Today’s devotion comes from Luke 13:22-30.

“And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem.  And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?”  And He said to them,  “Strive to enter through the narrow door;  for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.  Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’  Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’;  and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from;  depart from Me, all you evildoers.’  In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.  And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.  And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.”  Luke 13:22-30.

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“Enter through the narrow gate;  for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14.

The Broad Way of Most Doctrine Compared to the Narrow Way of Reformed Doctrine a/k/a Calvinism

Most doctrine (including specifically Arminianism) is like a broad bridge open to everyone, but it only goes half-way across the river.  Such doctrine teaches that God loves everyone, Christ died for everyone, and God wants to save everyone, but it is up to man to contribute something worthy of salvation.  The only difference between the unsaved and saved is that the saved does works or maybe as little as uses his alleged free-will to, so to speak, jump from the end of the bridge, across the river, to the shore of salvation.  Arminians believe that everyone has an equal opportunity to be saved, but that Christ’s death completely saved no one in particular.  Only those who do sufficient works or who take a sufficient “free will leap of faith” to the shore of salvation will be saved.  Thus, the bridge is wide, open to everyone, but it only goes halfway across the stream.  Accordingly, the saved have reason to boast for contributing to their own salvation and showing themselves worthy of salvation.

In sharp contrast to most doctrine (including specifically Arminianism), Reformed Doctrine a/k/a Calvinism is like a narrow bridge only open to God’s elect, but the narrow bridge goes all the way across the river to the shore of salvation.  Reformed Doctrine a/k/a Calvinism teaches that God only loves His elect and only wants to save them and that Christ died only for the elect.  In summary, God does everything necessary for the salvation of His elect.  Reformed Doctrine a/k/a Calvinism teaches that man is totally depraved (first point of Calvinism) that he is “dead” in sin, hostile to God, cannot please God, cannot understand the things of God, and is in bondage to sin and Satan, such that God must do everything for the elect, including making them alive (regenerating them), giving them faith, sanctifying them, and preserving them to salvation, so that all of God’s elect will be saved.  Accordingly, God’s elect have no reason to boast for God provided everything needed for their salvation.

 

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.  Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;  but one thing I do:  forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:12-14.

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win.”  1 Corinthians 9:24.

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;  seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.  For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.  Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.  Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you;  for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;  for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”  2 Peter 1:2-11.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 13:20-21.

“And again He said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?  It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”  Luke 13:20-21.

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The kingdom of God penetrates us and affects every part of us like leaven penetrates the flour and affects every part of the flour until all was leavened.  In the language of the Canons of Dordt quoted toward the end of this devotion, the Holy Spirit “pervades the inmost recesses of the man” to make us alive, illumine our mind, soften our hardened heart, and infuse new and good qualities into our will.

Awesome!

The kingdom of God penetrates our dead body of sin to make us alive.  “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),”  Ephesians 2:4-5.

The kingdom of God penetrates us to remove our stony heart and give us a heart of flesh.  “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;  and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”  Ezekiel 36:26-27.

The kingdom of God penetrates every cell of our body to cleanse us of all sin.  “… the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”  1 John 1:7.  “…   Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”  Psalm 51:7.  Christ cleansed us and prepared us to be His church “in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing  … holy and blameless”  Ephesians 5:26-27.  “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.  Hebrews 10:12.

Article 11.  But when God accomplishes his good pleasure in the elect, or works in them true conversion, he not only causes the gospel to be externally preached to them, and powerfully illumines their minds by his Holy Spirit, that they may rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit of God;  but by the efficacy of the same regenerating Spirit, pervades the inmost recesses of the man;  he opens the closed, and softens the hardened heart, and circumcises that which was uncircumcised, infuses new qualities into the will, which though heretofore dead, he quickens;  from being evil, disobedient and refractory, he renders it good, obedient, and pliable;  actuates and strengthens it, that like a good tree, it may bring forth the fruits of good actions.  THIRD AND FOURTH HEADS OF DOCTRINE Of the Corruption of Man, His Conversion to God, and the Manner Thereof of Canons of Dordt.

“… 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.

The kingdom of God penetrates us to conform us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29) and to transform “… the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”  Philippians 3:21.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | February 8, 2019

“I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will perform it.”

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 13:18-19.

“So He was saying, “What is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it?  It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden;  and it grew and became a tree, and THE BIRDS OF THE AIR NESTED IN ITS BRANCHES.”  Luke 13:18-19.

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The phrase in all caps appears to a quote from the following Scripture.

