Abiding – John 15:5

ABIDE

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

JOHN 15:5 nasb

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE

Matthew 13:21
But since he has no root, he remains for only a season. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.

John 15:16
You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will remain–so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.

Jesus the True Vine
…4Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. 5I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned

SELECT COMMENTARY

Pulpit Commentary
Verse 5. – Christ returns to the main theme of the previous verse, but here discriminates more forcibly the vine from the branches, and yet holds and binds them into a unity. I am the vine, ye are the branches; which shows that he treated the disciples themselves as the organs of his earthly fruit-bearing; and then draws a larger circle and makes a complete and comprehensive statement on which the very existence of the “true vine,” the “body of Christ, including the Head,” depends, viz. He that abideth in me, and I in him – i.e. whenever the conditions of which I have spoken to you are fulfilled; wherever there are human souls deriving from their connection with me the full advantage of the life ever streaming forth from me – the same beareth much fruit; the entire end of their new life is secured. He beareth “much fruit.” In other words, many of those blessed fruits of the supernatural life appear, which the great Husbandman desires to receive. And this strengthens the position of the previous verse, which threatened excision from the vine to such as bear no fruit. Such, though in one sense “in the Vine,” do not abide in him. Because apart from – severed from – me ye can do nothing. The ὅτι suggests the question – Can the negative result justify the positive assertion? It does in this way. There are two premises: the first is,” I am the Vine, and ye are the branches,” and the second is, “Severed front me a branch can effect nothing,” having no independent fruitfulness or stability. All its powers are derived from this supernatural source, and depend on Christ’s faithfulness to his own nature and functions; therefore, “He that abideth in me, and I in him, bringeth forth much fruit.” The language here does not repress the endeavor of the human will after righteousness, nor pronounce a judgment on the great controversy between Augustinians and Pelagians. These words are not addressed to unconverted men, but to disciples, who have to learn their constant need of spiritual contact with their invisible Lord. Let a believer, let an apostle, sever himself from Christ, and live on his own past reputation or his supposed strength, on the clearness of his intellect, the vigor of his body, the eminence of his position, he can and will do nothing.

Matthew Henry Commentary
15:1-8 Jesus Christ is the Vine, the true Vine. The union of the human and Divine natures, and the fulness of the Spirit that is in him, resemble the root of the vine made fruitful by the moisture from a rich soil. Believers are branches of this Vine. The root is unseen, and our life is hid with Christ; the root bears the tree, diffuses sap to it, and in Christ are all supports and supplies. The branches of the vine are many, yet, meeting in the root, are all but one vine; thus all true Christians, though in place and opinion distant from each other, meet in Christ. Believers, like the branches of the vine, are weak, and unable to stand but as they are borne up. The Father is the Husbandman. Never was any husbandman so wise, so watchful, about his vineyard, as God is about his church, which therefore must prosper. We must be fruitful. From a vine we look for grapes, and from a Christian we look for a Christian temper, disposition, and life. We must honour God, and do good; this is bearing fruit. The unfruitful are taken away. And even fruitful branches need pruning; for the best have notions, passions, and humours, that require to be taken away, which Christ has promised to forward the sanctification of believers, they will be thankful, for them. The word of Christ is spoken to all believers; and there is a cleansing virtue in that word, as it works grace, and works out corruption. And the more fruit we bring forth, the more we abound in what is good, the more our Lord is glorified. In order to fruitfulness, we must abide in Christ, must have union with him by faith. It is the great concern of all Christ’s disciples, constantly to keep up dependence upon Christ, and communion with him. True Christians find by experience, that any interruption in the exercise of their faith, causes holy affections to decline, their corruptions to revive, and their comforts to droop. Those who abide not in Christ, though they may flourish for awhile in outward profession, yet come to nothing. The fire is the fittest place for withered branches; they are good for nothing else. Let us seek to live more simply on the fulness of Christ, and to grow more fruitful in every good word and work, so may our joy in Him and in his salvation be full.

KIRK’S COMMENTARY

This is an wonderful analogy Christ teaches us here. The requirement of abiding and connection is paramount for any lasting and true spiritual success. We also get a glimpse of the God’s amazing sovereign power along with our limited yet free will.

We see herein the choice to abide or not.

On our own, we can do nothing eternal. Yet, if we do not participate and feed off the root we are in serious jeopardy of being pruned and destroyed. That certainly isn’t a pleasing nor popular thought but is a stern warning not doubt. No sane branch wants to be kindling for the fire as the next verse warns in 6.

