1 Peter 5:2-3 (KJV) Feeders of the Flock

1 Peter 5:2-3 (KJV)
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

 

Peter’s exhortation to the elders or pastors challenges them to feed the flock of God and to do so giving attention to three things:

Their mindset

Not of constraint but willingly.

Early on in the ministry a man may be simply amazed that he gets to be a pastor. As his ministry takes root and develops he may be filled with wonder at God’s blessing. If he isn’t mindful, however, certain other feelings may occupy his mind. Bitterness might crop in at those he perceives as damaging his success in ministry. Envy can build up towards those he views as having greater success in the ministry. Pride might swell his heart if he sees himself as successful. The pastor must have a free and willing mindset if he is to truly feed the flock God has given him.

 

Their motivation

Not for filthy lucre but of a ready mind.

The laborer is worthy his hire and the ruler deserves double honor. Yet the man of God must guard himself to never serve for the sake of money. The amount in the offering plate should never determine the effort of the preacher. If he must work a secular job in order to support himself he will of course be able to invest less of himself into his ministry. That does not mean that what he does invest should be invested at less than 100%.

 

Their modality

Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

Recently my oldest son shared with me some observations from meeting a shepherd in his area. This shepherd uses dogs to help him with his sheep but the dogs never actually herd the sheep. The task of the dogs is to help keep the flock together. The shepherd herds them by guiding them to this pasture or the other. The dogs simply keep them from scattering or straying as they journey. The pastor is a leader but he is at his best when he remembers that Christ is the leader; his task is just to keep the sheep together as they follow Christ.

 

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

1 Peter 5:2-3 (KJV) Feeders of the Flock

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Joshua 15:1 My Lot in Life

Joshua 15:1 (KJV)
This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families; even to the border of Edom the wilderness of Zin southward was the uttermost part of the south coast.

 

The common phrase “my lot in life”, perhaps made most famous by C3PO in Star Wars, is of Biblical origins. It stems from Joshua’s dividing the Promised Land to the tribes of Israel by lot.

 

I am reminded that there are numerous phrases just like this, used every day by people who are unaware of their Biblical roots and often by people who hold the Bible in utter contempt. The phrase reminded me of how woven into our lives God’s Word and, yea, God is; even in the lives of those who despise Him and claim they do not believe God is:

God is near everyone of us

He is not a God far off. He is near to anyone who will call upon Him.

 

God is active in every life, even if we do not recognize Him

Christians and non Christians alike often miss the hand of God at work all around them, for them and through them.

 

God’s mercies, though near, are effective only for those who seek Him.

Just as we unknowingly toss Bible phrases around but can only truly benefit from the Bible by studying and taking heed to it, so God’s mercies are available to all but salvation only comes to those who call out to God for it.

 

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Joshua 15:1 My Lot in Life

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1 Peter 4:1 The Armed Mind

1 Peter 4:1 (KJV)
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

 

To arm oneself is to take up an offensive weapon. They may be used defensively but they are offensive in nature.

  • To put on a helmet is not to be armed
  • To put on a breastplate is not the same as being armed
  • To pick up a shield is not the same as being armed

Arming oneself would be picking up a spear a sword or a bow; in our day it would be a pistol, a shotgun or a rifle.

 

Peter says to arm ourselves with the same mind as Christ when He suffered for us in the flesh. This took me to Ephesians six and what is the only offensive weapon in the whole armor of God, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. The surest way to protest ourselves from the suffering of the flesh is to attack it with God’s Word. This is not to attack the one who inflicts the suffering upon us, Christ did not do that, but to apply the Word of God to our minds that we would be strengthened to bear it and have a clarity to know our path in the midst of it.

 

If we suffer for Christ we do so for the sake of others.

 

 

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

1 Peter 4:1 The Armed Mind

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Joshua 11:15 Joshua Obeyed Moses’ commands

Joshua 11:15 (KJV)
As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.

 

That Joshua was the man of God for his hour was indisputable.

  • The Lord has appointed him to replace Moses
  • The Lord had parted Jordan River under Joshua as a sign of his authority
  • The Lord had spoken to Joshua even as he had to Moses
  • The Lord had given Israel great victories under Joshua

 

Joshua could have reasoned that he had never experienced the many rebellions and murmurings against his leadership Moses did and neither had he been rebuked and not allowed to enter the Promised Land as had. He could have manipulated this thinking into reasons not to have obeyed the commands of Moses. Joshua was of a different character than that. Moses was not there to supervise him and Joshua was a powerful leader in his own right. Still he honored the structure of authority.

  • God commanded Moses
  • Moses commanded Joshua
  • Joshua obeyed Moses

Would to God we had more of this sort of character among those proclaiming themselves to be men of God. So many today believe that

  • their college degree
  • their ordination paper or
  • their title as pastor

frees them to run away from the leaders God placed before them. Moses was gone. But Joshua obeyed Moses still.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Joshua 11:15 Joshua Obeyed Moses’ commands

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1 Peter 2:6 Clearing Up Confusion

1 Peter 2:6 (KJV)
Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

 

This world can be a confusing place. Relationships can be confusing:

  • Livelihoods can be confusing
  • Politics can be confusing
  • Moral positions can be confusing
  • Finding purpose and meaning can be confusing
  • Questions of eternal consequence can be confusing

 

The Bible here tells us how to clear out the confusion. It is in believing on Christ. But be careful. To many this is a spiritual technicality. They believe that they believe in Christ and therefore have honored this text and yet they still find their lives are confused. The passage says “believe on Him.” That is:

  • to put faith in him
  • to trust him
  • to lean on him

There is a chasm that stands between saying, “I believe in Jesus” and truly trusting Jesus.

