Jottings – Encouragement for Those Who are Despised, Illiterate, Ignoble, Unknown, Meek and Quiet in Spirit
Commenting on Titus 2:2-10:
The comment of Chrysostom on these verses is worth quoting: he says that ‘Greeks form their estimate of doctrines, not from the doctrine itself but from actions and life.’ God often gets highest honor from the godly life and testimony of those who are despised by men in general as being illiterate and even ignoble. The meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of God of great price, even in cases where a believer is little known or heard of. If slaves in those olden days could bring glory to the name of Christ by the faithful fulfillment of their work, so surely can those whose occupation is in more favored circumstances.
W. E. Vine, Collected Writings of W.E. Vine: Titus. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1996).
You are a hiding place for me. Psalm 32:7a ESV
The key to winning a game of Hide & Seek is obvious: find the best hiding place! Of course, it helps to be small and limber enough to squeeze into tight hiding places and have the patience and self-control to remain quiet until everyone else is found.
When I was a child I excelled at Hide & Seek. Like a contortionist I could shoehorn myself into the best of hiding spaces– I even had the patience and self-control to silently remain frozen in time and space until everyone else was found.
Now that I’m older Hide & Seek has become much more of a challenge! Why? Well, I keep getting in my own way. I’m no longer small or limber enough to squeeze into most hiding spots. Nor do I have the patience or self-control to quietly hide for any length of time when I could be doing something much more interesting!
The key to living a victorious life is no different than the key to winning at Hide & Seek! You need a hiding place and there is no better hiding place than the Lord. Just, don’t let yourself get in the way!
Editorial note: Originally published October 3, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
Christ was designed for the highest honours, yet in his first step he thus abases himself. Note, Those who would rise high must begin low. Before honour is humility.
Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 1620.
Know thyself, O man, and that will make thee miserable; know thy God, O Christian, and that will make thee rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
C. H. Spurgeon, “Dilemma and Deliverance,” in The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 6. Originally preached on December 4, 1859. (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1860), 9.
Whenever physical healing does not occur and suffering is prolonged, we should not minimize the pain but remember its eternal frame. This affliction is but for a moment of our eternity and works in us and in others a dependence on Christ that makes heaven’s promises surer and more precious.
Bryan Chapell, (2005-07-01). Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus’ Name (Kindle Locations 752-753). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. But the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’” Amos 7:14-15 ESV
There was nothing special about Amos. By all appearances he was just a regular person going about his own business as a shepherd and a farmer. He had no experience as a prophet, nor did he come from a family of prophets.
Amos was simply going about his own vocation. However, God had a plan and a calling for Amos to prophesy to the people of Israel.
If you want to be used of God to do great things, first be faithful where you are right now! No matter how mundane or boring your daily responsibilities are, go about your daily routine for God’s glory.
God called Amos out of his daily routine to preach to kings and kingdoms. If you are faithful going about your daily routine God may call you to do even greater things than Amos did!
Editorial note: Originally published September 15, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
If the whole world shall run headlong down the broad road, be it yours to thread your way through the crowd against the current along the uphill way of life. The dead fish floats down the stream, the live fish goes against it. Show your life by shunning unholy example.
C. H. Spurgeon, “A Sermon From A Rush,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 11. Originally preached on September 24, 1865. (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1865), 536.
The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways. Proverbs 14:14 ESV
There is a universal principle taught throughout the Scriptures: “Whatever one sows, that he will also reap” Galatians 6:7b ESV. Seems simple enough: sow a few corn seeds, reap a small harvest of corn; sow 100 acres of corn, reap a large harvest of corn.
This principle not only applies to farming, it applies to every aspect of life. Paul goes on to say to the Galatians: “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” Galatians 6:8 ESV.
Do you desire to abound in the things of the Lord? Do you desire a healthy, vibrant, and blessed Christian life? Then you must sow to the Spirit! Feast on His Word. Fall to your knees in prayer. Think on those things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).
If, however, you sow to the flesh by thinking on those things that are not worthy of praise, less than excellent, not commendable, unlovely, impure, unjust, or dishonorable, then you cannot possibly expect the blessings of God. Rather, just the opposite: you will reap corruption.
Today and this day forward, sow bountifully to the Spirit and you will reap a bountiful harvest of spiritual blessings.
Editorial note: Originally published January 17, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Job 38:4a ESV
No doubt Job had questions he wanted God to answer. Many questions. Many legitimate questions. Who could blame him? I’m sure I would have some questions for God if I lost all of my earthly possessions, my family and my health like Job did.
But God never answers Job’s questions. Instead, God has a lengthy list of questions for Job! Job 38-41. Dozens of questions– none of which Job couldn’t possibly give an adequate answer for.
What about Job’s questions for God? Certainly God could answer his questions! But in His wisdom and sovereignty God chose not to. God never even revealed to Job the reasons why no answers were given.
Maybe you have questions — legitimate questions concerning difficult, real-life issues you’re facing– questions God has chosen not to give you an answer for. Questions that keep you awake at night: why do I have cancer? why am I in debt? Why did my mother die? Such unanswered questions are difficult to live with, but remember God has chosen to withhold the answers. It’s not that God can’t answer your questions. Rather, He chooses not to for reasons only He knows.
In the end (Job 42:5,6), Job saw God, recognized his own sinfulness and repented in dust and ashes! Amazing! Job received something far greater than answers… Job received God!
Today, God is offering you something far greater than answers. God is offering to you Himself. Will you repent and receive Him?
Editorial note: Originally published August 22, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God. 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 KJV
Many people were saved when in difficult circumstances. What should they do? Try and change what seemed impossible to change?
Paul explains a principle that will help as new believers face these difficulties.
This is the 39th video in a series of teaching videos on the book of First Corinthians.
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To be continued…