There is only one God and just one trunk of a tree. That tree trunk is God’s manifestation in the world in none other than Jesus Christ. He is it. Some ignore Jesus thinking God is little ivy or a bush. They feel and may look like all is okay but can not possible withstand the great storm of death. That, my reader, is the great differentiator of all other religions not connected to Christ. It is close and resembles the true thing but is not the same, nor connected to the true Tree of life.

Jesus’s words are stark and clear here. Our work is not easy but simple; abide, remain connected and produce good fruit.

PRAYER

LORD, You chose me first. Please keep me and allow me to flourish. Apart from Thee, i am hopeless.

PICTURES

This tree represented is the true one, basking in God’s love. Big and strong with mostly healthy branches and leaves. The ivy isn’t abiding or even connected to the right tree.

12 strategies Jesus of Nazareth used to become a dynamic transformational leader.

The greatest transformational leader in history is Jesus of Nazareth, bar none. Who else has the entire modern world calendar starting with one’a physical death? Only He!

If you ignored His just proclamation as the Son of God and the Son of Man along with humanity’s long-awaited Messiah, the life of Jesus still produced numerous attributes for leaders, especially servant leaders, to imitate.

Below are 12 of these attributes which we can implement starting today:

  1. Recruiting team members after thought and prayer with a strong purpose statement and strong call to action. Character, commitment and attitude were more important to Him than an impressive resume and previous experience
  2. Investing quality time and energy into your inner circle of people
  3. Taking personal care and keen interest with each individual
  4. Being serendipitous when exciting opportunities yet remaining highly focused on the primary purpose
  5. Carving out regular alone time to think, pray and meditate
  6. Entrusting and empowering your company of people to execute main mission
  7. Leading by example from the front
  8. Eagerly serving others while always seeking their welfare
  9. Engaging a wide variety of people by various means
  10. Understanding the proper place for legitimate authority, seeking to please and fufill your higher authority yet not letting false authority stop you
  11. Using what you have on hand to make things bigger and better by innovating and creatively solving problems, often tapping into your Higher Power
  12. Surrendering your selfish will for a higher purpose while sacrificing short term pain for long term gain; Loving always and finding joy in doing God’s will by making His will – yours.
WWJD – What would Jesus do?

While we cannot live a perfect life like Jesus, we can live a life that transforms the world. We simply need to heed the wisdom of the apostle Paul, who wrote:

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 NCV).

John Maxwell

HURTS SO GOOD – 1 Peter 5:10

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

I Peter 5:10 NKJV

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE

Psalm 119:28
My soul melts with sorrow; strengthen me according to Your word.

Romans 16:25
Now to Him who is able to strengthen you by my gospel and by the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery concealed for ages past,

1 Corinthians 1:9
God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

2 Corinthians 4:17
For our light and temporary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs our troubles.

1 Thessalonians 2:12
We encouraged you and comforted you as we urged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory.

2 Thessalonians 2:17
encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good word and deed.

2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.

2 Timothy 2:10
For this reason I endure all things for the sake of the elect, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

Hebrews 13:21
equip you with every good thing to do His will. And may He accomplish in us what is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 1:6
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer various trials,

2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

SELECT COMMENTARY

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

  1. Comforting assurance that God will finally “perfect” His work of “grace” in them, after they have undergone the necessary previous suffering.

But—Only do you watch and resist the foe: God will perform the rest [Bengel].

of all grace—(Compare 1Pe 4:10). The God to whom as its source all grace is to be referred; who in grace completes what in grace He began. He from the first “called (so the oldest manuscripts read for “us”) unto (with a view to) glory.” He will not let His purpose fall short of completion. If He does so in punishing, much more in grace. The three are fitly conjoined: the call, the glory to which we are called, and the way (suffering); the fourth is the ground of the calling, namely, the grace of God in Christ.

by—Greek, “in.” Christ is He in virtue of whom, and in union with whom, believers are called to glory. The opposite is “in the world” (1Pe 5:9; Joh 16:33).

after that ye have suffered—Join to “called you”: suffering, as a necessary preliminary to glory, was contemplated in God’s calling.

a while—short and inconsiderable, as compared with the glory.

perfect, etc.—The two oldest manuscripts, and Vulgate and Coptic versions, read, “shall perfect (so that there shall be nothing defective in you), stablish, strengthen,” and omit “settle,” literally, “ground,” or “fix on a foundation.” Alford reads it in spite of the oldest manuscripts The authority of the latter I prefer; moreover the climax seems to require rather a verb of completing the work of grace, than, as the Greek means, founding it. The Greek has, “shall HIMSELF perfect you”: though you are called on to watch and resist the foe, God Himself must really do all in and through you. The same God who begins must Himself complete the work. The Greek for “stablish” (so as to be “steadfast in the faith,” 1Pe 5:9) is the same as “strengthen,” Lu 22:32. Peter has in mind Christ’s charge, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” His exhortation accords with his name Peter, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.” “Stablish,” so as not to waver. “Strengthen” with might in the inner man by His Spirit, against the foe.
Matthew Henry Commentary

