Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Devotional Thought From 1 Samuel
     In a world where headlines scream: Ebola in U.S.; war in Ukraine; terrorists behead another; Christians chased out of Iraq; violence in the streets; cyber hacking again; riots in the cities; what should believers do? Follow the example of David.
     Once when he and his army had left their city, Ziklag (a temporary home), it was attacked by marauders and burned. The women and children, including his wives were captured and taken as slaves. As a result David’s own men were so distraught they blamed him, and considered killing him by stoning, a desperate situation to say the least. David’s reaction was: David encouraged himself in the LORD his God (1 Samuel 30:6).
     Believers in the God of the Bible need to encourage themselves in the Lord. God is able to carry them through. They need to strengthen their commitment, more and more deeply study and comprehend the Bible, God’s written word, and go forward in living a peaceful, godly life, facing as best they can whatever issues lie before them.
     None of us knows the joys or sorrows the immediate future holds, but we know that God is not mocked, that we walk with Him, and He will be with us even in the valley of the shadow. Christian encourage yourself in your God, Jesus.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Devotional Thought From 1 Samuel

And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.     1 Samuel 3:1

      Let me make a comparative application: there is an obvious parallel in today’s modern society. In the USA, for example, there are thousands of churches and dozens of denominations and in many of them a distinct dearth of faithful preaching of God’s Word (hence, no open vision). Some even enact organizational  policies in direct opposition to what God has stated in the Bible. Some in the church culture, and in society at large, that once revered biblical morality, now blocks it at every turn and attempts to force  religious followers in  the aforementioned denominations and individual congregations into rejecting the teaching of Scripture. So then precious and rare is the word of God again, in some areas of the church. Can you imagine, people think that churches and denominations exist to preach the word of God and make clear the meaning of what God has said, and today depending on what church you walk into that may not be what you hear.

     Churches and denominations should faithfully preach what the Bible says no matter what nonbelievers outside of the church desire or legislate. The testimony of God’s church in this world should be “If  you want to know what God says go to church, you will always hear a message straight out of the Bible.” That should be true of every church, and every denomination, that calls itself Christian.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Devotional thought from 1 Samuel

…them that honour me I will honour…     1 Samuel 2:30

I honor God. I give Him glory, I express my praise, I declare Him King. I announce His worthiness, I profess my sincere love, I reverence, respect, and worship Him. The one true God who reveals Himself in the Bible is holy, the Creator of the world, the Sustainer of the world, the Savior of the world. I honor God, and my testimony is that in His goodness and mercy He has honored me.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Devotional Verse From The Book Of Judges

And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.     Judges 6:10

          The book of Judges shows us a very important principle for national living. God’s chosen people had been led into the land of Canaan as their homeland. They were to follow, serve, and obey the God of creation, the God of the Torah, the God who had chosen them, but they did not always obey. They were often drawn away from the true God to worship false gods, and commit the atrocities that were associated with such false gods. As a result the living LORD would deliver them into the hands of their enemies, and they would suffer persecution and poverty. When they would return to the true God and call upon him for help, God would raise up a strong, believing leader (called judges) and would deliver His people from her enemies.

          The principle that follows is that when any nation turns from the true God to the false gods of religion, pornography, deceit, criminality, violence, the dissolution of families, and so many of the evils that are perpetrated throughout the nations of the world, those nations find themselves falling on hard times. When a nation preserves, supports, and encourages its people to follow the traditional morality of the biblical scriptures that nation finds itself on a path to prosperity and peace. Even in those nations where non-biblical religion is dominant, the greater the amount of biblical morality held by that society, the greater their progress and prosperity.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Devotional Verse From Joshua

 Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that you turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;     Joshua 23:6

