Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 19:1-11.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+19&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?”  And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’?  So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”  They *said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND HER AWAY?”  He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives;  but from the beginning it has not been this way.  And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.”  But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given.  For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb;  and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men;  and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.  He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”  Matthew 19:3-11.

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“And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”  Verse 9.

There is difference in opinion as to what this verse means.

There are strong Reformed believers who believe that even in the case of immorality, if a man marries another woman after his divorce on the ground of immorality, he has committed adultery.

As is generally my policy, the purpose of my Reformed Doctrine Daily Devotions is to state my opinions.  My purpose is not to state other people’s opinions nor the reasons therefor, at least in detail.  They can and should state their own opinions and the reasons for it, in their own words.  As I state in the “About Me” introduction, which can be accessed by the tab on top of the page at my web site:  “Although I do my best to present true teachings, these are my teachings as a layman.  (I am an attorney, not a minister).  And, although I have been taught by and otherwise influenced by certain Reformed denominations through the years from a very early age to date, my teachings are not necessarily the teachings of the Christian Reformed Church, the Protestant Reformed Churches, nor any other denomination.  The reader is advised to follow the example set forth in Acts 17:11:  “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”

I believe that this verse 9 means that there are two events that could constitute adultery, that is, one event is a man divorcing his wife on a ground other than immorality, and another event is that same man who divorced his wife on a ground other than immorality marries another woman.  Thus, one man could commit two adulteries if he divorced his wife on a ground other than immorality (first adultery) and then that same man who divorced his wife on a ground other than immorality (first adultery) later marries another woman, he has committed a second adultery.  But, if the man who divorced his wife on a ground other than immorality does not later marry another woman, he has only committed the first adultery and does not commit a second adultery by marrying another woman.  And, if a man who does divorce another woman on the ground of immorality later marries another woman, he does not commit either event of adultery.

Whichever opinion is true, this teaching is tough to swallow.

“It is better to live in a corner of a roof
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.  Proverbs 21:9 and Proverbs 25:24.

In other words, even if you are married to such a contentious wife, her contentiousness that drives you to live in a corner of a roof is not an excuse to divorce her.  And, if you do divorce your wife on a ground other than immorality (first adultery), you could commit adultery again (a second adultery) if you do marry another woman.

We are reminded of Matthew 18:8-9.

“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you;  it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire.  If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you.  It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.”  Matthew 18:8-9.

Thus, we better understand verses 10-12.

“The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.”  But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given.  For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb;  and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men;  and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.  He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”  Verses 10-12.  In other words, there are those who do not marry at all to eliminate the possibility of committing adultery.

But, there is hope!

What God has joined together for His elect, He has blessed.  “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone;  I will make him a helper suitable for him.”  Genesis 2:18.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 18:21-35.

“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?  Up to seven times?”  Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.  When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.  But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.  So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’  And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.  But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii;  and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’  So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’  But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed.  So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened.  Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.  Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’  And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.  My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”  Matthew 18:21-35.

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In our sinful nature, we do not want to forgive.  We may forgive but for bad, selfish reasons.  For two examples, but there are more examples, we may forgive to look good to others or we may forgive to let go of the baggage of bad feelings that plague us.  But, we do not forgive out of sincere care for others.  We do not forgive out of mercy toward others.

Our focus tends to be narrowly set on what someone owes us and our self interest.  Today’s Scripture encourages us and exhorts us to broaden our focus to God and what we owe God.  If we want God to forgive us, then we should be willing to forgive others.

There is also more than just a duty to forgive, there is both the promise of a reward of God’s willingness to forgive us if we forgive others and there is the warning that God will not forgive us if we do not forgive others.

Consider also the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer.

“12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”  Matthew 6:12 and 14-15.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 18:18-20.

“Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven;  and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.  For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”  Matthew 18:18-20.

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This Scripture reminds us of the following Matthew 16:17-19, especially verse 19.

“17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church;  and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.  19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven;  and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”  Matthew 16:17-19.

Some misuse Matthew 16:17-19 to try to reserve powers for only the Apostle Peter or his successor.

Although we do honor the Apostles and prophets and our fathers in the faith, we should not so reserve powers for them nor improperly exalt them.  Today’s Scripture helps us realize that these powers apply to common believers by Matthew 18:18’s use of almost identical language to Matthew 16:19.  And, if some would argue that Jesus is again only talking to Peter, we do notice that the very next verse starts with “Then Peter came and said to Him …” indicating that Peter was not there when Jesus said these words and to clarify that Peter was not being specifically singled out as the only one who had these powers.

Likewise, we consider the following Scriptures which show that in Christ, all believers possess all these blessings.

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”  Ephesians 2:19-22.

“What then is Apollos?  And what is Paul?  Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.  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 3:5-7.

“Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.  For who regards you as superior?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”  1 Corinthians 4:6-7.

“So then let no one boast in men.  For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas (Peter) or the world or life or death or things present or things to come;  all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ;  and Christ belongs to God.”  1 Corinthians 3:21-23.

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

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private;  if he listens to you, you have won your brother.  But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church;  and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”  Matthew 18:15-17.

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“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline;  therefore be zealous and repent.”  Revelation 3:19.

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
But he who hates reproof is stupid.”  Proverbs 12:1.

“A wise son accepts his father’s discipline,
But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.”  Proverbs 13:1.

“Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline,
But he who regards reproof will be honored.”  Proverbs 13:18.

“He who withholds his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”  Proverbs 13:24.

“A fool rejects his father’s discipline,
But he who regards reproof is sensible.”  Proverbs 15:5.

“31 He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
Will dwell among the wise.
32 He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.”  Proverbs 15:31-32.

“Listen to counsel and accept discipline,
That you may be wise the rest of your days.”  Proverbs 19:20.

We see from the following Belgic Confession that discipline is one of the three marks of the true Church.

Article 29:  Of the marks of the true Church, and wherein she differs from the false Church.

“… The marks, by which the true Church is known, are these: if the pure doctrine of the gospel is preached therein;  if she maintains the pure administration of the sacraments as instituted by Christ;  if church discipline is exercised in punishing of sin:  in short, if all things are managed according to the pure Word of God, all things contrary thereto rejected, and Jesus Christ acknowledged as the only Head of the Church.  Hereby the true Church may certainly be known, from which no man has a right to separate himself.  …”  Belgic Confession.

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.”  Proverbs 22:15.

“13 Do not hold back discipline from the child,
Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14 You shall strike him with the rod
And rescue his soul from Sheol.”  Proverbs 23:13-14.

“But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.”  1 Corinthians 11:32.

“You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;  and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,

MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD,
NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;
FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”

It is for discipline that you endure;  God deals with you as with sons;  for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.  Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them;  shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?  For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.  All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful;  yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” Hebrews 12:4-11.t”Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:19.

 s

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 18:10-14.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.  For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

“What do you think?  If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?  If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray.  So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.”  Matthew 18:10-14.

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“So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.”  Verse 14.

Other doctrine will jump with joy all over this verse, claiming that this verse proves that God loves everyone, Christ died for everyone, and that the only difference between the saved and the saved is that the saved show themselves worthy of salvation by their own works or at least their own alleged free-will choice of Christ.

But, Reformed Doctrine studies the context and concludes that “these little ones” are God’s elect.  In other words, it is not the will of God that any one of His elect perish.

First, we see that there is nothing in this text by which the little one (one of the ninety-nine sheep) did anything to save himself or herself.  Rather, the little one was saved only because the shepherd searched and found the lost sheep.

Second, we see that these hundred sheep were owned by the shepherd:  “If any man has a hundred sheep”.  Verse 12.  Just because an owner searches and saves his own property does not mean that he desires to search and save property that is not his own.

Third, the fact that these little ones had angels in heaven for whom God was concerned (as the reason why we should not despise them) shows that they were part of God’s elect.  Verse 10.

Fourth, in the context of verse 1-6 of this same chapter, these little ones were identified by Jesus as greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and in verse 6 as those who “believe in Me”.

I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father;  and I lay down My life for the sheep.  …  But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 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 10:14-15 and 26-29.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 18:7-9.

“Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks!  For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come;  but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!

“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you;  it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire.  If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you.  It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.”  Matthew 18:7-9.

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There is nothing more important than avoiding hell.

But, sadly, most people still live their life as if they were a video game “Pac-Man” trying to gobble up as many pleasures and possessions as possible.

Today’s Scripture lead us to consider that many of those pleasures and possessions could be sin or at least stumbling blocks causing us to fall into sin.  Rather than gobble them up, we should be trying to avoid them.  And, if we gobbled them up, we need to get rid of them.

Instead of being like a “Pac-Man”, let us strive to be like an Olympic marathon runner who sheds off every bit of weight in body and in clothing in order to be as light as possible and in the best condition to run the race.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”  Hebrews 12:1.

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”  Matthew 16:26.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 18:1-6.

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me;  but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”  Matthew 18:1-6.

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A child is humble knowing that he or she can do nothing and that he or she needs his or her father to do everything for him or her.

Other doctrine is proud teaching that its disciples can and must do certain things for salvation and does not expect nor even want God to do everything for salvation.

But, Reformed Doctrine, understanding man’s natural condition of “Total Depravity” of being dead in sin and enslaved to sin and Satan, is humble like a child, teaching that man can do nothing to contribute to salvation and that God must do everything for the salvation of man from beginning to end in order for man to be saved.