“Thus says the Lord God, “I will also take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and set it out;  I will pluck from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one and I will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.  On the high mountain of Israel I will plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit and become a stately cedar.  And birds of every kind will nest under it;  they will nest in the shade of its branches.  All the trees of the field will know that I am the Lord;  I bring down the high tree, exalt the low tree, dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.  I am the LORD;  I have spoken, and I will perform it.”  Ezekiel 17:22-24.

We do not need to understand the meaning of all this Scripture to glean out the one point that the LORD is the One Who performs the growth of the kingdom of God.

Other doctrine focuses on itself and what it should do to grow the kingdom of God.

But, Reformed Doctrine sees the theme throughout Scripture that God is the Sovereign King of His kingdom and He performs the growth of His kingdom.

For example, the Apostle Paul said:  “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.  So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.”  1 Corinthians 3:6-7.

Q. 54.  What believest thou concerning the “holy catholic church” of Christ?

A.  That the Son of God, from the beginning to the end of the world, gathers, defends, and preserves to Himself by His Spirit and Word, out of the whole human race, a church chosen to everlasting life, agreeing in true faith;  and that I am, and for ever shall remain, a living member thereof.  Heidelberg Catechism.  

Other doctrine likes to exalt man and tries to humble God by making the kingdom of God dependent on man’s alleged free-will.

But, Reformed Doctrine sees in Scripture that God likes to humble man:  “I bring down the high tree, exalt the low tree, dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.”

And, Reformed Doctrine exalts God showing that Scripture teaches that the kingdom of God is dependent on the will and work of God.

“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 13:10-17.

“And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.  And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit;  and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all.  When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.”  And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God.  But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, “There are six days in which work should be done;  so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.”  But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him?  And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?”  As He said this, all His opponents were being humiliated;  and the entire crowd was rejoicing over all the glorious things being done by Him.”  Luke 13:10-17.

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Why would we not want to be joined to Christ Who does all these glorious things?!

But, the synagogue official was only concerned about his own righteousness in keeping the Sabbath, even though the woman was not healed for 936 Sabbaths (18 years x 52 Sabbaths a year).  What good was accomplished by the synagogue official in keeping the Sabbath 936 times when the woman remained bound by Satan?! 

“And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?”  As He said this, all His opponents were being humiliated;  and the entire crowd was rejoicing over all the glorious things being done by Him.”  Verses 16-17.

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.  For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.  For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”  Romans 10:1-4.

“Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.  But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”  Galatians 3:24-26.

“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba!  Father!”  Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son;  and if a son, then an heir through God.”  Galatians 4:4-7.

“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”  Romans 7:4.

“But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”  Romans 7:6.

“For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ;  and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  Galatians 2:19-20.

“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.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 13:6-9.

“And He began telling this parable:  “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard;  and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any.  And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any.  Cut it down!  Why does it even use up the ground?’  And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer;  and if it bears fruit next year, fine;  but if not, cut it down.’”  Luke 13:6-9.

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We notice both a patience and a demand for productivity in today’s Scripture.

“And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer;  and if it bears fruit next year, fine;  but if not, cut it down.’”  Verses 8-9.

Patience is required, because trees do not continually bear fruit.  Trees only bear fruit in their season.  We also get a sense of that point from the following Scripture which describes the righteous yielding fruit in its season.

“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.”  Psalm 1:3.

But, if a tree does not bear fruit in its season, the demand for productivity may result in the tree being cut down and burned.

“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees;  therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  Matthew 3:10.

But, there is hope!

Christ is like a vine.  We are joined to Christ that we might bear fruit for God.

“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”  Romans 7:4.

And, God is like the vinedresser Who cares for us, such as pruning us, so that we may bear more fruit.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away;  and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.  You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.  Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches;  he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up;  and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.”  John 15:1-6.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 12:54 through Luke 13:5.

“And He was also saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out.  And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way.  You hypocrites!  You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?

“And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right?  For while you are going with your opponent to appear before the magistrate, on your way there make an effort to settle with him, so that he may not drag you before the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison.  I say to you, you will not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent.”

Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.  And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate?  I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.  Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?  I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”  Luke 12:54 through Luke 13:5.

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The Scripture for today’s devotion comes from two different chapters, because Luke 13:1-5 helps us understand the importance of Luke 12:54-59.

Jesus was teaching that just as the crowds thought it was important to be good at forecasting the weather, the crowds should also think it is important to be good at forecasting the coming of God’s wrath and judgment.

Just as the crowd used its forecast of the weather to prepare for the weather, the crowd should use its forecast of  God’s wrath and judgment to prepare for it by repentance.

