Friday, July 11, 2014

Devotional Verses From The Book Of Genesis

It is a scene from the story of Jacob and his sons. Jacob is on his death bed, And Jacob called unto his sons and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days Genesis 49:1). He turns to his firstborn son and says, Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch (Genesis 49:3). After speaking to each son, and giving directions concerning his burial, Jacob died.
How could Jacob have known what Reuben was going to be like after he died? Well, clearly he could’ve been inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that may have been true in this instance, but if you look at the things Jacob says about Reuben, you recognize that a person’s future can be predicted from his past behavior. Jacob apparently did not expect a great deal from a son whose immorality had led him into gross sin. Jacob did not expect him to excel, that doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t do good things and have some success, but you could never expect him to be at the top of the moral ladder seeking purity, honesty, peace, and all the noble qualities that allow you to trust and depend upon a person or group. Jacob expected Reuben to always be unstable and do some things that would mess him, and others, up. While a true faith in, and a sincere commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ can change a person’s spiritual nature and behavior, not every person in the world has that experience, and so we must expect that people will behave pretty much, in the future, as they behaved in the past:
                How will the gang from El Salvador behave when their members get into the United States? How did they behave back home?
                How will the Palestinians comport themselves in their hatred of Israel? How have they done so in the past?
                How will the terrorists controlling an area of Syria-Iraq act now that they control a large swath of territory? How did they act in acquiring that control?
An equally strong list of illustrations could be put together about the behaviors of individual people, for example: a violent armed robber paroled without a change in character. Teaching us that governments, families, neighbors, travelers, what all, should not expect that for everyone the sins of the past are the sins of the past. In many cases, the sins of the past will be predictors of the sins of the present and the future.

Be on guard.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Devotional Verse From Genesis
And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favor in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD  hath blessed me for thy sake.     Genesis 30:27
Laban had the good sense to realize that much of the good life he and his family enjoyed had come from Jacob’s presence in his life every day and over the years. Modern society should recognize the same truth as it pertains to Christian and Jewish faith. Most of the great principles of American life come directly out of biblical teaching.
Some of those great principles are:
A system of laws that hold in check the sinfulness of human beings, so that they are required to be honest and nonviolent, so that people who would otherwise be victims of crime can be protected.
A government expected by God to do good for its people, and obey the same laws all citizens are expected to live by.
A compassion for the least, the last, and the lost: expressed by the church’s being an example to government in feeding the hungry, rescuing addicts, advocating adoption rather than the terminating of life in the human womb, disaster relief, and tolerance of those with whom you might disagree.
The faith expression educates in religion, morals, and the personal responsibility of the individual to be a good person, a good neighbor, a good citizen, and a blessing to the world.
If a society wants freedom it must be a moral society that restricts behaviors that enslave people, and of course Christian and Jewish faith advocate that very thing.

Jesus indicated that his followers were salt. Salt was an important preservative in those ancient days, and illustrates the role of biblical principles preserving society. Remove Christian and Jewish contributions, and influence, from the societies of the world, and even the most modern nation on earth will begin to spiral down from being a peaceful, free land, filled with opportunity into fighting, destruction, fear, and grinding poverty.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Devotional Verse From Genesis
And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.     
Genesis 21:6
Her first laugh, when she heard about God’s plan to give her a baby in old age, may have been a “Right, that’ll be the day” laugh. Now, “well stricken in age” about 90, with her baby in her arms, the fulfillment of God’s promise, Sarah laughed for joy. As absurd as the idea of a really, really, really, old lady having a baby is, nothing is “absurd” with God, or as the angel in Luke chapter 1:37 put it, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
Pray that terrorists will be converted to peace.
Pray that people who want to work will find jobs.
Pray that the cure for cancer will be found.
Pray that there will be a restoration of traditional moral values in America.
Pray that government leaders will put aside their personal political prejudice and do righteousness.
Pray that predators, persecutors, and other perpetrators of evil will have a change of heart and cease from troubling others.
Pray that illegal drug users will get clean by the millions.

Right, like that will happen! Talk about absurd ideas. Still nothing is absurd, incongruous, or impossible with God, and if some or all of these things happened wouldn’t the world breathe a sigh of relief and join in Sarah’s happy laughter? Pray to the living God of Abraham, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, every good and perfect gift comes from Him, and nothing is impossible with God.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Two Lessons From The Story Of Sodom
And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs to be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. … And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughter’s, and said, Up, get you out of this place: for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law all.    Genesis 19:9, 14
The men of Sodom knew they were doing wrong, “now will we deal worse with thee.” Yet to them Lot’s temerity in saying their behavior was wrong was worse than their own sin. How dare he be a judge? Sadly, western civilization has come to that point. To call a sin a sin is worse than committing the sin. To say a wrong is wrong is what is really wrong. How dare you, Lot, or whatever your name is, express some opinion that recognizes and identifies evil as evil? If you speak your mind you will be punished, not the perpetrator of the sin. So keep your mouth closed.
There was a time when being like the men of Sodom would’ve been shunned by a community considering itself moral. Now it is accepted, probably by more people than we can imagine.
Then having been warned by the angels of Sodom’s imminent doom, Lot attempts to save his married daughters and sons in law by warning them to get out of the path of destruction (the fire and brimstone about to pour down). The fact of God’s coming judgment seems to them a joke. Perhaps they were thinking: These are modern times, that’s old time religion. This is a big city, it could never be destroyed in a single day. That happens in other places, not here. If there is any destruction, it will probably happen to someone else. How can you believe a good God would do that?
It doesn’t say in the Bible, but I would guess that Lot’s sons in law, before they died, regretted their refusal to believe. How long will it be before western civilization regrets its refusal to continue to believe God’s, the God of the Bible, moral code.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The spirit of Jezebel still afflicts modern denominations

