August 9, 2020
Hymn of the Day
(tune: Higher Ground, p. 308)
I wandered long in my own way,
New depths I reached from day to day,
But by the Shepherd I was found,
And planted safely on high ground.
He's lifted up to God's right hand,
And by God's grace, with Him I stand,
No higher plane can ere be found,
I'm satisfied with this high ground.
My Savior came my soul to save,
For me, His precious life He gave;
So, I'm no more by Satan bound,
For Christ has set me on high ground.
They crucified the Savior, Then,
When three days passed, He rose again,
In Joseph's tomb He was not found,
He'd risen up to higher ground.
The day will come when He'll return,
The world, with God's own wrath, will burn.
But I'll be safe, for I'll be found,
In Jesus Christ – the Highest Ground!
Today's Hymns: Nearer, Still Nearer #340,
Come, Thou Fount #17, Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty #13,
Special Dates: Fonda Van Beek – 15 ~ Tyler and Amy – 18
[God] rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was vexed by the depraved conduct of the lawless." -2 Peter 2.7
Human depravity is always present, filthy and gross like an underground septic tank. So long as it remains underground, we can put it out of mind and go about our lives untroubled. But, when such depravity begins to come to the surface like the sewage of an overflowing septic tank, it begins to vex the souls of the righteous. As the word translated "vexed" suggests, the righteous are "worn down" by such behavior parading itself in the public square and setting itself forward as acceptable and even good.
As we see the culture of our nation corrupt its way as in Sodom, we who believe (and that is who the righteous are: believers), cannot help but be spiritually worn down by it. We have always known it was present for we have always known that that such lawlessness is in our flesh as well as in them. But to see it literally pour out into the streets and parade itself as virtuous character and justified violence wears down believers – robs them of joy in their lives as they are both tempted and offended by such conduct. And believers are further distressed by the knowledge that God will tolerate such open displays of rebellion only so long before He answers in judgment.
But even though things look grim and, even now, we can see the foreshadowing of Divine judgment upon our nation, we are not left in despair, for "He rescued Lot." We can see two ways in which God rescued Lot:
First, in calling Lot "a righteous man," we see that God rescues His people from their sin by granting them a righteousness they did not perform. If you were asked to give an example of a righteous man in the Old Testament, Lot is likely to be among the last you would consider. Yet, here he is, the one whom Peter, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, chooses as an example of the righteous. And who are we to question his choice? But seeing that God moved Peter to choose Lot as an example of the righteous, we are taught that the righteousness of God's people is not a description of how they live but is nothing more or less than a righteousness given to them by God's sovereign grace. Paul call is "a righteousness FROM God." (Romans 1.17)
Secondly, when the time for ultimate judgement came, Lot was taken out of the city before judgment fell. It is written that God was so intent on rescuing Lot that he sent two angels to warn him and then to compel him to leave the city saying that judgment cannot fall on Sodom until he is out of it. "And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, ° the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth and set him outside the city." Though vexed by the conduct of the men in Sodom, Lot was yet hesitant to leave it, so sovereign, irresistible grace laid hold of him and set him outside the city, and thus, beyond the reach of judgment. And so it is with the righteous of our day: before God brings His final and complete judgment on this world, He will remove His righteous ones from it. Let us not be like Lot but, rather, be anxious to leave! -Joe
One of the men of our church was in a shelter the other day and saw a sign in the office that said, "I am God and I am here to solve your problems."
This is all that God is to the majority of people, how can this be? Because this is the way those who occupy the pulpits present him. God is made to be all things to all people. Whatever your problem "god" can handle it. If it is a health, financial, marital or anything else°even a sick pet! Just ask god...he can solve your problem.
This is atheism in practice, this is imagination run amuck, and the best the natural man can come up with in its view of God. Is this the view the scriptures give of God? The God of the Bible is sovereign, immutable, eternally holy and righteous, and can do nothing for anyone without doing it righteously. He doesn't reveal himself as the solver of problems but as a "Just God and Savior."
There are those who make heaven and hell the issue. The word of God makes Christ and sin the issue. The majority make "god is love" to be paramount, but the Holy Scriptures make His righteousness and how sinners are made righteous to be the paramount. The scriptures make the gospel of God's free grace in Christ as the only way God will save sinners as it is preached.
Scott Richardson has said many times "God will not speak to or be spoken to by any member of the human race apart from His Son Jesus Christ". What is man's real problem? It is sin, rebellion, and self-righteousness - how is this to be solved? It already has - by the Lord Jesus being "made to be sin, by bearing that sin to the cross and there bearing the judgment and justice of God against sin, once and for all."
By God-given grace and faith, God will justly justify the sinner who believes on His Son. -Donnie Bell