Obedience and presence

The Lord told Jonah to go preach to Nineveh. The text says he fled from “the presence of the Lord.” Let it be noted that to refuse obedience to God is to remove oneself from his presence.

The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.” But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. Jonah 1.1-3 NASB.

Obedience for salvation

Anybody who denigrates obedience in any way does not have the spirit of Christ. It is one thing to attempt salvation on one’s own merits; quite another to lovingly submit to God in obedience to the Lord’s commands. By obedience are we all saved, Heb 5.9. A large set of religious folk have confused the two with their damnable doctrine of salvation by faith only.

Read and keep the words

Charles Box on Rev 1.1-3:

John said, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 1:3) He said, “Blessed is he that readeth.” It is a blessing to be permitted to read the Revelation of God. This may be a reference to public reading because the next statement has to do with those “that hear the words of this prophecy.” We learn God”s will by reading, hearing, studying and meditation. Those who have the opportunity to become acquainted with God”s revelation are highly favored. The readers and hearers must also “keep those things which are written therein.” None can be right with God who does not obey those things that are their duty. The psalmist said of God”s commandments, “Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” (Psalms 19:11) Our heavenly hope is in knowing and doing the will of God.

We just don’t realize how blessed we are to have many good versions and tools to understand the Word of God. People don’t take advantage of them. And still it comes down to knowing and doing. Knowledge alone is nothing.

Strange! Bible verses until this really big point

See this page about how to know God. Every point has one or more Bible verses to substantiate it. (We have a beef with some of those points, but leave it for now.) There are Bible verses all over, until it comes down to answer the most important question that man can consider: “What must I do to accept Jesus’ gift of forgiveness and eternal life?”

The answer? “Pray a prayer like this:” …

And then a prayer that comes, not from the Bible, but from somebody’s imagination.

No Bible verse. No Bible proof. No Bible citation. Just somebody’s made-up prayer.

Strange, isn’t it, how people claim to tell you what the Bible is saying, and then when it comes to explaining how to be saved, they drop the Bible altogether?

Very strange, indeed.

The Bible has plenty to say about how to know God, how to accept Jesus’ gift of forgiveness and eternal life. But there is no prayer in the Bible like the one published on the page. The Bible never, ever tells anybody to pray a prayer in order to be saved. There are very different answers, but the authors of the webpage prefer their own version of what to do.

Nothing Christian to that.

Do whatever the Lord says

Powerful thought today by Ed M., on Balaam in Num 23.26. Here’s one small portion:

A truth recognized. Balaam, the famous heathen diviner, spoke the truth. “I must do whatever the Lord says,” Numbers 23:26. Obedience was an ethical obligation, Exodus 23:22; Leviticus 19:37; Deuteronomy 6:18. God expects an unquestioning compliance, Hebrews 13:20,21. Jesus does, too, John 15:14.

Focus question: What does the Lord say today? What incentives do I have not to do them? What reward comes form obedience?

How to enjoy today

Not infrequently A.B. Simpson’s denominational doctrines get in the way of appreciating his devotionals, but this one comes across well, on how to enjoy this day:

1. Be right with God, for gladness [is sown] for the upright in heart (Psalm 97:11). It is His joy that remains in us that makes our joy full.

2. Forget yourself and live for others, for It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

3. When you cannot rejoice in feelings, circumstances or conditions, rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 4:4), and count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (James 1:2).

4. Finally, obey the Lord and be faithful to your trust, and again and again His blessed Spirit will whisper to your heart, Well done, thou good and faithful servant, . . . enter thou into the joy of thy lord (Matthew 25:21).

Also, check out the piece of Longfellow’s poem he shares.