Pastor Ray Barnett

Pastor Ray Barnett Pastor Ray Barnett has served in the Amsterdam, NY area for over 25 years. As the founding pastor of the Time For Truth Ministries, his desire is to see a true Biblical New Testament church in our modern days, founded on the love of the brethren, and has labored to that end through times of blessing and adversity.

 

Recent Sermon
God's Work Done God's Way
June 26, 2016 | by Pastor Ray Barnett | Scripture : Matt 16:14-20
Recent Devotion

Friday July 1, 2016

INTERESTING FACTS : John Dickinson, SIGNER OF THE CONSTITUTION; GOVERNOR OF PENNSYLVANIA; GOVERNOR OF DELAWARE; GENERAL IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

"Rendering thanks to my Creator for my existence and station among His works, for my birth in a country enlightened by the Gospel and enjoying freedom, and for all His other kindnesses, to Him I resign myself, humbly confiding in His goodness and in His mercy through Jesus Christ for the events of eternity. Governments could not give the rights essential to happiness? We claim them from a higher source: from the King of kings, and Lord of all the earth."

Daily Reading : PSALMS 90 ? 95; 96 - 102

TEXT : Psa 91:1  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psa 91:2  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
 
THEME : TRUST IN GOD
 
Psalm 91, a favorite of many Christians, is no doubt one that will give you great assurance and comfort in times of trouble. Concerning the Psalm as a whole, C.H. Spurgeon shares his thoughts.
 
"This Psalm is without a title, and we have no means of ascertaining either the name of its writer, or the date of its composition, with certainty. The Jewish doctors consider that when the author's name is not mentioned we may assign the Psalm to the last-named writer; and, if so, this is another Psalm of Moses, the man of God. Many expressions here used are similar to those of Moses in Deuteronomy, and the internal evidence, from the peculiar idioms, would point towards him as the composer. The continued lives of Joshua and Caleb, who followed the Lord fully, make remarkably apt illustrations of this Psalm, for they, as a reward for abiding in continued nearness to the Lord, lived on "amongst the dead, amid their graves." For these reasons it is by no means improbable that this Psalm may have been written by Moses, but we dare not dogmatize. David's pen was used in giving us this matchless ode, we cannot believe as some do that he thus commemorated the plague which devastated Jerusalem on account of his numbering the people. For him, then, to sing of himself as seeing "the reward of the wicked" would be clean contrary to his declaration, "I have sinned, but these sheep, what have they done?"; and the absence of any allusion to the sacrifice upon Zion could not be in any way accounted for, since David's repentance would inevitably have led him to dwell upon the atoning sacrifice and the sprinkling of blood by the hyssop. In the whole collection there is not a more cheering Psalm, its tone is elevated and sustained throughout, faith is at its best, and speaks nobly. A German physician was wont 1o speak of it as the best preservative in times of cholera, and in truth it is a heavenly medicine against plague and pest. He who can live in its spirit will be fearless, even if once again London should become a lazar-house, and the grave be gorged with carcases". [C.H. Spurgeon]
 
The promises in Psalm 91 are given to all who "dwell" in God. Matthew Henry gives his insight on this.
 
"The promises which are here made, in God's name, to all those that do so in sincerity.  1. They shall be taken under the peculiar care of Heaven (Psa_91:1, Psa_91:4).  2. They shall be delivered from the malice of the powers of darkness (Psa_91:3, Psa_91:5, Psa_91:6), and that by a distinguishing preservation (Psa_91:7, Psa_91:8).  3. They shall be the charge of the holy angels (Psa_91:10-12).  4. They shall triumph over their enemies (Psa_91:13).  5. They shall be the special favourites of God himself (Psa_91:14-16). In singing this we must shelter ourselves under, and then solace ourselves in, the divine protection. Many think that to Christ, as Mediator, these promises do primarily belong (Isa_49:2), not because to him the devil applied one of these promises (Mat_4:6), but because to him they are very applicable, and, coming through him, they are more sweet and sure to all believers." [Matthew Henry]
 
The Psalm finds its center, heart, and focus in the 9th verse with emphasis on the word -  "because." "Because" thou hast made the LORD thy refuge, where the inference is - some, perhaps most, do not make the LORD their all. This Psalm, written under the Law in the Old Covenant, seems to point out that they are not all trusting in the LORD who are called by the name of Israel. [Rom_9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel]. Likewise, all are not Christians who call themselves Christians. Thus, this Psalm and the promises therein, are for those who "dwell" in the LORD. This means, the true Christian is one that habitually has fellowship  with Christ through prayer, reading and studying the Bible, and obeying Christ through the Holy Spirit, and therefore has the promises made to him or her - only. God's promise of rich rain is for the wheat He has planted, not the weeds thrown in by the enemy.
 
