 Chronicles 26:29-32).
-*Application* Again we see the disparity of activities that are chronicled in this highly successful time of the Kingdom of Israel. We can relate this to the church in that there are diversities of giftings, but only one Lord and baptism in which we unite together (1 Corinthians 12:4-14). This should give us value and importance in the service of the Kingdom. We should also realize that there is no unimportant part of the ministry of God (1 Corinthians 12:15-26). Therefore, faithfully serve the ultimate King, King Jesus, in whatever capacity He has uniquely qualified and designated you for in the work of the Kingdom of God. This will give you fullness of joy, blessing indeed, a valiant spirit, and great insight to counsel.
Verse to Memorize: 1 Chronicles 26:1, 20, 29