This Reformed Doctrine of Salvation is known by the acronym “TULIP”.  “Total Depravity” is the “T” of “TULIP” explains the need for God to do everything for the salvation of man from beginning to end in order for man to be saved:  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”.

There are different ways in which one can cause a child who believes in Jesus to stumble.  We tend to focus on the stumbling blocks of leading a child to develop bad habits and ignore or minimize how bad doctrine can cause a child who believes in Jesus to stumble.  Bad doctrine can cause a child who believes in Jesus to trust himself or herself rather than to totally trust God.

But, in sharp contrast to other doctrine which causes a child who believes in Jesus to stumble, Reformed Doctrine teaches a child who believes in Jesus to trust in God.

“I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the LORD.

4 How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
5 Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.

9 I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation;
Behold, I will not restrain my lips,
O LORD, You know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.”  Psalm 40:1-5 and 9-10.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 17:24-27.

“When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?”  He *said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon?  From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?”  When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt.  However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up;  and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel.  Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”  Matthew 17:24-27.

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Jesus and His disciples had every right to claim privileges based on their standing as sons of the kingdom such as being exempt from tax.  But Jesus taught and set the example for us that just because they could claim such privileges does not mean that they should claim such privileges.  The following Scripture states it well.

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;  do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”  Philippians 2:3-7.

And, there is hope and help to do so!

As Jesus performed a miracle, a work of God, in obtaining the tax money, God will give us the will to have such selfless attitude and God will work within us to perform works consistent with such a Godly attitude.

Shortly after the above Scripture, we read:  “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 17:14-23.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+17&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill;  for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.  I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.”  And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you?  How long shall I put up with you?  Bring him here to Me.”  And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?”  And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith;  for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move;  and nothing will be impossible to you.  [But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”]  Matthew 17:14-21.

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First, let us clear out what faith is not.  Faith is not faith in our faith.  Faith is not trying harder in our own abilities to, so to speak, drum up faith on our own.

In a nutshell, faith is faith in God and His promises in Scripture.  In the words of the Heidelberg Catechism, such faith in God and His promises is faith that “he is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful Father“.  See Question and Answer 26.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the men of old gained approval.”  Hebrews 11:1-2.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:6.

In order to better understand faith, we will look at some of the examples of people who showed faith and gained approval in this Hebrews 11 chapter of the “Hall of Faith”.

“By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household …”  Hebrews 11:7.  When we are warned by God about something that we do not yet see, and yet believe and take action on that basis, that action shows our faith.

“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance;  and he went out, not knowing where he was going.  By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise;  for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”  Hebrews 11:8-10.  When we receive promise of good things that we do not yet see, and yet believe and take action on that basis, that “looking for good things” action shows our faith.

“By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.”  Hebrews 11:11.  When we consider God as faithful Who promised something, that faith in the faithfulness of God shows our faith.

“And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return.  But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God;  for He has prepared a city for them.”  Hebrews 11:15-16.  When we think about the good things that we can’t yet see in God’s promise, so to speak dwelling in God’s promise, rather than think about the bad things that we can only see, so to speak shrinking back and living in fear, that determined “dwelling in God’s promise” focus shows our faith.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;  it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.”  He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.”  Hebrews 11:17-19.  When we consider God as Almighty and able to do anything, that belief in the almighty power of God shows our faith.

“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt;  for he was looking to the reward.”  Hebrews 11:24-26.  When we believe “in whom (Christ) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”  Colossians 2:3, that shows our faith.  See Hebrews 11:6 above generally about the element of faith that is a belief that God is a rewarder of those who seek Him.  When we look for such rewards in Christ, the “rewarder”, that shows our faith.

“By faith he (Moses) left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king;  for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.”  Hebrews 11:27.  When we do not fear the bad things that we can only see, but endure, that courage and endurance show our faith.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 17:1-13.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+17&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Six days later Jesus *took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and *led them up on a high mountain by themselves.  And He was transfigured before them;  and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.  And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.  Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here;  if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”  While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased;  listen to Him!”  When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified.  And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.”  And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.”  Matthew 17:1-8.

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Peter was all about doing.  “Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here;  if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”  Verse 4.

Our tendency is also to be all about doing.  That is why other doctrine is so appealing to us.

Whereas Reformed Doctrine focuses on God and what He has said and done, other doctrine seeks to focus on man and what man should do.

Notice God’s response to Peter.  “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased;  listen to Him!”  Verse 5.  God turned attention from Peter’s doing to His Son, Jesus.  God even turned attention away from Moses and Elijah to Jesus alone.  “And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.”  Verse 8.

Jesus said:  “It is the Spirit who gives life;  the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”  John 6:63.

“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.”  John 5:21.

“Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have words of eternal life.”  John 6:68.

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