5:10-14 In conclusion, the apostle prays to God for them, as the God of all grace. Perfect implies their progress towards perfection. Stablish imports the curing of our natural lightness and inconstancy. Strengthen has respect to the growth of graces, especially where weakest and lowest. Settle signifies to fix upon a sure foundation, and may refer to Him who is the Foundation and Strength of believers. These expressions show that perseverance and progress in grace are first to be sought after by every Christian. The power of these doctrines on the hearts, and the fruits in the lives, showed who are partakers of the grace of God. The cherishing and increase of Christian love, and of affection one to another, is no matter of empty compliment, but the stamp and badge of Jesus Christ on his followers. Others may have a false peace for a time, and wicked men may wish for it to themselves and to one another; but theirs is a vain hope, and will come to nought. All solid peace is founded on Christ, and flows from him.

KIRK’S COMMENTARY

This is a real scenario for all believers I believe. At least all those who are working out their sanctification to salvation to eternal glory. Suffering is real. Suffering comes in many forms but I surmise it can be grouped into two main categories. One for doing good and a worse one for doing bad. The good news is that our great God uses both for His glory and our long term good.

No sane person wants to suffer but like pain, it can be healthy as this passage proclaims it cultivates and shall perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us.
There is good necessary pain and bad pain. Good pain is that when we exercise hard, pray long, practice tough love, instill discipline, and probably a lot more which I am not experienced or understanding of. Bad pain is that of our sin and evilness of the world. The pain of freak accidents, unmitigated disease, and defects is above us and perhaps a third category

Regardless of these two ir three groups, Romans 8:28 reconciles all of it to eternity.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.“

We who are disciples of Christ are a work in progress. Peter and the early disciples counted it and honor to suffer as Jesus did. This no doubt is holy suffering. One that leads to goodness and has a peaceful prosperous outcome. We realize what is righteous and that the real ultimate battle is invisible, not of flesh. Yet we live in flesh which is our abode and antagonist. So we suffer and fight both knowing deep down that God is for us, not against us. Our testing shall give us rise as we persevere and overcome chiefly by His love and grace.

This passage tells us after a while we will grow stronger and the sanctification process shall perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

We must trust and obey for there is no other way.

PRAYER

LORD Jesus, who are awesome by setting the perfect example. Help us to rise and shine while overcoming. May my suffering be worthy and quick as possible. Empower me by Your Holy Spirit and watch over me closely dear Lord.

HURTS SO GOOD – 1 Peter 5:10

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

I Peter 5:10 NKJV

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE

Psalm 119:28
My soul melts with sorrow; strengthen me according to Your word.

Romans 16:25
Now to Him who is able to strengthen you by my gospel and by the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery concealed for ages past,

1 Corinthians 1:9
God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

2 Corinthians 4:17
For our light and temporary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs our troubles.

1 Thessalonians 2:12
We encouraged you and comforted you as we urged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory.

2 Thessalonians 2:17
encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good word and deed.

2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.

2 Timothy 2:10
For this reason I endure all things for the sake of the elect, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

Hebrews 13:21
equip you with every good thing to do His will. And may He accomplish in us what is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 1:6
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer various trials,

2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

SELECT COMMENTARY

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

  1. Comforting assurance that God will finally “perfect” His work of “grace” in them, after they have undergone the necessary previous suffering.

But—Only do you watch and resist the foe: God will perform the rest [Bengel].

of all grace—(Compare 1Pe 4:10). The God to whom as its source all grace is to be referred; who in grace completes what in grace He began. He from the first “called (so the oldest manuscripts read for “us”) unto (with a view to) glory.” He will not let His purpose fall short of completion. If He does so in punishing, much more in grace. The three are fitly conjoined: the call, the glory to which we are called, and the way (suffering); the fourth is the ground of the calling, namely, the grace of God in Christ.

by—Greek, “in.” Christ is He in virtue of whom, and in union with whom, believers are called to glory. The opposite is “in the world” (1Pe 5:9; Joh 16:33).

after that ye have suffered—Join to “called you”: suffering, as a necessary preliminary to glory, was contemplated in God’s calling.

a while—short and inconsiderable, as compared with the glory.

