Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Devotional Verse From The Book of Deuteronomy
Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.
Deuteronomy 29:9
Chapters 28 and 29 of Deuteronomy are filled with two lists: one of blessings and one of curses. The blessing list is wonderful, and the list of curses is horrific. God told his ancient people that one or the other of these lists would be their experience based upon whether they obeyed the rules for life that He set before them in their covenants. Do the things that God says and blessings will fill your life, do the things that God says not to do and curses will fill your life.

Today, the principle still holds true. Christian nations, or those who have Christian heritage and still retain some memory of New Testament morality and religious understanding, give away their best chance for prosperity, peace, and blessings, by turning away from the teaching of God (the one, holy, living, God of the Bible). The pleasure seeking morality of modern Western nations crumbles the will to stand and resist that which is evil, and the nation without a moral backbone can become prey to terrorist invaders of many sorts. As unpopular as it is in the current let me have what  I want to have and do what I want to do without interference culture of the West our greatest security and expectation of good lives comes from believing God and following His principles for right living.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.     Hebrews 13:2

The persecuted Christians of the world are our family; our brothers and sisters. We need to be reminded as we are by this scripture to remember them. Pray for their protection and preservation by the God and Father of our savior Jesus Christ. In this world stricken by terrorism and hate, murder and death pray that there will be physical deliverance and a hedge about them. Pray that their suffering for Christ will lead those who have yet to experience, know, and love Christ to come to Him and be changed. Here is a prayer for persecuted Christians, and ourselves, taken from the old hymn "We Gather Together."

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender wilt be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation:
Thy name be ever praised; O Lord make us free!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Devotional Verses from Deuteronomy and Exodus

O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever!     Deuteronomy 5:29
When God gave the law to his ancient people it was intended to be something that would be a blessing to them. If they would keep God’s commandments things would be well with them, their lives would be good, for them and for their children’s future. The law is a positive and wonderful thing. Obedience brings blessing, and what God’s people then and now need is blessing, in fact, the whole world needs blessing. One of the amazing things when looking at God’s law is the realization that if everyone in the world would, no matter their various faiths, would adopt  the laws God in  the 10 Commandments all the conflicts that cause so many of humanity’s problems would essentially cease. That’s an idealistic expectation, because humans are sinners and do not like to obey God’s law, but if they did the world would change overnight.

The 10 Commandments as given in Exodus 20:1-17:
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou nor thy son nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.
The 10 Commandments have throughout much of the world become a part of the laws governing nations, and have been a stabilizing factor among men. They were given in part, I think, for that very purpose. No matter the different religious points of view extant in the world, the essential social law contained here fully implemented in the hearts of men and women and children throughout the world could stop war. Don’t murder anybody, don’t kill; be faithful to your wife and family; don’t take what belongs to others unlawfully; don’t lie about other people no matter how you feel about them; and don’t let the desire for what others possess possess you to the point of making you a criminal.
Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart, from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy son’s sons;     Deuteronomy 4:9

Letting the law of God depart from our hearts always sends mankind on a downward spiral.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision:     Joel  3:14
I heard one commentator refer to ISIS and radical Islam as “a cult of death.” How accurate! These brutes love death better than life. Supposedly, they claim by their horrendous misinterpretation of religion that they are given the power of life and death over others who do not yield to their religious beliefs and religious rule. They kill with heartless abandon and delight in the suffering and death of the victims. Children, women, men who haven’t fought against them, and those who have, have been shot in the head, beheaded, crucified, and if these killers had the opportunity they would kill or enslave everyone of another faith throughout the entire world. And, they hide their wicked faces behind masks like men who loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil (cf. John 3:19). They do and they are.
You cannot appease such fanatical serial killers, merciless monsters Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace they have not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes (Romans 3:14-18). Neither can the nations of the world allow them to hold the world hostage to their evil warfare. The nations of the world have a duty to work together to cut this cancer out of the body of humanity so that others may live, so that some peace may bless the world by saving lives, lifting the fear of the sword from the lives of peaceful  people in every country, by increasing international, cooperation, and encouraging freedom for every human being everywhere.

