helping to ignite your imagination, creativity and passion for following God…

Posts tagged ‘think spot’

Think Spot 16 March 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-iqnnw-d5a2a8

TS2020.jpg

Think Spot – 16 March 2020

Be you therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. Ephesians 5:1-2.


Paul admonishes us to be followers of the Father, as beloved children. He employs the most endearing terms — “dear children” —’- to persuade us with the Father’s love to love even as we are loved. What manner of love has God manifested toward us? Not simply that love in which he gives temporal support to us unworthy beings in common with all the wicked on earth; that he permits his sun to rise on the just and the unjust and sends rain on the grateful and the ungrateful. Not only thus did God love us; but he has given his Son for us. In addition to showering upon us both temporal and eternal blessings he has given his own self with all he is, with all he has, with all he does. He who despises such glow of love, which fills all heaven and earth and is beyond all power to comprehend; he who does not permit this love to kindle and incite in him love for his neighbour, whether enemy or friend, is not likely ever to become godly or loving by such measures as laws or commandments, instruction, constraint, or compulsion.

“Walk in love,” the apostle counsels. He would have our external life all love. But not the world’s love is to be our pattern, which seeks only its own advantage, and loves only so long as it is the gainer thereby; we must love even as Christ loved, who sought neither pleasure, nor gain from us, but gave himself for us — gave himself as a sacrifice and offering to reconcile God unto ourselves, so that he should be our God and we his children. Thus are we to give, or even surrender our goods, whether friends claim them or enemies. We are to be ready to give our lives for both friends and enemies and must be occupied with the thought how we may serve others, and how life and property can be made to minister to them in this life, and this because we know that Christ is ours and has given us all things. All sacrifices are powerless but that of Christ himself; he is the sweet-smelling aroma. This sacrifice is pleasing to God. He gladly accepts it and would have us believe that it is an acceptable offering in our stead.

(An excerpt taken from “Devotional Readings From Luther’s Works For Every Day Of The Year” By Rev. John Sander, L.H.D.) in the Public Domain.

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gif
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Think Spot 9 March 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-przkp-d5a29b

TS2020.jpg

Think Spot – 9 March 2020

And he said, I know not: am I my brother s keeper? Genesis 4:9


Cain thinks he has made an effectual excuse for himself by saying that he is not his brother’s keeper. But does he not confess by the very word “brother,” which he takes upon his lips, that he ought to be his keeper? Is not that equal to accusing himself, and will not the fact that Abel is nowhere in evidence arouse the suspicion in the minds of his parents that he has been murdered? Just so also Adam excuses himself in paradise, and lays the blame on Eve. But the excuse of Cain is far more stupid; for while he excuses his sin he doubles it, whereas the frank confession of sin finds mercy and appeases wrath. All liars and hypocrites imitate Cain their father by either denying their sin or excusing it. Hence they cannot find pardon for their sins.

But let us survey the order in which sins follow each other and increase. First Cain sins by presumption and unbelief, priding himself on the privilege of his birthright. He takes it for granted that he shall be accepted of God on the ground of his own merit. Upon the pride and self-glorification follow envy and hatred of his brother, whom he sees preferred to himself by an unmistakable sign from heaven. Upon this envy and hatred follow hypocrisy and lying. Though he designs to murder his brother, he accosts him in a friendly manner and thereby throws him off his guard. Hypocrisy is followed by murder. Murder is followed by the excusing of his sin. And the last stage is despair, which is the fall from heaven to hell.

Moses took special pains in the preparation of this account to serve as a witness against all hypocrites, and as a chronicle containing a graphic description of their character and ire aroused by Satan against God, his Word and his Church. It was not enough of this murderer that he killed his brother, but he added the further sin of becoming indignant and wrathful when God inquired of him concerning his brother. He is indignant that he should be called to an account concerning the matter at all. His reply is the language of one who resists and hates God.

(An excerpt taken from “Devotional Readings From Luther’s Works For Every Day Of The Year” By Rev. John Sander, L.H.D.) in the Public Domain.

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gif
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Think Spot 2 March 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-n4ugn-d50d5d

TS2020.jpg

Think Spot – 2 March 2020

You suffer fools gladly, seeing you yourselves are wise. For you suffer, if a person bring you into bondage, if a person devours you, if a person takes of you, if a person exalts them self, if a person slaps you on the face. 2 Corinthians 11:19-20.