perfect, etc.—The two oldest manuscripts, and Vulgate and Coptic versions, read, “shall perfect (so that there shall be nothing defective in you), stablish, strengthen,” and omit “settle,” literally, “ground,” or “fix on a foundation.” Alford reads it in spite of the oldest manuscripts The authority of the latter I prefer; moreover the climax seems to require rather a verb of completing the work of grace, than, as the Greek means, founding it. The Greek has, “shall HIMSELF perfect you”: though you are called on to watch and resist the foe, God Himself must really do all in and through you. The same God who begins must Himself complete the work. The Greek for “stablish” (so as to be “steadfast in the faith,” 1Pe 5:9) is the same as “strengthen,” Lu 22:32. Peter has in mind Christ’s charge, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” His exhortation accords with his name Peter, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.” “Stablish,” so as not to waver. “Strengthen” with might in the inner man by His Spirit, against the foe.
Matthew Henry Commentary

5:10-14 In conclusion, the apostle prays to God for them, as the God of all grace. Perfect implies their progress towards perfection. Stablish imports the curing of our natural lightness and inconstancy. Strengthen has respect to the growth of graces, especially where weakest and lowest. Settle signifies to fix upon a sure foundation, and may refer to Him who is the Foundation and Strength of believers. These expressions show that perseverance and progress in grace are first to be sought after by every Christian. The power of these doctrines on the hearts, and the fruits in the lives, showed who are partakers of the grace of God. The cherishing and increase of Christian love, and of affection one to another, is no matter of empty compliment, but the stamp and badge of Jesus Christ on his followers. Others may have a false peace for a time, and wicked men may wish for it to themselves and to one another; but theirs is a vain hope, and will come to nought. All solid peace is founded on Christ, and flows from him.

KIRK’S COMMENTARY

This is a real scenario for all believers I believe. At least all those who are working out their sanctification to salvation to eternal glory. Suffering is real. Suffering comes in many forms but I surmise it can be grouped into two main categories. One for doing good and a worse one for doing bad. The good news is that our great God uses both for His glory and our long term good.

No sane person wants to suffer but like pain, it can be healthy as this passage proclaims it cultivates and shall perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us.
There is good necessary pain and bad pain. Good pain is that when we exercise hard, pray long, practice tough love, instill discipline, and probably a lot more which I am not experienced or understanding of. Bad pain is that of our sin and evilness of the world. The pain of freak accidents, unmitigated disease, and defects is above us and perhaps a third category

Regardless of these two ir three groups, Romans 8:28 reconciles all of it to eternity.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.“

We who are disciples of Christ are a work in progress. Peter and the early disciples counted it and honor to suffer as Jesus did. This no doubt is holy suffering. One that leads to goodness and has a peaceful prosperous outcome. We realize what is righteous and that the real ultimate battle is invisible, not of flesh. Yet we live in flesh which is our abode and antagonist. So we suffer and fight both knowing deep down that God is for us, not against us. Our testing shall give us rise as we persevere and overcome chiefly by His love and grace.

This passage tells us after a while we will grow stronger and the sanctification process shall perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

We must trust and obey for there is no other way.

PRAYER

LORD Jesus, who are awesome by setting the perfect example. Help us to rise and shine while overcoming. May my suffering be worthy and quick as possible. Empower me by Your Holy Spirit and watch over me closely dear Lord.

JOY & PROTECTION

“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;

let them ever sing for joy,

and spread your protection over them,

that those who love your name may exult in you.

For you bless the righteous, O Lord;

you cover him with favor as with a shield.”

Psalms 5:11-12

My pondering: What a beautiful picture and graphic poetic writing from the warrior, musician and writer King David, directed by the Holy Spirit. We see that one needs to rejoice upon taking refuge in God. There should be joy! Joy in the LORD. Joy in Jesus. Joy in the Spirit.
We are encouraged to sing for joy.

“I’ve got joy, joy, joy down in my heart!
Where?
Down in my heart.
Where?
Down in my heart.
And its there to stay.”

I envision couple dancing a country two step or whimsical waltz.
Refuge / rejoice.
Rejoice / refuge.

Like all great things there must be passion and love. When we exhult and love God and all that His mighty name represents, He is blessed and enjoys sincere praise from His children. And what does a good father do in return?

Protect and bless even more abundantly. Isn’t it sweet to read, “You cover him (us, His adopted sons and daughters) with favor as with a shield.

We read in Psalm 31:19, “How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of men!”.

A holy, healthy fear of God is an essential ingredient.

Won’t it be super sweet when we are in heaven and shields aren’t needed. When we shall see and know Him without the interference of our flesh and distance of a different dimension?