Likewise, Jesus’ teaching about the wisdom of settlement was not just a practical tip on how to live better.  It was an illustration of how the crowd, recognizing the sign of coming of God’s wrath and judgment, should try to settle with God, so to speak, by repenting.

Let us be like the Ninevites who recognized the sign of the coming of God’s wrath and judgment and who prepared for it by repenting.

“Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk;  and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”

Then the people of Nineveh believed in God;  and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them.  When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes.  He issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles:  Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing.  Do not let them eat or drink water.  But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth;  and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands.  Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.”

When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them.  And He did not do it.”  Jonah 3:4-10.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 12:49-53.

“I have come to cast fire upon the earth;  and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!  Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth?  I tell you, no, but rather division;  for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three.  They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”  Luke 12:49-53.

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Christ sharply divides the wicked away from the righteous, and thus protects the righteous from the wicked. 

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind;  and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach;  and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away.  So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire;  in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Matthew 13:47-48.

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before Him;  and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;  and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.’  Matthew 25:31-33.

“…  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived;  neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”  1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

There is also a sharp division between heaven and hell.  

“And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’”  Luke 16:26.

God may allow the wicked to dwell in apparent prosperity on earth for a while with the righteous.  But, as the Parable of Wheat and Tares teaches us, God will separate them.

“Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.  But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.  But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.  The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field?  How then does it have tares?’  And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’  The slaves *said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’  But he *said, ‘No;  for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.  Allow both to grow together until the harvest;  and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up;  but gather the wheat into my barn.”’  Matthew 13:24-30.

“What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?  And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.”  Romans 9:22-24.

On earth, we see the beginnings of the division through Christ’s work of building His church in which He gathers God’s elect into the church and defends them and preserves them, commanding “COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE” and “Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”

Q. 54.  What believest thou concerning the “holy catholic church” of Christ?

A.  That the Son of God, from the beginning to the end of the world, gathers, defends, and preserves to Himself by His Spirit and Word, out of the whole human race, a church chosen to everlasting life, agreeing in true faith;  and that I am, and for ever shall remain, a living member thereof.  Heidelberg Catechism.  

“I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;  I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.  But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.  For what have I to do with judging outsiders?  Do you not judge those who are within the church?  But those who are outside, God judges.  Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”  1 Corinthians 5:9-13.

“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!”  Psalm 1:1.

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers;  for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?  Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God;  just as God said,

“I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM;
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.
“AND DO NOT TOUGH WHAT IS UNCLEAN;
And I will welcome you.
“And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.”  2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 12:41-48.

“Peter said, “Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?”  And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time?  Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.  Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.  But if that slave says in his heart, ‘My master will be a long time in coming,’ and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk;  the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers.  And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few.  From everyone who has been given much, much will be required;  and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”  Luke 12:41-48.

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Yes, we have a duty.  We should be “the faithful and sensible steward”.

Yes, we have fear of punishment.  We have been given much and entrusted with much.  We know our master’s will.  We know that much is required of us.  We know that if we “did not get ready or act in accord with his will”, we “will receive many lashes”.

But even if we do have a strong sense of duty and strong fear of punishment, we should not trust our self.

“Who can so faithfully serve God?!  Who can escape punishment?!” 

Our comfort is not in our sense of duty, nor in our fear of punishment, nor in our ability to faithfully serve God, nor even in our gratitude to God.

Q. 1.  What is thy only comfort in life and death?

A.  That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ;  who, with His precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil;  and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head;  yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him.  Heidelberg Catechism.

In other words, our comfort is that we trust God that He “makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him.”

How does God make us “sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him”?

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;”  2 Corinthians 9:8.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love …”  Galatians 5:22.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.

“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.  For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.  But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”  Romans 7:4-6.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 12:35-40.

“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit.  Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks.  Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes;  truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.  Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.

“But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.  You too, be ready;  for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”  Luke 12:35-40.

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“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.  But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.  For this reason you also must be ready;  for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”  Matthew 24:42-44.

“Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?  But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:  to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;  but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.”  Romans 2:4.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!”  2 Peter 3:10-12.

“For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.  While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;  for you are all sons of light and sons of day.  We are not of night nor of darkness;   so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.  For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.  But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.  For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.  Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”  1 Thessalonians 5:2-11.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 12:33-34.

“Sell your possessions and give to charity;  make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Luke 12:33-34.

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“Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven;  and come, follow Me.”  But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving;  for he was one who owned much property.

And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I say to you, 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.”  Matthew 19:21-24.

“If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.  But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.”  1 Timothy 6:8-11.

“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.  For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.”  Colossians 3:2-6.

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