"He that dwelleth, in the secret place of the most High." The blessings here promised are not for all believers, but for those who live in close fellowship with God. Every child of God looks towards the inner sanctuary and the mercy-seat, yet all do not dwell in the most holy place; they run to it at times, and enjoy occasional approaches, but they do not habitually reside in the mysterious presence. Those who through rich grace obtain unusual and continuous communion with God, so as to abide in Christ and Christ in them, become possessors of rare and special benefits, which are missed by those who follow afar off, and grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Into the secret place those only come who know the love of God in Christ Jesus, and those only dwell there to whom to live is Christ. To them the veil is rent, the mercy-seat is revealed, the covering cherubs are manifest, and the awful glory of the Most High is apparent: these, like Simeon, have the Holy Ghost upon them, and like Anna they depart not from the temple; they are the courtiers of the Great King, the valiant men who keep watch around the bed of Solomon, the virgin souls who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. Elect out of the elect, they have "attained unto the first three," and shall walk with their Lord in white, for they are worthy. Sitting down in the august presence-chamber where shines the mystic light of the Sheckinah, they know what it is to be raised up together, and to be made to sit together with Christ in the heavenlies, and of them it is truly said that their conversation is in heaven. Special grace like theirs brings with it special immunity. Outer court worshippers little know what belongs to the inner sanctuary, or surely they would press on until the place of nearness and divine familiarity became theirs. Those who are the Lord's constant guests shall find that he will never suffer any to be injured within his gates; he has eaten the covenant salt with them, and is pledged for their protection. [C.H. Spurgeon]
 
"Dwelling" here in Psalm 91:1 has the connotation of "sitting in calm repose." What a thought! Problems and troubles abound, yet there is one [i.e. someone] sitting in the presence of God Himself - relaxed, unperturbed, and calm. Your own natural inclinations do not lead you to this position in life. When left  to yourself and your own nature, you have the tendency to worry and fret. Thus, the beginning of the Psalm places emphasis on those who "dwell." This must be done with a conscious effort of the will in recalling what Christ has told you and taught you.
 
All of the promises of Psalm 91 are applicable to everyone who sits in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.[ Eph_1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:Eph_2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus]. Just make sure you are in the faith of Christ Jesus.
 
He that dwelleth - Everyone that so dwells. The proposition is universal, and is designed to embrace all who are in this condition. It is true of one; it is true of all. The word rendered "dwelleth" here is a participle from the verb to "sit," and here means "sitting:" literally, "sitting in the secret place," etc. The idea is that of calm repose; of resting; of sitting down - as one does in his dwelling. [Albert Barnes]
 
The Secret Place here, no doubt, refers to the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle in the wilderness, and the Temple in Jerusalem. It [was] the place where the LORD dwelt. Interestingly, the LORD tells us to "dwell" [sit] where He Himself "dwells." However, under our present Covenant [i.e. the New Testament] the LORD dwells inside every [true] believer. [Joh_14:17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. {see references below}][1]
 
For this reason, you can sit quietly in your own heart, relaxed and in serene repose since Christ is there. This is the "secret place" today. Deep inside, where Christ "dwells" by faith, you have a confidence that his world cannot give or take away.
 
"The "secret place" is his heart, his bosom, where his only begotten Son lies; and into which he takes his people, where they are set as a seal, and who enjoy intimate communion with him; which is no other than his gracious presence, called "the secret of his presence", Psa_31:20, which none but saints are admitted to, when his everlasting love, which was a secret in his heart, is made known unto them, and in which they also dwell, 1Jo_4:16, as they likewise do in the eternal decree of election; which perhaps is meant by "the clefts of the rock, and secret places of the stairs", where the church is said to dwell, Son_2:14, unless rather Christ the Rock, and who may be signified by the cleft of that Moses was put into, when the goodness of the Lord passed before him, is intended; and who is the hiding place from the wind: mention is made of "the secret" of God's "tabernacle", Psa_27:5, in which he hides his people; alluding to the tabernacle, or temple, and the most holy place in it, called his secret place, Eze_7:22, and may refer to the ministry of the word and ordinances, where saints dwell, and enjoy much communion with God;" [John Gill]
 
TRUTH FOR TODAY : "THERE ARE MANY BENEFITS OF TRUSTING IN GOD!"
 