My prayer: “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; And my soul, which You have redeemed.” Psalm 71:23

Perfect peace…mind stay – Isaiah 26:3

You will keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on You,

Because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE

Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 119:165
Abundant peace belongs to those who love Your instruction; nothing can make them stumble.

Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 12:2
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid, For the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and He also has become my salvation.”

Isaiah 26:12
O LORD, You will establish peace for us, for, indeed, all that we have accomplished, You have done for us.

Isaiah 27:5
Or let them lay claim to My protection; let them make peace with Me–yes, let them make peace with Me.”

Isaiah 32:18
Then my people will dwell in a peaceful place, in safe and secure places of rest.

Isaiah 42:6
“I, the LORD, have called you for a righteous purpose, and I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and appoint you to be a covenant for the people and a light to the nations,

Isaiah 42:19
Who is blind but My servant, or deaf like the messenger I am sending? Who is blind like My covenant partner, or blind like the servant of the LORD?

Isaiah 49:8
This is what the LORD says: “In the time of favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and appoint you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land, to apportion its desolate inheritances,

Isaiah 57:19
bringing praise to their lips. “Peace, peace to those far and near,” says the LORD, “and I will heal them.”

Isaiah 66:12
For this is what the LORD says: I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flowing stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm, and bounced upon her knees.

Daniel 3:17
If the God whom we serve exists, then He is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and from your hand, O king.

Daniel 3:28
Nebuchadnezzar declared, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him. They violated the king’s command and risked their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.

Daniel 6:23
The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den, and when Daniel was lifted out of the den, no wounds whatsoever were found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

SELECT COMMENTARY

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,…. Peace with God in Christ through his blood, in a way of believing, and as the fruit and effect of his righteousness being received by faith; this is not always felt, received, and enjoyed in the soul; yet the foundation of it always is, and is perfect; and besides, this peace is true, real, and solid; in which sense the word “perfect” is used, in opposition to a false and imaginary one; and it will end in perfect peace in heaven: moreover, the word “perfect” is not in the Hebrew text, it is there “peace, peace”; which is doubled to denote the certainty of it, the enjoyment of it, and the constancy and continuance of it; and as expressive of all sorts of peace, which God grants unto his people, and keeps for them, and them in; as peace with God and peace with men, peace outward and peace inward, peace here and peace hereafter; and particularly it denotes the abundance of peace that believers will have in the kingdom of Christ in the latter day; see Psalm 72:7,

whose mind is stayed on thee; or “fixed” on the love of God, rooted and grounded in that, and firmly persuaded of interest in it, and that nothing can separate from it; on the covenant and promises of God, which are firm and sure; and on the faithfulness and power of God to make them good, and perform them; and on Christ the Son of God, and Saviour of men; upon him as a Saviour, laying the whole stress of their salvation on him; upon his righteousness, for their justification; upon his blood and sacrifice, for atonement, pardon, and cleansing; on his fulness, for the supply of their wants; on his person, for their acceptance with God; and on his power, for their protection and preservation; see Isaiah 10:20,

because he trusteth in thee; not in the creature, nor in any creature enjoyment, nor in their riches, nor in their righteousness, nor in their own hearts, nor in any carnal privileges: only in the Lord, as exhorted to in the next verse Isaiah 26:4; in the Word of the Lord, as the Targum, that is, in Christ.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

  1. mind … stayed—(Ps 112:7, 8). Jesus can create “perfect peace” within thy mind, though storms of trial rage without (Isa 57:19; Mr 4:39); as a city kept securely by a strong garrison within, though besieged without (so Php 4:7). “Keep,” literally, “guard as with a garrison.” Horsley translates, (God’s) workmanship (the Hebrew does not probably mean “mind,” but “a thing formed,” Eph 2:10), so constantly “supported”; or else “formed and supported (by Thee) Thou shalt preserve (it, namely, the righteous nation) in perpetual peace.”

Matthew Henry Commentary
26:1-4 That day, seems to mean when the New Testament Babylon shall be levelled with the ground. The unchangeable promise and covenant of the Lord are the walls of the church of God. The gates of this city shall be open. Let sinners then be encouraged to join to the Lord. Thou wilt keep him in peace; in perfect peace, inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, in all events. Trust in the Lord for that peace, that portion, which will be for ever. Whatever we trust to the world for, it will last only for a moment; but those who trust in God shall not only find in him, but shall receive from him, strength that will carry them to that blessedness which is for ever. Let us then acknowledge him in all our ways, and rely on him in all trials.