Paul delivers a masterly stroke when with the same words he praises and rebukes the Corinthians. His commendation of their patience is in reality reproof. He means to say: I have preached the gospel to you at my own expense and jeopardy. By my labour you have attained to its blessing. You have done nothing for me in return, and I have been no tax upon you. Now, upon my departure, others come and captivate you, and seek honour and profit from my labour. They boast as though the accomplishments were all theirs.

Of these you become the disciples and pupils. Their preaching you accept, while mine becomes odious. My case is that of the bee which labours to gather honey and then come the idle drones and earthworms and consume the sweet which they have not gathered. You can suffer these false prophets though they be fools and teach you foolishness. In this you display wisdom and patience. But you do not suffer me, who taught you true wisdom. You can permit them to make servants of you, to be your lords and to order you to do their bidding. But I, who have made myself your servant, served you without profit to myself, that you might be lords with Christ, must now be ignored and all my labours lost. You suffer yourselves to be devoured; for you abundantly bestow your property upon them. But I have never enjoyed aught of yours. All my service has been without recompense, that you might become rich in Christ.

You suffer the false teachers to take from you beyond your consent, to exalt themselves above you, to esteem themselves better than you and me, and to exercise their arrogance over you. But you deal not so with me, who have sacrificed my own substance, and have taken from others, that I might bring the gospel to you. They reproach you publicly, smite you in the face, put you to shame and abuse you with insolent words. But my patience with you, my parental tenderness, is remembered no more.

(An excerpt taken from “Devotional Readings From Luther’s Works For Every Day Of The Year” By Rev. John Sander, L.H.D.) in the Public Domain.

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gif
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Think Spot 24 February 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-5tazw-d3a35d

TS2020.jpg

Think Spot – 24 February 2020

 

Behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; My daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. Matthew 15:22-23.

Christ like a hunter exercises and chases faith in his followers in order that it may become strong and firm. When the woman follows him upon hearing of his fame and cries with assured confidence that he would according to his reputation deal mercifully with her, Christ certainly acts as he would let her faith and good confidence be in vain and turn his good reputation into a lie, so that she might have thought: Is this the gracious, friendly man? Are these the good works that I have heard spoken about him? It cannot be true. He might at least speak a word and tell me that he will have nothing to do with me.

Behold, this is a hard rebuff, when God appears so earnest and angry and so utterly conceals his grace, as those know so well, who feel and experience it in their hearts. But what does the poor woman do? She turns her eyes from all this unfriendly treatment of Christ; all this does not lead her astray, neither does she take it to heart, but she continues firmly to cling in tier confidence to the good news she had heard and embraced concerning him, and does not give up.

We must also do the same and learn firmly to cling to the Word, even though God with all his creatures appears otherwise than his Word teaches. But how painful it is to nature and reason that this woman should strip herself of self and forsake all that she experienced, and cling to God’s bare Word, until she experienced the contrary. May God help us in time of need and of death to possess like courage and faith!

This gospel is to us a true example of firm and perfect faith. For this woman endures and overcomes in three great and hard fought battles, and teaches us in a beautiful manner the true way and virtue of faith, namely, that it is a hearty trust in the grace and goodness of God as experienced and revealed through his Word. Without doubt the good news which she had heard about Christ that he was a pious man and cheerfully helped everybody, made her run after him. Such good news about God is a true gospel and a word of grace, out of which sprang the faith of this woman.

(An excerpt taken from “Devotional Readings From Luther’s Works For Every Day Of The Year” By Rev. John Sander, L.H.D.) in the Public Domain.

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gif
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Think Spot 17 February 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-wxf8c-d38887

TS2020.jpg

Think Spot – 17 February 2020

Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Matthew 4:1.

Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, that he might there fast and be tempted; but no one should imitate Christ’s example of his own choice and make it a selfish and arbitrary fasting; but instead wait for the Spirit, who will send him enough fastings and temptations. For whoever, without being led by the Spirit, wantonly resorts to the danger of hunger or any other temptation, when it is truly a blessing of God that he can eat and drink and have other comforts, tempts God. We should not seek want and temptation, they will surely come of themselves ; we ought to act honestly, and always do our best. The text reads: Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness; and not: Jesus himself chose to go up into the wilderness. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” God gives his blessings that we may use them with thanksgiving, and not that we let them lie idle, and thus tempt him; for he wishes us to fast by the Spirit or by a need which we cannot avoid.