The benefits of trusting in God, naturally, go beyond what is stated in Psalm 91. Yet, even if they did not, there are enough contained in this Psalm in  "seed" form so an entire crop of related promises would spring forth anyway. Truly, we cannot exhaust the benefits of trusting in God! This is why Peter states they are - "Exceeding great and precious promises." [2Pe_1:4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.]
 
Charles Spurgeon records a personal incident from his life and ministry that is worth noting. After a pandemic of Asiatic cholera broke out in London in 1854, he, as s young preacher, was called on to visit the dying and bury the dead. As he states, his heart was overwhelmed and exceedingly burdened. Spurgeon, prone to depression by natural disposition and innate sensitivity almost broke under the strain. Keeping in mind that Spurgeon was a 19th century Baptist preacher, his testimony concerning God's help as your hope in all situations - sickness included, is telling. Spurgeon was a man of enormous respect for the Scriptures and of great faith in Christ. Here is what he wrote.
 
"I cannot refrain from recording a personal incident illustrating their power to soothe the heart, when they are applied by the Holy Spirit. 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.
 
The Psalmist in these verses assures the man who dwells in God that he shall be secure. Though faith claims no merit of its own, yet the Lord rewards it wherever he sees it. He who makes God his refuge shall find him a refuge; he who dwells in God shall find his dwelling protected. We must make the Lord our habitation by choosing him for our trust and rest, and then we shall receive immunity from harm; no evil shall touch us personally, and no stroke of judgment shall assail or household. The dwelling here intended by the original was only a tent, yet the frail covering would prove to be a sufficient shelter from harm of all sorts. It matters little whether our abode be a gipsy's hut or a monarch's palace if the soul has made the Most High its habitation. Get into God and you dwell in all good, and ill is banished far away. It is not because we are perfect or highly esteemed among men that we can hope for shelter in the day of evil, but because our refuge is the Eternal God, and our faith has learned to hide beneath his sheltering wing." [C.H. Spurgeon]
 
"For this no ill thy cause shall daunt,
 
No scourge thy tabernacle haunt."
 
It is impossible that any ill should happen to the man who is beloved of the Lord; the most crushing calamities can only shorten his journey and hasten him to his reward. Ill to him is no ill, but only good in a mysterious form. Losses enrich him, sickness is his medicine, reproach is his honour, death is his gain. No evil in the strict sense of the word can happen to him, for everything is overruled for good. Happy is he who is in such a case. He is secure where others are in peril, he lives where others die.
 
One day, you will be done with your work for Christ. Until then, He will save you and keep you. God, who cannot lie, has said so. Do you need any further testimony? God has spoken - shall He not do it? [Num_23:19  God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?]
 
Let the true believer in Christ answer - Amen! Yes, He shall perform all His Word, and after, receive me to glory! [Psa_73:24  Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.]
 
"Whatever happens, nothing shall hurt the believer; though trouble and affliction befall, it shall come, not for his hurt, but for good, though for the present it be not joyous but grievous. Those who rightly know God, will set their love upon him. They by prayer constantly call upon him. His promise is, that he will in due time deliver the believer out of trouble, and in the mean time be with him in trouble. The Lord will manage all his worldly concerns, and preserve his life on earth, so long as it shall be good for him. For encouragement in this he looks unto Jesus. He shall live long enough; till he has done the work he was sent into this world for, and is ready for heaven. Who would wish to live a day longer than God has some work to do, either by him or upon him? A man may die young, yet be satisfied with living. But a wicked man is not satisfied even with long life. At length the believer's conflict ends; he has done for ever with trouble, sin, and temptation." [Matthew Henry]

  • [1] Joh_14:17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
 
·Act_7:48  Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
 
·Act_17:24  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
 
·Rom_7:17  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
 
·Rom_7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
 
·Rom_7:20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
 
·Rom_8:11  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
 
·1Co_3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
 
·Col_2:9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
 
·2Ti_1:14  That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
 
·Jas_4:5  Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
 
·2Pe_3:13  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
 
·1Jn_3:17  But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
 
·1Jn_3:24  And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
 
·1Jn_4:12  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
 
·1Jn_4:15  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
 
·1Jn_4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
 
·2Jn_1:2  For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.
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