Salvation by Grace Alone, Simple Family-Integrated Worship

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Articles, devotionals, study guides, and other writings from Pastor David Wise and other select writers.

Tears In A Bottle

“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” (Psalm 56:8)

This world is full of a lot of pain and suffering that leads us to shed tears from time to time. Our American masculinized culture looks down on those who shed tears, stigmatizing those who do cry as somehow weaker than those who portray a false of strength by refusing to cry. Crying is a natural human emotion, and Jesus is aware of our tears and our suffering that prompts those tears. God is intimately aware of all our tears, even storing up those tears in his bottle and noting them in his book. Jesus is not aloof to our suffering that causes us to shed tears, but he is intimately aware of every single one of those tears and has made provision that ultimately God himself will wipe away all tears from our eyes in heaven. 

Does Jesus Care In The Storm?

“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38)

In the midst of a fierce storm of tribulation in our lives, we are prone to the same response as the apostles during their physical storm on the sea of Galilee. When the waves got high and the water began to fill the boat, not only did they become afraid, but they began to question if Jesus even cared for them in the midst of this storm. Sometimes we feel like Jesus is asleep in the hull of the ship in the midst of our storms as well, and we can question if God even cares and he might even allow us to perish. When we have those doubts and fears in the midst of life’s storms, we have to remember the word of God; remember Jesus’ promise that he is with us in the storm and has promised safe passage to the other side and ultimate deliverance from these storms.

All These Things Are Against Me

“And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.” (Gen. 42:36)

When we endure tragedy, we have a tendency to develop a “woe is me attitude”. It is very easy in the heat of a trial to let our mind run away and begin to think the entire world is “against” us and quickly end up very depressed. Jacob has a little pity party here himself where he declares “all these things are against me”. Granted, Jacob had endured a lot of heartache in his life, some due to his own sins, some due to the deception of others, and now due to his estranged son’s demands. However, Jacob was much more blessed than he realized in this moment. All things were not against him. Finally, we see the answer of the New Testament, if God be for us, who can be against us? Even if the entire world and every event in our life opposes against us, God is still for us in eternal salvation and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Shake & Shine

“13) Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15) Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:13-16)

When we consider the steady decline to ungodliness in our culture, it is easy to blame everyone else instead of truly examining ourselves in the church. I believe the steady decline in morality around us is a direct reflection of the impact of the church as salt and light on the culture around us. If our culture is decaying around us, it is because the salt of the church is not preserving the culture. If darkness is prevailing, it is because the light of the world is not shining forth properly and have put our candlestick under a bushel. When you go to the doctor, you don’t blame him for the reality of your diagnosis. You should want your physician to tell you the truth of what is wrong with you so you can remedy the problem. You also don’t put your head in the sand and ignore the doctor’s counsel and diagnosis – you are having these symptoms, so therefore, you have this problem. We must consider the church’s salt and light effect in the culture around us that is rapidly deteriorating.

The God of New Beginnings

“5) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (Rev. 21:5)

Our God is in the business of making all things new. He is the God of new beginnings. As we embark on a new year in 2021, it can be a blessing to feel like you have a new year with a fresh, new, blank slate on which to write new blessings and new life experiences throughout this coming year. Each new day is like a new page in the book of our life. Every new year is like a new chapter in that book. God is in the business of turning the page to a new blessed chapter in our lives. There are many examples in scriptures of those who endured very difficult seasons of their life – some very hard pages and chapters – but then God turned the page and gave them a new chapter in their life. In like manner, we need to take this new year, this new day, as an opportunity for God to write a new, blessed chapter in our lives.

“It Is Finished” – A Past Tense Salvation

When we consider eternal salvation, as Primitive Baptists we simply take Jesus at his word on the cross when he declared “It Is Finished”! We must then ask, what did Jesus actually finish on the cross? Did Christ just do his part of salvation and now he is waiting and dependent upon the sinner to believe to actually be fully saved? No, the Bible teaches that Jesus completed all the requirements for eternal salvation on the cross. Let us consider together the many verses that present the “past tense” nature of our eternal salvation – that Jesus has “finished” our eternal salvation and we rest in Jesus’ finished work of salvation today.

Bible Reading for 2021

As we begin to make New Year’s Resolutions for the upcoming year in 2021, arguably no resolution is more important than a renewed commitment to the reading and study of God’s word. We hope you will embark with us on this one-year Bible reading plan designed to read your Bible all the way through in the next year.

Click here to view and download a PDF of the 2021 One Year Bible Reading Plan

To aid you in reading God’s word, you might consider downloading this Bible Timeline of the Old and New Testament to place each passage of scripture in the appropriate historical context.

Click here to view and download a PDF of the Biblical Timeline of the Old and New Testament

Habakkuk’s Prayer for Revival and Mercy

“O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.” (Habakkuk 3:2)

This prayer of Habakkuk should set the tone for our prayers every day, but especially during the times we are living in today. It seems we live in a culture very similar to Habakkuk’s day, bemoaning the reality of ungodliness and justifiably frustrated with the wickedness in the culture around us. We question like Habakkuk, “O Lord how long?” How long will you seemingly not answer the prayers of your people and allow wickedness to continue to wax greater and greater every day? God, why are you allowing all of this violence and iniquity to occur (Hab. 1:1-4)?

Withstanding the Devil’s Wiles

Beloved, during this uncertain and chaotic time, it is vitally important for you to “put on the whole armor of God” and especially the “helmet of salvation” to withstand against the “wiles of the devil” (see Eph. 6:10-18). Satan is a deceiver, the father of lies, subtil, and wily. Satan cannot pluck any of God’s children of out the eternal hand of the Father, but he is out to corrupt the minds of God’s children. That is why we must put on the whole armor of God and our helmet of salvation to protect our minds. Our helmet of salvation protects our brain, or figuratively, our mind. Our mind should be filled with the salvation of Jesus Christ and our eternal security by his sovereign grace and that will protect our mind from the wiles of the devil. It is vitally for us to be properly adorned with the armor of God to withstand the onslaught of the devil against the Lord’s people.

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

Why do bad things happen to good people? This question is commonly asked in response to some tragic event that, in our opinion, unfairly touches the lives of those who are trying to live in a godly way. This question is actually indicative of an incorrect perspective of the reality of this world. The answer to this troubling question is that bad things don’t happen to innately good people – in our nature we are “bad people”, not good people; there is none that doeth good, no, not one (Rom. 3:12); no one on this earth is good by nature. There is only one exception to that universal rule of original sin and man’s innate “badness” instead of goodness, and that is Jesus Christ. The truth is that bad things have only ever happened to a truly “good man” one time – when the perfectly good, sinless Son of God was unjustly condemned by men and gave up his life to save his people from their sins. Therefore, we need to ask a more appropriate question from the proper perspective. Since all of mankind is innately bad by nature, the proper question then is: “Why do good things ever happen to bad people?”

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