KIRK’S COMMENTARY

We live in such a conflicted world. That from the beginning until present, we dwell in between opposing forces. The extremes of life are inherent from the little atom to the huge universe. The peace here can’t be a passive, chill peace alone but one of assurance, hope and peace despite our circumstance not because our circumstance. God is our peace and this passage implores us to ‘stay our mind’ upon Him. To seek and invite God to hover in our whirlwind of life. To be the eye of our hurricane. That is where we dwell if we are smart, focused, disciplined and blessed.

God requires our trust not because of a peaceful, successful circumstance but often times despite it and then rewards His good and faithful servant and friend. We are blessed with such amazing examples in the Bible. These great characters in Scripture (see Hebrews 11 for a starter list) aren’t just fables with a nugget of goodness but rather real people digging deep in faith who found everlasting Peace.

PRAYER

LORD, i pray they to watch over me and keep me within thy loving provision.

Resist the devil – 1 Peter 5:8

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

I Peter 5:8-9 NKJV

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE

Job 1:7
“Where have you come from?” said the LORD to Satan. “From roaming through the earth,” he replied, “and from walking back and forth in it.”

Mark 4:15
Some are like the seeds along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.

2 Corinthians 2:11
in order that Satan should not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

2 Timothy 4:17
But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message would be fully proclaimed, and all the Gentiles would hear it. So I was delivered from the mouth of the lion.

James 4:7
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

1 Peter 1:13
Therefore prepare your minds for action. Be sober-minded. Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 12:10
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, he who accuses them day and night before our God.

SELECT COMMENTARY

  1. Peter has in mind Christ’s warning to himself to watch against Satan, from forgetting which he fell.

Be sober … vigilant—”Care,” that is, anxiety, will intoxicate the soul; therefore be sober, that is, self-restrained. Yet, lest this freedom from care should lead any to false security, he adds, “Be vigilant” against “your adversary.” Let this be your “care.” God provides, therefore do not be anxious. The devil seeks, therefore watch [Bengel].

because—omitted in the oldest manuscripts The broken and disjointed sentences are more fervid and forcible. Lucifer of Cagliari reads as English Version.

adversary—literally, “opponent in a court of justice” (Zec 3:1). “Satan” means opponent. “Devil,” accuser or slanderer (Re 12:10). “The enemy” (Mt 13:39). “A murderer from the beginning” (Joh 8:44). He counteracts the Gospel and its agents. “The tempter.”

roaring lion—implying his violent and insatiable thirst for prey as a hungry lion. Through man’s sin he got God’s justice on his side against us; but Christ, our Advocate, by fulfilling all the demands of justice for us, has made our redemption altogether consistent with justice.

walketh about—(Job 1:7; 2:2). So the children of the wicked one cannot rest. Evil spirits are in 2Pe 2:4; Jude 6, said to be already in chains of darkness and in hell. This probably means that this is their doom finally: a doom already begun in part; though for a time they are permitted to roam in the world (of which Satan is prince), especially in the dark air that surrounds the earth. Hence perhaps arises the miasma of the air at times, as physical and moral evil are closely connected.

devour—entangle in worldly “care” (1Pe 5:7) and other snares, so as finally to destroy. Compare Re 12:15, 16

The Pulpit: The words express the restless energy of the wicked one. He cannot touch those who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation; but he walketh about, looking eagerly after any lost sheep that may have wandered from the fold. He roars in the craving of his heart for prey, like a hungry lion, seeking whom he may devour, or (for the reading here is somewhat uncertain) to devour some one, or simply to devour. The Greek word means literally “to drink down;” it implies utter destruction. It is the word in 1 Corinthians 15:54, “Death is swallowed up κατεπόθη in victory.” Satan now seeks whom he may destroy: “The Lord will destroy him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14).

MHenry: Our duty plainly is, to be sober; to govern both the outward and the inward man by the rules of temperance. To be vigilant; suspicious of constant danger from this spiritual enemy, watchful and diligent to prevent his designs. Be stedfast, or solid, by faith. A man cannot fight upon a quagmire, there is no standing without firm ground to tread upon; this faith alone furnishes. It lifts the soul to the firm advanced ground of the promises, and fixes it there. The consideration of what others suffer, is proper to encourage us to bear our share in any affliction; and in whatever form Satan assaults us, or by whatever means, we may know that our brethren experience the same.

KIRK’S COMMENTARY

Like any wise enemy, stealthiness is often employed as an effective tactic. Satan no doubt benefits from foolish people denying his very existence. Without the strong shield of the Lord, we are pretty much defenseless sheep. God certainly know this and thus we should use the armor as described in Ephesians 6.

This passage specifically calls out the power of faith. It no doubt is the active ingredient to victory in so many ways. In Ephesians 6, what is representative of the shield? Yes, faith. The shield of faith!

