Today’s devotion comes from Luke 19:41-44.

“When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace!  But now they have been hidden from your eyes.  For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”  Luke 19:41-44.

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This is Jerusalem!  

“6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
7 “May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces.”  Psalm 122:6-7.

“The LORD bless you from Zion,
And may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.”  Psalm 128:5.

“The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
He gathers the outcasts of Israel.”  Psalm 147:2.

No wonder Jesus wept over it!

If God would do this to Jerusalem, then what warning should we take today!

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;  DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”  Matthew 7:21-23.

“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.  Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know Him who said:  “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.”  And again, THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”  It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  Hebrews 10:26-31.

This Hebrews 10:26-31 Scripture speaks about those who, so to speak, received knowledge of the truth and were sanctified but nevertheless denied the power of the blood and insulted the Spirit of grace. They denied the power of Christ’s blood, because they consider Christ’s blood as ineffective by itself, that it does not actually “save”, “purchase”, nor “redeem” anyone without the most important factor, namely, man’s free-will choice of Christ to make Christ’s blood effective to save themselves.

They consider their own faith as their own free-will gift to God;  they insult the Spirit of grace by denying that their faith was produced by God’s gift and grace alone to them.  They deny that “the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation” as taught in the Canons of Dordt (Article 8 of SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby).

And, because they talk about the blood of Christ all the time, it is true that in a sense they are trampling it, not in the sense of being hateful to it but in the sense of treating it as ineffective by itself, like the description in Matthew 5:13:  “… if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again?  It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.”

Many today, like the people of Jerusalem, have had a time of visitation.  They received knowledge of the truth.  They have heard of God’s miracles.  They read Scriptures and attended church.  They have received the witness of other people like those in the immediately preceding Scripture who “began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen”.  Luke 19:37.  But, they have not received the love of the truth.    

They may seem righteous by claiming they love Jesus and others.  They claim that they only need the Bible, but they really don’t have a love of the truth.  They don’t diligently search for God with all their heart and soul.  They rest on their desire and image of God and show no or little desire to search the Scriptures to learn more about God and His works.  They are more interested in their own wisdom, their own alleged free-will, and their own works.  In summary, “… they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.  And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.”  2 Thessalonians 2:10-13.

“For we know Him who said:  “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.”  And again, THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”  It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  Hebrews 10:30-31.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 19:28-40.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+19&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting:

“BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”  But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”  Luke 19:37-40.

——————

“22 The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone.
23 This is the LORD’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 O LORD, do save, we beseech You;
O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity!
26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD;
We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.
27 The LORD is God, and He has given us light;
Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I give thanks to You;
You are my God, I extol You.
29 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.”  Psalm 119:22-29.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 19:11-27.

“11 While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.  12 So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return.  13 And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’  14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’  15 When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done.  16 The first appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’   17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’  18 The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, master, has made five minas.’  19 And he said to him also, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’  20 Another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief;  21 for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man;  you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’  22 He *said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave.  Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow?  23 Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’  24 Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’  25 And they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas already.’  26 I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.  27 But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”  Luke 19:11-27.

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With eagerness, we learn about a quality of God in today’s Scripture.  God is “exacting”, “taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow”.  Verses 21 and 22.

God does not tolerate rebels in His kingdom.  “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”  Verse 27.

God demands faithful and fruitful service from us.  God entrusts us with abilities and resources, and God demands that we use them for the benefit of His kingdom.  “And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’”  Verse 13.

God rewards.  “And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’”  Verse 13.

God punishes.  “Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.'”  Verse 24.

“Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.”  1 Corinthians 4:1-2.

“For the kingdom is the LORD’s
And He rules over the nations.”  Psalm 22:28.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 19:1-10.

“He entered Jericho and was passing through.  And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus;  he was a chief tax collector and he was rich.  Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature.  So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way.  When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”  And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly.  When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”  Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.”  And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Luke 19:1-10.

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Other doctrine focuses on man’s words, “I will …” 

“Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.”

And, other doctrine focuses on man’s actions.

“So he (Zaccheus) ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him”

But, Reformed Doctrine focuses on God’s words and actions.

“When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”  And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house ….   For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Man is eager to prove his worthiness for salvation.  But, salvation is the work of God.  

“Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  John 6:28-29.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;  and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish;  and no one will snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all;  and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”  John 10:27-29.

“Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.  This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”  John 17:1-4.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 18:35-43.

“As Jesus was approaching Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging.  Now hearing a crowd going by, he began to inquire what this was.  They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.  And he called out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet;  but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  And Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to Him;  and when he came near, He questioned him, “What do you want Me to do for you?”  And he said, “Lord, I want to regain my sight!”  And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight;  your faith has made you well.”  Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, glorifying God;  and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God.”  Luke 18:35-43.

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The result of Jesus’ miracle was that “when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God.”

What is the result of our works?

Do the people praise God, or do the people praise us?

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16.

Other doctrine focuses on man and man’s wisdom and man’s alleged free-will and man’s works.

What is the result of such focus of other doctrine?  Praise to man.

But, Reformed Doctrine focuses on God and God’s wisdom and God’s will and God’s work.

What is the result of such focus of Reformed Doctrine?  Praise to God.

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD;  you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.”  1 Peter 2:9-10.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 18:31-34.

“Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished.  For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him;  and the third day He will rise again.”  But the disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said.”  Luke 18:31-34.

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“Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”  Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you;  but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”  Luke 24:44-53.

When we compare these Scriptures, we notice the importance placed on the accomplishment and fulfillment of what is written in the Scriptures.  We can and should trust God’s Word!