  • When I trust him I believe him concerning relationship issues such as my place in marriage or in raising children
  • When I trust him I believe his message about moral issues regardless of what others say and do
  • When I trust him I believe him in issues of calling and purpose for life
  • When I trust him I know that no man cometh unto the father except by him

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

1 Peter 2:3 Clearing Up Confusion

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Joshua 9:4 No Deals Cut With God

Joshua 9:4 (KJV)

They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;

 

Rahab the harlot establishes that, had any of the Canaanites repented, they could have been spared. Unfortunately, that is not what most of them did.

  • Some walled themselves away inside their fortresses (but God tore them down)
  • Some banded together as one against Israel
  • Some feared God’s judgment but chose to fight instead of repent

 

 

Gibeon chose to work wilily, to use trickery and deceit. Their plot appeared to work on the surface. They did get a treaty of peace, but in doing so they incurred the wrath of the world around them and, what is worse, no real relationship with the people of God.

 

Churches today are filled with Gibeonite type people. These are the ones attempting to cut a deal with God. They pretend to be something they are not hoping that, if they can convince the Christians, they can convince God to spare them. Their strategy will not work. All they really succeed in doing is

  • To alienate themselves from the world
  • To frustrate their relationship with Christians
  • To bind themselves as prisoners from saving faith and
  • To ultimately end up eternal lost in hell

All of this (except the wrath of the world) could have been avoided if only they had sincerely repented and asked for salvation.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Joshua 9:4 Repentance

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James 5:10 The Prophets’ Suffering

James 5:10 (KJV)

Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

 

The Bible points us to the prophets and lifts them as an example, not for preachers alone, but for all believers.

Our example of Christian living is not:

  • David’s influence
  • Solomon’s glory
  • Abraham’s wealth

as our example. We are told to take for our example the prophets’ suffering.

 

Not every Christian is called to suffer affliction but every Christian should follow the example of these sufferers.

 

Patience is a virtue all Christians do best to have and practice.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

James 5:10 The Prophets’ Suffering

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Joshua 7:5 No Acceptable Loss

Joshua 7:5
And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.

 

The first attempt by Israel to take Ai involved two to three thousand men and resulted not only in their defeat but the loss of thirty-six lives. That’s approximately 1-2% and would probably be considered an acceptable loss in most operations of combat.

 

It was obviously not acceptable to Joshua. It was not acceptable to those families most closely affected. These thirty-six had:

  • parents
  • uncles
  • brothers and
  • sisters

They very probably had

  • wives and
  • children

They were not only soldiers but

  • citizens of Israel
  • members of their tribe in Israel and
  • relatives of their family in that tribe

 

With their loss came the loss of hopes, futures and industry. Their wives would need comfort. Their children would need instruction. They would not be there to claim their portion of the Promised Land. They would not be there to help increase their tribes opportunities in the Land.

 

They are lost.

 

All because one man chose disobedience, selfishness and covetousness.

 

Some would accuse Achan’s punishment of being harsh. Why death? Why his family? Why his goods with him? Because this one man’s actions, and his family’s decision to help him in the act, stole all these and more:

  • from the thirty-six
  • from their families and
  • from the promises of God

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Joshua 7:5 Consequences of sin

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Joshua 5:13-14 No Fight In Them

Joshua 5:13-14
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?

 

That this was in fact, the work of God and not the exercise of Israel against the Canaanites is obvious by at least three things that are recorded early on in this book:

Verse one says of the Canaanites that, because of the children of Israel, their hearts melted and they had no spirit in them.

There was no will in them to fight the Jews. There was no fight in them at all.

Verses two through eight says that the children of Israel circumcised every male among them not before, but after they entered into the Promised Land.

They would have been easy prey for the Canaanites had they had the spirit to attack them. This reminds me of the vicious dealings of Jacob’s children, the forefathers of these Jews, when they tricked the people of Shechem into circumcising and then killed them all while they were too incapacitated to fight. God exposed Israel to the same danger, but did not allow the Canaanites to exploit their opportunity.

Chapter six verses eight through nine says that, when Israel marched around the walls of Jericho, they announced their coming with priests blowing trumpets.

Not only did they expose themselves to the dangers of enemy soldiers on the wall and they did not attack, they let the enemy know they were there.

 

God was orchestrating the events between Israel and the Canaanites so that there was no real grudge the Jews had against the Canaanites, nor were the Canaanites particularly opposed to the Jews. Each side knew that this was the work of God in their midst.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Joshua 5:13-14 No Fight In Them

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James 2:8-11 KJV Guilty of a “Lesser Commandment”

James 2:8-11
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

 

We tend to associate James 2:10 with the verses following it regarding two of the Ten Commandments; against adultery and murder.  It is key, I believe, to associate it also with the verses preceding it regarding what might by many be considered a lesser commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves.

 

This “lesser commandment” though not found among the ten, is part of those laws of the Old Testament[1] and was especially singled out by Christ as second only to “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine…[2]

 

Two things come to mind:

  • The importance of loving and respecting all persons
  • The serious mistake of attempting to earn righteousness through these laws

If a man is trying to earn his righteousness through keeping the law and just one time prefers one man above another he has committed a sin as heinous as adultery or murder.

 

God offers a better righteousness through faith in Christ. His righteousness liberates us to then practice good works for the sake of the work and not as a futile effort to please God in the flesh.

[1] Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

[2] Matthew 22:37

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

James 2:8-11 Offend in one point

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