This narrative is written both for our instruction and admonition. For instruction that we should know how Christ has served and helped us by his fasting, hunger, temptation, and victory ; also that whosoever believes on Christ shall never suffer need, and that temptation shall never harm him, but that we shall have enough in the midst of want and be safe in the midst of temptation; because his Lord and Head triumphed over all these in his behalf, and of this he is assured. “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

This is written for our admonition, that we may in the light of his example also cheerfully suffer want and temptation for the service of God and the good of our neighbour, like Christ did for us, as often as necessity requires it, which is surely accomplished if we learn and confess God’s Word. But we have practiced fasting as a good work, not to bring our flesh into subjection, but as a meritorious work before God to atone for sins and obtain grace. This has made our fasting a stench, a blasphemy, and a disgrace.

(An excerpt taken from “Devotional Readings From Luther’s Works For Every Day Of The Year” By Rev. John Sander, L.H.D.) in the Public Domain.

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gif
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Think Spot 10 February 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-33fct-d2f77b

think_spot.jpg

Think Spot – 10 February 2020

 

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another. Colossians 3:12-13.

Observe the tender and sacred style of the apostle’s admonition. He does not drive us with the law, but persuades by reminding us of the ineffable grace of God. He calls us the “elect of God,” “holy,” and “beloved.” He desires to call forth in us the fruits of faith, wishing to have them yielded in a willing, cheerful and happy spirit. The individual who truly believes that he is beloved, holy and elect before God, will consider how he may sustain his honour and titles, and how he must conduct himself to be worthy of them. He will love God with a fervour that will enable him to do or omit, or suffer all things, and will ever think that he is not doing enough.

Paul here speaks of that sincere and whole-souled mercy, characteristic of a father or mother who witness the distress of their child for which they would readily expose their lives or give up all their possessions. The Christian heart and mind is constantly devoted to merciful deeds with an ardour so intense as to make him unaware that he is doing good and compassionate acts.

Paul condemns also the works and arbitrary rules of hypocritical saints, whose severity will not permit them to associate with sinners, and who exercise no mercy, but administer perpetual reproach, censure, criticism, blame and bluster. They are unable to endure imperfections in any, though they themselves are sinners and many are infirm. Christians reject none, and will bear with all. They are as sincerely interested in sinners as they are in themselves. They pray for them, teach, admonish, persuade, do all in their power to reclaim them. The virtues mentioned in the text become us better in the sight of God than pearls, precious stones, silk and gold become us in the eyes of the world. So Christ dealt with the adulteress, brought her to repentance and with gracious words suffered her to depart. So God in Christ has dealt with us and ever deals

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gif
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Think Spot 3 February 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-wzwiy-d1f093

TS2020.jpg

Think Spot – 3 February 2020

Now abides faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love). 1 Corinthians 13:13.

Paul’s statement that love is greater than faith and hope is intended as an expression of the permanence, or eternal duration of love. Faith, being limited as to time in comparison with love, ranks beneath it for the reason of this temporary duration. With the same right I might say that the kingdom of Christ is greater upon earth than was Christ.

Thereby I do not mean that the Church in itself is better and of highef rank than Christ, but merely that, it covers a greater part of the earth than he compassed; for he was here but three years, and those he spent in a limited sphere, whereas his kingdom has been from the beginning and is coextensive with the earth. In this sense, love is longer and broader than either faith or hope. Faith deals with God merely in the heart and in this life, whereas the relations of love both to God and the whole world are eternal.

Nevertheless, as Christ is immeasurably better and higher and more precious than the Christian Church, although we behold him moving within smaller limits and as a mere individual, so is faith better, higher and more precious than love, though its duration is limited and it has God alone for its object.

Paul’s purpose in thus extolling love is to deal a blow to false teachers and to bring to naught their boasts about faith and other gifts when love is lacking. He means to say: If ye possess not love (charity), which abides forever, all else of which you boast being perishable, ye will perish with it. While the Word of God and spiritual gifts are eternal, yet the external office and proclamation of the Word, and likewise the employment of gifts in their variety, shall have an end, and thus your glory and pride shall become as ashes.

So then faith justifies through the Word and produces love. But while both Word and faith shall pass away, righteousness and love, which they effect, abide forever; just as a building erected by the aid of scaffolding remains after the scaffolding has been removed. Love gives and blesses the neighbor, as a result of faith, and it shall never be done away.

(An excerpt taken from “Devotional Readings From Luther’s Works For Every Day Of The Year” By Rev. John Sander, L.H.D.) in the Public Domain.

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gif
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Tag Cloud