Good Morning Devo for 9.17.2021: Be a Conduit, Not a Reservoir

Good morning! God calls us to be merciful as He is merciful. How is that possible, since we are fallible, frail, and faulty imagebearers?

Let’s read the full paragraph:

32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Jesus Christ, Luke 6:32-36

In our flesh, we love those like us, lend to those who are friends and who will repay us–yet, Christ calls us to love our enemies sacrificially, knowing that our reward will come not necessarily in the “here” but in the hereafter.

God extended mercy to us when we didn’t deserve it. Now, we as imagebearers and covenant bearers of Christ behave as Christ on earth–which is what the church is, the body of Christ.

It’s not just Christ in you but Christ through you. Don’t be a reservoir–be a conduit of His grace and mercy to others.

Settle Matters Quickly: Christ’s Sermon for Kingdom People Series (Matthew 5:21-26)

Outward murder begins with inward anger from a lack of upward worship.

As Jesus builds on the previous paragraph, He shows them how their righteousness should exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. The scribes and Pharisees knew God’s law better than anyone and gave the impression that they obeyed the law better than anyone. Yet, Jesus did to them what He does to all of us–expose our true motives. Were they obeying to make much of themselves or to make much of God and His Son Jesus? Time would bear out in their treatment of Jesus that they leveraged God’s law and their position to make much of themselves.

Good Morning Devo for 9.16.2021: Remind Yourself of the Gospel Every Day

Good morning! The Apostle Paul calls us to think on the things of the Spirit.

Christ embodies each of these perfectly. If ever anyone walked the earth with the qualities, it was Christ. And as we think on Christ more and more, the more we will think on the qualities that he has that are listed here—and the more we will think and practice on them.

We must remember, Christ is in us. Colossians 1:27 talks of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” He is our hope in all we have. He is in us. He in enough. But that’s not the last list: “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).

Learned, received, heard, seen. What do we mean here? It’s a perfect progression. We learn the truths of Scripture and, ultimately, about the person and work of Jesus in and through us. But it’s not enough just to learn, but to receive it—that is, to embrace it, surrender to it. “Heard” means the continual listening of the word either from the pulpit in the main gathering, or in discipleship and conversation. “Seen” means that you are seeing Christ exemplified in Paul and those around him.

We won’t connect with something that doesn’t directly minister to us—but maybe God is calling you to (1) be reminded of things as a safeguard for you –remember 3:1, but also (2) to remember that Jesus himself did not come to be served but to serve, and God is calling you to serve as well. It’s not about you. Say that with me: “Church is not about me!”

Matthew Henry once said, “Peace is such a precious jewel, that I would give anything for it but truth.” You see, friends, we fight for truth. But if truth of God’s Word is not a part of the contention, then we strive in humility to stay level-headed and look to restore. We go to our prince of peace in prayer, supplication and thanksgiving.

Philippians 4:8-9 talks of thinking and practicing aspects of the Christian life.

Matthew R. Perry, Ph.D., is Lead Pastor of Arapahoe Road Baptist Church, Centennial, CO.

Good Morning Devo for 9.15.2021: What Does God Covering Our Sins Mean?

Good morning! How wonderful to know that God will cover all of our sins based on the atoning work of Christ. This motif originates from the understanding of the Ark of the Covenant mentioned several times in the Old Testament.

The ark contained two stone tablets with the Ten Commandments inscribed upon them. Its located was eventually placed in the Holy of Holies. Along with the tablets were a golden pot of manna (food that God provided in the wilderness–see Exodus 16) and Aaron’s almost rod (Numbers 17). The ark possessed a lid that laid on top called the mercy seat. Here was a visible symbol of God’s divine presence. Here also was where God was to be seated and to give mercy to His people when the blood of the atoning sacrifice was sprinkled there. Thus, this is where we get this covenant understanding of our sins being covered by His blood.

Jesus’ blood from His sacrifice covers our sins as a propitiation, in which the wrath and penalty of our sin was removed and put upon Himself. Jesus is also the Great High Priest who offers the sacrifice and provides that priestly intercession. Romans 3:24-25 gives the needed insight for our New Testament perspective:

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

The Apostle Paul, Romans 3:21-26

Are you relying on the mercy of God to cover your sins? This is the only way to find forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. It’s only through Christ.

Matthew Perry, Ph.D. is Lead Pastor of Arapahoe Road Baptist Church, Centennial, CO

Good Morning Devo for 9.14.2021: The Doctrine That Eradicates Fear

Good morning! Perfect love is that which is fueled by and tethered to God our Father through our Lord Jesus Christ. If we are in Him who is love, then we have no reason to fear any punishment (4:18b) because Christ has taken our punishment on our behalf.