It says we should be sober minded and alert. If one is drunk or doing psychotic drugs, this allows the devil an easy pass. No wonder so many of the mass shootings have been done by people on these power drugs. A mixed up mind on mood altering drugs are certainly fertile ground for the destroyer.

It is war. The war of the mind and heart. How effective can a soldier be if he doesn’t even realizes or care the battle is on? Well, if he isn’t doing anything and way back of the battle line, maybe he won’t be on Satan radar but make know mistake; spies abound.

The Screwtape letters by CS Lewis is a fascinating fictional account of all this.

PRAYER

LORD, I know the real battle is an invisible, spiritual battle. Please extra charge your good angels to protect me. Help my dive deep in faith and prayer for strong cover. I know victory is mine because of Jesus. He won and wins.

CLEANLIVING is THANKSLIVING – Ephesians 5:3-4

“But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”

Ephesians 5:3-4

My Pondering: So much for all the dirty worldiness and the luring lies. As a saint, why would one even lay in pig slop when there is so much better. Our sinful nature wants to go there but that isnt where God dwells. I want to arise and hang with Him and His. That path is narrow and not always popular but its the only good and lasting way. Christians, and all moral people for that matter, can not just remove these dirty deeds and talk because worse may likely backfill it but rather intentionally replace with good then best. My experience has taught me the best way to stop a bad habit is to start a good one.

Its a frustrating process. That dirt is deep down thing in our carnal nature and wont be totally killed until the dross of sin is removed and we are given new improved and glorified celestial bodies. Until then its a daily and moment by moment choice and purification process. The closer we are to Christ the more our sin is evident and the more of it is scrubbed.

The Bible clearly sets forth what is right and wrong. We just need to read and heed. Trust and obey for there is no other way…that leads to God. The 2nd part of Romans 1 is a sober start.

The passage above says we should replace trash talk with thanksgiving. How about, “Thanksliving”.

Maybe you have heard the old saying, “Cleanliness is next to godliness”? Its not a Scripture verbatim but its certainly applicable here. I am not talking a clean house but more so a clean mouth and heart, at least as possible. Lets use David’s words where he pleaded in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

Man on man, we all have problems. And we all have blessings. Once we are born again, it opens up an eternity of bliss and infinitey of blessing. Lets take hope and hold of this promise in 2 Cor 4:16-17, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer selfd is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Isn’t that wonderful?

But then lets continue to and internalize Phillipians 4:8 — Phi 4:9 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Think these:
True
Honorable
Just
Pure
Lovely
Worthy of praise

We won’t be perfect people but we can have peace knowing that Jesus has got our backs and we will certainly be better.

My prayer: Lord, please enlighten and empower each soul who agrees with Your Word and purpose starting with me.

We got our work cut out. Help us Jesus.

Walk in the Spirit – Galatians 5:16

PATH TO VICTORY

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE

Genesis 6:3
So the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days shall be 120 years.”

Romans 8:4
so that the righteous standard of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Romans 13:14
Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

Galatians 5:24
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:25
Since we live by the Spirit, let us walk in step with the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:3
We all lived among them at one time in the cravings of our flesh, indulging its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath.

1 Peter 2:11
Beloved, I urge you as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from the desires of the flesh, which war against your soul.

SELECT COMMENTARY

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
This I say then, walk in the Spirit,…. The advice the apostle thinks fit to give, and which he would have observed, is, to “walk in the Spirit”, that is, either after the Spirit of God; making the word inspired by him the rule of behaviour, which as it is the standard of faith, so of practice, and is the lamp unto our feet, and the light unto our path; taking him himself for a guide, who not only guides into all truth, but in the way of holiness and righteousness unto the land of uprightness; and depending upon his grace and strength for assistance throughout the whole of our walk and conversation: or in the exercise of the graces of the Spirit of God; as in the exercise of faith upon the person and grace of Christ, of which the Spirit is the author; and in love to God, Christ, and one another, which is a fruit of the Spirit; and in humility, lowliness of mind, meekness and condescension; all which is to walk in the Spirit, or spiritually, and strengthens the argument for love the apostle is upon: and this he encourages to by observing,

and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh; he does not say there shall be no flesh, nor any lust of the flesh in them if they walk spiritually; or that the flesh should not act and operate in them; or that they should do no sinful action; all which is only true of Christ; and the contrary is to be found and observed in all true Christians, though ever so spiritual; but that they should not fulfil or perfect the lust of the flesh; should not give up themselves entirely to the power and dictates of the flesh, so as to be under it and at its command, and be obedient servants and slaves unto it; for, in this sense only, such that are spiritual do not, commit sin, they do not make a trade of it, it is not their constant employ or course of conversation.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

The best way to keep tares (weeds) out of a bushel is to fill it with wheat.

the flesh—the natural man, out of which flow the evils specified (Ga 5:19-21). The spirit and the flesh mutually exclude one another. It is promised, not that we should have no evil lusts, but that we should “not fulfil” them. If the spirit that is in us can be at ease under sin, it is not a spirit that comes from the Holy Spirit. The gentle dove trembles at the sight even of a hawk’s feather.