This verse from Joshua indicates an interesting thing true in Joshua’s day as it is in ours; it takes courage to follow the word of God. It takes a courageous heart of faith to follow and promote the teaching of the Word of God.
While it is evident that the moral and spiritual lifestyle advocated by the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, if followed by everyone in the world would re-create human society and solve the majority of problems created by human sin, society at large is not open to scriptural guidance. It takes courage to advocate these things because modern day people in many cases do not like what the Bible has to say. They do not like the Bible’s definition of marriage and marital fidelity and fight against it. They do not like the Bible’s expression of an exclusive salvation that comes through faith in Jesus, even though it’s not forced on anyone but offered to them by faith. They do not like the concept that national governments are the servants of God to do what is good and right and to punish evil. They oppose the Bible’s teaching on sexual purity. They oppose the sanctity of the life of pre-born babies, and will go to almost any lengths to allow the termination of the lives of these children (presumably conceived in love). Drunkenness and dishonesty are popular despite the Bible's insistence that they are sin. Take any list of values from the Scriptures and the sinners of this world will reject and fight them.

So to advocate such things in this day and age causes those who believe and preach them to be ridiculed, branded intolerant, ostracized, even persecuted or killed. And yet our challenge is Joshua’s: Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and do all that is written in the book… When we present God’s word we do it in love, we do it in kindness, we do it to help and improve the world situation and make the lives of people in need better, so be very courageous! God’s word will not return unto Him void.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their fore heads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Revelation 20:4

John saw the souls of them that were beheaded during the tribulation for their witness to salvation through Jesus. It is clear that the terror of beheading  will be used against Christian believers by the forces of evil during that time of wrath some theologians call the tribulation. This monstrous form of execution is from the pits of hell and the most rotten part of the human heart. 16,500 people, among the thousands upon thousands who died during the French Revolution were beheaded. The Nazi’s records indicate that beheading was used in over 16,000 executions during their reign of terror in Germany and Austria. Islamic terrorists of the Middle East use individual beheadings in the most brutal way to attempt to terrorize the world. Underlying these examples, and, in my opinion, true in almost all historical uses of beheading, appears to be an ultimate satanic plan to oppose Christianity and terrorize and kill people who in any way have a connection, however tenuous, to Christianity or the God of Israel. The time will come when God’s justice will prevail and all unredeemed terrorists will regret and lament for eternity their personal evil and unbelief in Christ. Until that time the governments in existence around the world (according to Romans 13:1 ordained of God to be a terror …to the evil) have the responsibility before God to confound and eliminate terrorism of any sort, thus promoting a more stable, peaceful world, and protecting citizens of all nations, who seek to live and work without fear, from the murderous intent and actions of terrorists.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Devotional  Verses From Joshua
Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood. And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them and give him a place that he may dwell among them. And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbor unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime. And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days; then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.     Joshua 20:2-6

Under the Jewish law, which was the most protective of the rights of individuals of ancient days and has been a model for the legal systems of modern civilized countries, there was a consideration for accidental death. Accidents do happen, God understands, and made a provision that in such a case the ancient idea of blood for blood and life for life could be set aside for the cause of justice. Yet, what people may not know, or may misunderstand is that the accidental killer did not get off without consequences. He could save his life from the family member called the avenger of blood by going to a city of refuge, but there he had to be tried to see if he really was innocent, and if he was he still could not leave the city until the death of the high priest who was currently in office. If the High Priest were quite old the accidental slayer might be released after a very short time, but if the High Priest had just come into office and was younger than the slayer, the accidental killer might have to spend his entire life within the city of refuge.  He had to leave his home and family (unless they moved to be with him), give up his way of life, and perhaps his profession, miss the birthday parties of his aging mother and father, the special community festivals, and all the blessings of his life before the accident. But his life was safe, and within the bounds of the city of refuge, whether it was Shechem,  Ramoth in Gilead, or any of the others, he was free. So even in an accidental killing there was a price to be paid. One of the problems in modern society is that there is so much crime and unintended tragedies that come from bad or reckless behavior, and often so little cost to those involved in these events that the same people repeat them over and over again. Modern society must find a way to make the cost for any kind of accident due to unlawful behavior, or what are called “minor crimes” be sufficient to be a deterrent to stupid and sinful activities.