We also notice the importance of God enabling us to understand Scriptures.  God is sovereign and has the ability to hide the meaning of Scriptures and also has the ability to open minds to understand Scriptures.

With great delight, we read the role of the Holy Spirit in teaching us, disclosing things to us, bringing remembrance of Scriptures to us, and guiding us into all truth.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.  Peace I leave with you;  My peace I give to you;  not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  John 14:26-27.

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;  for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak;  and He will disclose to you what is to come.  He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.”  John 16:13-14.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 18:28-30.

“Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed You.”  And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”  Luke 18:28-30.

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“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Matthew 6:33.

“4 For the word of the LORD is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD.”  Psalm 33:4-5.

“2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
3 Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
4 Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
5 Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”  Psalm 103:2-5.

“Only” eternal life would well be worth whatever we gave up for the sake of the kingdom of God.  But, the kingdom of God does not “only” give us eternal life;  the kingdom of God gives us so many other things during our time on earth.  That is the meaning of today’s Scripture.   

There are those who immediately jump up and denounce such teaching as “Prosperity Gospel”.  Sometimes, they do so without reference to many Scriptures.  Instead, they are satisfied pointing to some unnamed group suffering in Africa, while they themselves are clearly lacking no food, clothing, home, or car, and they have so much more.

Last Sunday, the Sunday worship service (that I attended) concluded with this 2:47 minute video on the “Prosperity Gospel” by John Piper – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTc_FoELt8s
The video’s dramatic pounding lights, music, and images desperately tried to support its message, but Scripture was lacking.  There was no benediction nor Word of God at the conclusion.  The video concluded the worship service.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   .
Christian who call this “Prosperity Gospel”, is your personal testimony that God has not given you during your time on earth as much as you gave up for the kingdom of God?

Most importantly, what does Scripture state?

Let us meditate on what Scripture states are some of the things that we receive at this time.  Obviously, in this short devotion, we can only cover a few things.  But, just because the format of a short devotion can only cover a few things does not mean that we should not try to include some things. 

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.  Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you;  not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  John 14:26-27.

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;  for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak;  and He will disclose to you what is to come.  He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.”  John 16:13-14.

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,”  1 Corinthians 2:12.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22-23.

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”  Matthew 7:11.

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”  Romans 8:32.

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”  Romans 8:11.

“9 O fear the LORD, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.”  Psalm 34:9-10.

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”  Psalm 84:11.

“14 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,
And vegetation for the labor of man,
So that he may bring forth food from the earth,
15 And wine which makes man’s heart glad,
So that he may make his face glisten with oil,
And food which sustains man’s heart.”  Psalm 104:14-15.

“Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting:  to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him;  for this is his reward.  Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor;  this is the gift of God.  For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart.”  Ecclesiastes 5:18-20.

“How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
Who walks in His ways.
2 When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands,
You will be happy and it will be well with you.
3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
Within your house,
Your children like olive plants
Around your table.
4 Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the LORD.” Psalm 128:1-4.

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.”  Psalm chapter 121.

“It is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.”  Psalm 127:2.

“The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”  Psalm chapter 23.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 18:18-27.

“A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good?  No one is good except God alone.  You know the commandments, ‘DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.’”  And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”  When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack;  sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven;  and come, follow Me.”  But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.  And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!  For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”  They who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?”  But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”  Luke 18:18-27.

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Contrary to today’s Scripture, other doctrine believes and teaches that salvation is possible with people through their works or at least through their alleged free-will.

But, Reformed Doctrine, consistent with today’s Scripture and other Scripture, believes and teaches that salvation is impossible with people but is possible with God.

“10 as it is written,

“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”  Romans 3:10-12.

Reformed Doctrine believes and teaches that salvation is only possible with God providing all that is needed for salvation from beginning to end:  from the beginning of God’s “Unconditional Election” through God’s “Limited Atonement” through God’s “Irresistible Grace” to the end of God’s “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP” as more fully taught in the Canons of Dordt.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:4-9.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 18:15-17.

“And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them.  But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”  Luke 18:15-17.

—————–

Children receive, because they are chosen to receive, not because they earn it.

Children are like the foolish, weak, and simple (base) who are chosen by God for salvation in the following Scripture.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.”  1 Corinthians 1:26-29.

Children receive, because they are humble.  All they need to say is “Thank you Daddy!”  

“…  for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke 18:14.

Other doctrine is proud of what it does through its alleged free-will.

But, Reformed Doctrine is humble and thankful for what God does through His Will.   

“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”  Verse 17.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 10, 2019

“God, be merciful to me, the sinner!”

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 18:9-14.

“And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:  “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself:  ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people:  swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week;  I pay tithes of all that I get.’  But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’  I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other;  for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke 18:9-14.

—————-

Other doctrine trust in themselves that they are righteous enough to provide something to distinguish themselves worthy of salvation whether it be works or at least the will to be saved.

But, Reformed Doctrine does not trust in itself to provide anything to distinguish themselves worthy of salvation, correctly understanding man’s natural condition presented by Scripture which it summarizes as “Total Depravity”.  We are “dead” in sin.  Ephesians 2:1-5.    None of us is righteous, none understands, none of us seeks God, and none does good.  Romans 3:10-18.  We are hostile to God.  Romans 8:7 and Colossians 1:21.  We are in bondage to sin.  Romans 7:14-15.

Reformed Doctrine understands that in order for it to be saved, God would need to provide everything for salvation from the beginning to the end:  from the beginning of God’s “Unconditional Election” through God’s “Limited Atonement” through God’s “Irresistible Grace” to the end of God’s “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP” as more fully taught in the Canons of Dordt.  

“For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”  Romans 9:15-16.

“God, be merciful to me, the sinner!”

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