Matthew Henry Commentary
5:16-26 If it be our care to act under the guidance and power of the blessed Spirit, though we may not be freed from the stirrings and oppositions of the corrupt nature which remains in us, it shall not have dominion over us. Believers are engaged in a conflict, in which they earnestly desire that grace may obtain full and speedy victory. And those who desire thus to give themselves up to be led by the Holy Spirit, are not under the law as a covenant of works, nor exposed to its awful curse. Their hatred of sin, and desires after holiness, show that they have a part in the salvation of the gospel. The works of the flesh are many and manifest. And these sins will shut men out of heaven. Yet what numbers, calling themselves Christians, live in these, and say they hope for heaven! The fruits of the Spirit, or of the renewed nature, which we are to do, are named. And as the apostle had chiefly named works of the flesh, not only hurtful to men themselves, but tending to make them so to one another, so here he chiefly notices the fruits of the Spirit, which tend to make Christians agreeable one to another, as well as to make them happy. The fruits of the Spirit plainly show, that such are led by the Spirit. By describing the works of the flesh and fruits of the Spirit, we are told what to avoid and oppose, and what we are to cherish and cultivate; and this is the sincere care and endeavour of all real Christians. Sin does not now reign in their mortal bodies, so that they obey it, Ro 6:12, for they seek to destroy it. Christ never will own those who yield themselves up to be the servants of sin. And it is not enough that we cease to do evil, but we must learn to do well. Our conversation will always be answerable to the principle which guides and governs us, Ro 8:5. We must set ourselves in earnest to mortify the deeds of the body, and to walk in newness of life. Not being desirous of vain-glory, or unduly wishing for the esteem and applause of men, not provoking or envying one another, but seeking to bring forth more abundantly those good fruits, which are, through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God.

KIRK’S COMMENTARY

It’s rather clear and obvious that man becomes what he thinks about, to the greater degree. God lovingly and thoughtfully created us in His image with a measure of free will and creative capacity. It’s also clear that we can not focus on two distinct thoughts simultaneously. We can switch back and forth quickly but only one at a time. Therefore, shouldn’t we choose the good to think about like Paul says in Phil. 4?

However, our choices can never be good enough without supernatural help. When we focus on getting in the flow if the Spirit by practicing the Spiritual disciplines taught in the Bible, the Spirit readily guides us.

I realize this analogy is over simplified but I think it makes a good point. Let’s say we want a cup of coffee. There are too essential ingredients; water and coffee beans. Both are essential as without either we don’t have coffee. And its the heat and steam of life that infuses the two together to make this popular beverage. Such is like walking with the Spirit.

Our walking in the Spirit is one of both determining and responding. Like driving to a particular unknown destination with GPS navigation. We have to steer the wheel and step on the accelerator while listening, watching and heeding the directions for the best and most efficient arrival, to avoid getting lost.

PRAYER

LORD, You know the best and only way to get to the real You. Its easy to get sidetracked and confused. Guide me and prompt me to Your best place.

God’s speeds is always the best speed.

Bless the LORD, o my soul – Psalms 103:1-5

“Bless the LORD, O my soul,

and all that is within me,

bless his holy name!

Bless the LORD, O my soul,

and forget not all his benefits,

who forgives all your iniquity,

who heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the pit,

who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

who satisfies you with good

so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Psalms 103:1 — 5

My take: Wow, what an awesome sharing of God’s character and love to us. Is this not true?


Here is some most excellent self-talk:

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits,”.

How can we bless God, who has everything He could possibly want or need?


The same way a young child blesses a parent. If you are a parent you certainly know what I mean.

Some may scoff and say, “impossible”. He doesn’t heal all diseases and ailments. He sure does! The question is not if but rather; when andwhat side of eternity with it happen?

Check out these amazing action verbs in this passage alone God does for His adopted children; forgives, heals, redeems, crowns, satisfies and renews.

Indeed, let us not forget all His benefits. Let us not forget He loved us first. Let us not forget to respond accordingly.

My take: LORD almighty, you truly are one of a kind. There is none like You. Help me and all who read Your word and in particular Psalm 103 be blessed, share and return it to You with gain and a smile.