Too many Christians live in fear because they do not understand nor have they received the full import of the gospel. The great doctrine of substitutionary atonement–Christ atoned for our sins (paid for them) on our behalf (our substitute). The gravity of understanding this doctrine will bring about a gladness in our hearts and minds for Christ’s sake. I’m thankful for Nick Batzig’s insight here:

Whatever other dimensions belong to the work of Christ crucified, on this much we must be settled: The principal work of Jesus on the cross was atoning for the sins of His people by standing in their place and bearing the consequences and judgment of their sins. Jesus was constituted a sinner—though without any sin of His own—by the imputation of the sins of God’s people to His own person so that He might bear that sin in His body on the tree and receive the just punishment for those sins. In doing so, Jesus atones for the sins of all those for whom He died, removing their guilt and providing the basis of forgiveness for their sin. When we come to understand this in our hearts, we sing: “Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned he stood. Sealed my pardon with his blood. Hallelujah! What a Savior!”

Nick Batzig, “Why is Substitutionary Atonement Essential?

Have you received Christ, who died on your behalf for your sins? Are you walking in the light, in love, in power, and in sound mind (2 Tim 1:7)? Look to the cross and the empty tomb and see what Christ accomplished for you!

Matthew Perry, Ph.D. is Lead Pastor of Arapahoe Road Baptist Church, Centennial, CO

Good Morning Devo for 9.13.2021: King Over the Whole Earth

Good morning! We as followers of Jesus live in the “already” and the “not yet” when speaking of the Kingdom of God. Through the Church of Jesus Christ, He has established His kingdom here on earth spiritually-speaking. Upon Christ’s return, He will establish His literal and visible Kingdom.

“The day of the Lord” is a theme that plays prominently in the Prophetic Writings. This theme reminds God’s people that (1) this world will not last forever, (2) we have responsibilities as Kingdom people in the meantime. For those who are not among God’s people, they share the reality of the first item mentioned previously: this world will not last forever. Yet, they are called to repent of their sin and brokenness and turn to Christ as their righteousness.

Do you realize that time is short?

Do you know that Christ will return in glory to gather His people?

Do you know that Christ will return in glory to judge those who refused Him?

Do you know, dear Church, that time is short and that we have responsibilities tethered to the Great Commission?

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:15-17

Matthew R. Perry, Ph.D. is Lead Pastor of Arapahoe Road Baptist Church, Centennial, CO.

Saturday Spurgeon: Tears are the Index of Strength

Sometimes tears are base things; the offspring of a cowardly spirit. Some men weep when they should knit their brows, and many a woman weepeth when she should resign herself to the will of God. Many of those briny drops are but an expression of child-like weakness. It were well if we could wipe such tears away, and face a frowning world with a constant countenance. But oft times tears are the index of strength. There are periods when they are the noblest things in the world. The tears of penitents are precious: a cup of them were worth a king’s ransom. It is no sign of weakness when a man weeps for sin, it shows that he hath strength of mind; nay more, that he hath strength imparted by God, which enables him to forswear his lusts and overcome his passions, and to turn unto God with full purpose of heart. And there are other tears, too, which are the evidences not of weakness, but of might—the tears of tender sympathy are the children of strong affection, and they are strong like their parents. He that loveth much, must weep much; much love and much sorrow must go together in this vale of tears. The unfeeling heart, the unloving spirit, may pass from earth’s portal to its utmost bound almost without a sigh except for itself; but he that loveth, hath digged as many wells of tears as he has chosen objects of affection; for by as many as our friends are multiplied, by so many must our griefs be multiplied too, if we have love enough to share in their griefs and to bear their burden for them. The largest hearted man will miss many sorrows that the little man will feel, but he will have to endure many sorrows the poor narrow-minded spirit never knoweth. It needs a mighty prophet like Jeremiah to weep as mightily as he. Jeremiah was not weak in his weeping; the strength of his mind and the strength of his love were the parents of his sorrow. “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.” This is no expression of weak sentimentalism; this is no utterance of mere whining presence; it is the burst of a strong soul, strong in its affection, strong in its devotion, strong in its self-sacrifice. I would to God we knew how to weep like this; and if we might not weep so frequently as Jeremy I wish that when we did weep, we did weep as well.

Spurgeon, “India’s Ills and England’s Sorrows,” NPSP 3:150 (1857).