If the nations of the world come together to stop this evil, I hope, their confidence can be what the LORD told Moses when he faced a similar enemy:  Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand… (Numbers  21:34). So the prophetic cry is: Nations of the middle east, nations of Europe and Asia, nations of North and South America, nations elsewhere in the world,  do the right thing, get together and work for the entire world’s self-interest by stopping the spread of ISIS butchery.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Devotional verses from the book of Leviticus

If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;… You shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. … But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if you despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that you will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain for your enemy shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.        Leviticus 26:3,5b-6; 14-17
This warning was given by God to a nation a long time ago, but the principle still holds true for nations today. Follow the commandments of God, don’t just give them lip service but do them, and blessing comes to the entire nation. Who are the people that must do the commandments? The individual, everyday people who live on your street and mine, who live in all of the towns across our country. When every individual is seeking to do what is right the nation will progress forward and everyone will be blessed. When people do not do the teaching of God concerning what is the good life, that nation will be hurting. Who are the people who bring harm to the nation? Any individual who breaks with God’s law: it might be one man who commits a robbery; or someone who fires a gun; or an individual politician who lies; or a family down the street dysfunctional because of drugs; or thug on the streets of a big city; or dishonest merchants; or anyone committing criminal or other sinful behavior in his or her individual life. You could make a list as long as your arm and your leg 100 times over. The sins that individuals commit often reach out and touch others around them, and can spread like a disease across the nation. How do we stop such a terrible outcome for our land? Every individual person, man, woman, child, must turn from evil and do good. Automatic blessing comes from that! And, when people do criminal acts and other sinful behaviors, automatic harm comes from that. Each one of us is responsible.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Devotional verses from the book of Leviticus
In the Bible leprosy is a representation of sin.
When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or a bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests: and the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean.  Leviticus 13:2, 3
As you can see these verses give a list of symptoms that indicate leprosy: a rising, a scab, or bright spot in the skin with the hair growing in that spot having turned white, and that strange spot appearing more than skin deep. Throughout this chapter of scripture symptoms are added: raw flesh (v. 14); a healed reddish boil with certain characteristics (vss. 18-20); and certain instances a spreading of these characteristics (v. 22); an evident skin disease with a thin yellow hair in it (vss. 29,30). By looking at the symptoms the priest was able to determine whether or not an individual had the disease of leprosy.
Let me give you some symptoms of the disease raging in our world today: chasing 30,000 - 40,000 people on to a wilderness mountain to die of starvation and thirst; execute them if they come down; chase all people of all religions but their own out of a land they occupy; execute captives in extreme atrocities; enslave women and children; leave a path of destruction and death; desire war and killing; consider peace to be when they have totalitarian control of the lives of others; despise freedom; hide missiles among civilians so the children will die as a public relations move; reject peace proposals; take the lives of their own female relatives in what some call honor killings. By my observation, I will tell you that such people are a plague upon mankind. They are a leprosy. They are a virulent bloody virus like Ebola.

The nations of the world have an obligation to all people to provide justice and freedom and life, and especially to those under such wicked domination. The nations are obligated to cure this malignant evil. All that it takes for such evil to flourish is that nations whose moral fiber has crumbled do nothing.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonah;and behold, a greater than Jonah is here.     Matthew 12:41

The destruction of the tomb of the prophet Jonah in Mosul, Iraq by the Islamic extremists attempting to create a new caliphate is a minor issue compared to what they are doing to Christians. America and so many nations throughout the world have been so blessed by the sheer goodness and kindness of the Christian faith that they impute this genuine goodness of Christianity to others who call themselves religious. Consciously or unconsciously they feel Christianity is such a good religion all other religions must be like it, good.

The religion of the caliphate, however, is not kind. To Christians they say you have three choices: convert, live as second class citizens paying taxes and being persecuted because you are Christians, or die.That's what they say! It is all over the news, and still there are westerners who will not speak out against such malevolence. They were not kind to prisoners captured during their incursion, executing, by various cruel methods, thousands. They are not even kind to their own Muslim brothers and sisters who might in some way express their personal Islamic faith differently.

A religion which denies the expression of faith by others, that persecutes Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc. just because they are what they are, that kills because others believe in Jesus Christ as savior is not good. All people, including those who believe Islam is the religion of peace, should express our moral condemnation of the immorality of the Islamic extremists.

The men of Nineveh will rise up in judgment against the men of the extremists of ISIS.