Matthew 12:7 Fingers Pointing Back

Matthew 12:7 (KJV)
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

The Pharisees saw the disciples plucking corn on the Sabbath and challenged Jesus for it. After citing several Biblical examples of something similar to plucking corn on the Sabbath, Jesus pointed three fingers of judgment back at them.

A judgment against their ignorance
They did not know what the Bible, they claimed to be experts in means when it says, “I will have mercy and not sacrifice.”

A judgment against their judgment
Because they did not know what the Scripture means, they did what the Scripture taught them not to do. They judged and condemned others.

A judgment against their discernment
They were wrong for condemning in the first place but their error was compounded because those they condemned were guiltless.

  • They didn’t understand the Bible
  • They didn’t understand the nature of judgment and
  • They didn’t understand the difference between guilt and guiltlessness

Great harm is done by the one who presumes to be an expert in the Word of God but does not know the heart of God concerning mercy and religion.

 

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Matthew 12:7 Fingers Pointing Back

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Matthew 11:2-3 A Return to The Baptist

Matthew 11:2-3 (KJV)
Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

John the Baptist is marginalized by most of mainstream Christianity today. And I think there are a number of reasons for that:

  • John’s ministry emphasized holiness to an uncomfortable level for our compromised and comfortable Christian culture.
  • John forces universal church doctrine to consider the authority and mode of baptism
  • John the Baptist does not fit the popular notion that living for Christ leads to success in life ventures

I think the passage may be divided into:
John’s Question
Vs 2-3

John’s Answer
Vs 4-6

John’s Character
Vs 7-19

The Gospel begins with the preaching of John the Baptist. We would be wisest to return to his:

  • preaching,
  • philosophy of ministry and
  • personal character

in our modern ministries.

 

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Matthew 11:2-3 A Return to The Baptist

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Psalms 94:20-21 An Application For Our Time

Psalms 94:20-21 (KJV)
Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?
They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.

I realize that the historical context of this Psalm addresses issues different than our own day. However I do believe the Bible to be a living book, relevant to every age. God, who is in the end the same as the beginning, who is in all ages in the present tense, gave us the Word of God to answer all things that pertain to life and godliness.

Spurgeon was able therefore to make application in his day and write, “They legalise robbery and violence, and then plead that it is the law of the land; and so indeed it may be, but it is a wickedness for all that. With great care men prepare enactments intended to put down all protests, so as to render wrong-doing a permanent institution, but one element is necessary to true conservatism, viz., righteousness; and lacking that, all their arrangements of the holders of power must come to an end…”

As I looked at these verses I saw in them a condemnation of our country’s legalization of abortion. We have framed mischief by a law which condemns the innocent blood of the unborn to death.

Taking that application then, we may go on with the Psalm and see that, though laws have been framed in their favor, those who are part of this terrible crime either in:

  • having,
  • endorsing,
  • legalizing or
  • performing

of them, will face God’s righteous judgment.” Psalms 94:23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.

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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 2006.

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Psalms 94:20-21 An Application For Our Time

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Psalms 91:9-10 You Can Be An Encourager

Psalms 91:9-10 (KJV)
Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

I cannot help but be thrilled with the confidence of the Psalmist here. His relationship with God is so sure that he boldly assures his audience that, since they knew God as he knew God, “There shall no evil befall thee.”

A great need in our day is for Christians with this same confidence.

  • A confidence to speak out for God
  • A confidence in the work of God is
  • A contagious confidence in God

This confidence need not belong to the preacher and scholar alone. It has a rightful place among any believer who has experienced the blessed hand of the Lord. Charles Spurgeon, in his Treasury of David has this personal testimony concerning this passage, “In the year 1854, when I had scarcely been in London twelve months, the neighbourhood in which I laboured was visited by Asiatic cholera, and my congregation suffered from its inroads. Family after family summoned me to the bedside of the smitten, and almost every day I was called to visit the grave. I gave myself up with youthful ardour to the visitation of the sick, and was sent for from all corners of the district by persons of all ranks and religions. I became weary in body and sick at heart. My friends seemed falling one by one, and I felt or fancied that I was sickening like those around me. A little more work and weeping would have laid me low among the rest; I felt that my burden was heavier than I could bear, and I was ready to sink under it. As God would have it, I was returning mournfully home from a funeral, when my curiosity led me to read a paper which was wafered up in a shoemaker’s window in the Dover Road. It did not look like a trade announcement, nor was it, for it bore in a good bold handwriting these words: – “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” The effect upon my heart was immediate. Faith appropriated the passage as her own. I felt secure, refreshed, girt with immortality. I went on with my visitation of the dying in a calm and peaceful spirit; I felt no fear of evil, and I suffered no harm. The providence which moved the tradesman to place those verses in his window I gratefully acknowledge, and in the remembrance of its marvellous power I adore the Lord my God.”

If a tradesman may encourage a preacher such as Spurgeon with such confidence, so may any believer who knows the hand of the Lord.

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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 2006.

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Psalms 91:9-10 You Can Be An Encourager

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Psalms 89:20-21 Established in Christ

Psalms 89:20-21 (KJV)
I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him:
With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him.