It is hardly new news that denominational bodies throughout the world are taking a sympathetic view towards what God's word calls sin, and clearly denotes as false theology. At the least it goes back to the church in Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29).
Rev. 2:20  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

Some bad teaching was going on in the church. It was propounded by a woman called Jezebel by the Lord.
We don’t know if that was her given name, or Jesus is giving her a nickname that describes the awful person she was, comparing her to Jezebel in the Old Testament who was truly evil.

Instead of talking about God’s pure morality, she was telling people it was O.K. to be sexually immoral.
Instead of pointing people to the cross and calling them to believe and worship Jesus, she was leading them to make sacrifices to idols. Jesus speaks out against such teaching.We need to know that there are things in our individual lives, hopefully not this bad, that Jesus is not O.K. with, and there are things being taught in some denominations, and even more sadly in local churches that Jesus is not O.K. with.

The Christian church has to be careful about what it teaches. We’re about Jesus. We’re about the cross. We’re about the new birth.We’re about walking with Christ day by day, all the days of our lives.We're about forsaking sin. We’re about looking for His coming back, because he promised to do that.Those are the things we want people to hear when they come to church. Unfortunately Thyatira was a church that had goofed and allowed a false teacher to be part of their ministry.

If a woman, or man for that matter, comes to a church and offers to teach some "higher knowledge" than the Bible has she/he is offering some form of an ancient heresy called Gnosticism. Any so-called spiritual teaching that disregards the meaning of the Bible is not Christian. Needless to say, she/he should not be allowed to teach in a church that names Jesus as it's Lord. I wish the church at Thyatira had done that: Oh, no, you can’t teach that stuff in this church, we’re a Jesus church. I wish all churches and denominations who have fallen for false faith had done that. We’d all be better off. You, and your church, have to constantly be on your guard. There is a right and a wrong, and God decides it, not denominations who have left the Bible's teaching, not Hollywood, or Jezebel, or our increasingly immoral society.

Jezebel would have said, O don’t worry about it, it’s OK. Let me warn you: Whenever somebody says it’s O.K. don’t worry about it, worry about it until God’s Spirit uses God's word to convince your heart it is really O.K. Have you ever had one of those situations where you couldn’t put your finger on it, but you said to yourself, “In my gut I know this is wrong”? Well, you are the gut of the church, when you have a feeling always check it with the Word of God, and let the Spirit of God convince you of whether it is right or wrong.
Interesting the reaction of Jezebel and her people, to Jesus’ grace.
21  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
The grace is I gave her space to repent. Interesting today people say “I need my space.”
She still would not get right with Jesus.

Hey, if there is something in your life that shouldn’t be there,
Don’t be like Jezebel.
Turn away from it and get it out of your life.

There were bad things coming for Jezebel, and those who followed her and would not repent.
What is good in God’s eyes brings a good end, but the bad in God’s eyes brings a bad end.

Jezebel bad things are coming.
Wrong doing has it’s rewards, and they are not something you want, if you want the best of life.
 22  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
23  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Bad news for Jezebel.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Devotional Verse From The Book Of Romans
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.     Romans 1:16
All of us who believe and preach the gospel of Christ are in the same boat as the apostle Paul. In those days there were two kinds of religious people in the world: God’s chosen people the Jews, and all the pagans and nonbelievers of the Jewish God who fell under the label Gentiles or Greeks. Both of these groups rejected the gospel, one because the gospel of Christ is an issue of the faith and not of law, and the other because they saw the message as foolishness, that a man should be God in the flesh, die and come alive again. I can imagine some of the slurs against Paul. “How can you be so foolish and unpatriotic as to go beyond your national, historic faith, as we see it? You are not being loyal to your people. You should be ashamed of yourself.” “How can you be so anti-intellectual as to believe the story of a dead man rising, and that by having faith in him you will be put right with God? You should be ashamed to preach that simple story.” And those two statements are probably very mild as compared to what was actually said against Paul and the gospel of Christ. But Paul’s reply was “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” He goes on to say, in so many words, that whether others like it or not, God uses this story as the dynamite power to break the power of sin, and bring the believer into salvation. Well, that’s where we all are, those of us who preach the biblical gospel of Christ, no matter what you think of us we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Devotional Verse From The Book Of Revelation

Let the Word of God speak for itself:

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:15