These verses (and the context in which they are found) are directed to David but must find their truest fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

My interest is in verse 21 and the phrase, “With whom my hand shall be established” many of the commentaries retranslate[1] this to read something like “From whom my hand will not leave.” I cannot argue that as a truth regarding David. God’s hand has forever been upon him through his progeny, especially Jesus. Though the Davidic family experienced supreme failures and was, at least in one line, forever dispossessed of the throne, God’s promise to him has never been altered because of Christ.

But the plain reading of the King James Version can only be applied to Christ. This understanding of the phrase is that God’s hand is established through Christ. We see

  • who God is,
  • what is His Character and
  • how His promises are fulfilled

in the Person of David’s Son, Jesus Christ.

[1] The word translated established means set up, fixed confirmed. It is difficult to find the “be ever present with” interpretation in the phrase other than through reason.

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Psalms 89:20-21 Established in Christ

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Psalms 87:6 Where Were You Born?

Psalms 87:6 (KJV)

The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.

Of this verse Spurgeon writes,
“Jehovah’s census of his chosen will differ much from ours; he will count many whom we should have disowned, and he will leave out many whom we should have reckoned.”

We read in the Scriptures of the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Whether this passage is a reference to it is a question for the scholars to debate. What interests me is that God has a count and that God considers those on it.

It seems best to understand the verse to speak of the two births:

  • physical and
  • spiritual

Those whose names are written in the book have not only a physical birth but a new and spiritual one. In this case we would be drawn to the book of the Revelation where God, at the Great White Throne Judgment, looks to see whether those delivered up to him from hell have their names written in the book of life.

Whether a person spends eternity with God or in the Lake of Fire ultimately rests in their new birth.

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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 2006.

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Psalms 87:6 Where Were You Born?

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Psalms 85:3-4 A Position, A Prayer and A Purpose

Psalms 85:3-4 (KJV)
Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.
Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.

There is in this Psalm:
A position, what God has done
Vs 1-3

A prayer, what God is doing
Vs 4-7

A purpose, the reason for which He is doing it
Vs 8-13

Positionally God’s people are:

  • forgiven,
  • cleansed and
  • seated together

with Christ in heavenly places.

We are justified.

Experientially we are all too aware of our own failing and sin.

Though God has pronounced us to be clean we are keenly aware that it is not so. We plead for Him to:

  • turn us,
  • revive us and
  • be merciful to us

because we know we need it.

We are being sanctified.

Practically we know that justification and sanctification are:

  • possible,
  • effectual and
  • actual

because “mercy and truth are met together” in the person of Jesus Christ.

We have a Saviour.

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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 2006.

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Psalms 85:3-4 A Position, A Prayer and A Purpose

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Matthew 5:48 Bull’s Eye!

Matthew 5:48 (KJV)
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Romans 3:23 says For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The word sinned is defined as missing the mark. Picture an archer’s target. The mark is the bull’s-eye. Most of us would think that hitting anywhere on the target would be acceptable. Not so according to the definition of sin. Sin is to miss the bull’s-eye.

The Pharisees were the best-known people of their day for practicing righteousness. They worked hard at it. They had disciplined themselves toward it. They held each other accountable for it, but they were not perfectly capable of it. They could hit the target as it were. They probably could hit the target better than anyone else alive in their day. But they did not hit the bull’s-eye. They were not perfect.

Jesus set before His hearers a difficult ideal; their righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees. No, He set before than an impossible one, they were to be perfect as their Father in heaven is perfect. That is exactly what God promises in 2 Corinthians 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

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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 2006.

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Matthew 5:48 Bull’s Eye!

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Psalms 81:12 Lust Filled Hearts

Psalms 81:12 (KJV)
So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels.

It was grace that prevented Adam and Eve from re-entering the Garden and eating of the tree of life. Even so, the grace of God prevents us from following after the lusts of our own hearts. There is nothing stingy that God would keep us from sin. There is nothing cruel that God restrains our passion. On the contrary, to be let go. To be given up to the lusts of our hearts is the greatest of judgments.

In the last days God with remove His restraint from this world. Antichrist will be given free reign and men will freely follow him. These will be the worst days the world has ever known.

Note however that it is not God that gives them such lust filled hearts. That is of their own doing. He merely frees them to follow after those lusts.

To be surrendered to God is a great blessing.

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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 2006.

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Psalms 81:12 Lust Filled Hearts

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Matthew 3:1 What Days They Were

Matthew 3:1 (KJV)
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

What wonderful days those days were.

  • Jesus had reached Maturity
  • John the Baptist was prepared for his ministry
  • God the Father’s own fullness of times had come

In those days:

  • Rome had occupied Israel
  • The Jews had turned their faith into idolatry and
  • The world had become open with roads and commerce

In those days:

  • God introduced to mankind the Messiah He promised so many of thousands of years before
  • The world would be forever changed by the message John was about to preach and
  • Salvation from sin would become a reality at Calvary.

The world changed in those days when one man stepped out of obscurity to do God’s will.

What days they were!

 

 

To my readers:
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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 2006.

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Matthew 3:1 What Days They Were

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