We are in what the Bible calls "perilous" (Greek, "fierce") times. "Blessed are you when men hate you and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake," Jesus says in his Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:22, 26), continuing, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets."
The nation has been riven for the last few weeks over uncorroborated accusations against a judge who has served with distinction on one of the highest courts in the land. He is a Christian whose 10-year-old daughter brought him to tears when she told him she was praying for his primary accuser. That netted her a horribly offensive political cartoon in which she prays for God to forgive her "angry, lying, alcoholic father for sexually assaulting" his supposed victim.
We Christians, and our fellow people of the Scripture, the Jews, are increasingly targets of unwarranted, calculated, hateful treatment by people willing to compromise the law, fairness, balance and the Word to try to stop us. My sense is that the Lord is telling us to hang in the fight until he delivers us and not to stand down before he makes clear we should.
Look out for those who continually accuse others of lying; they usually are the ones actually deceiving. They mimic Satan, the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) and father of lies (John 8:44).
Here’s the hidden secret to emerging from darkness to God’s marvelous light: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,” Acts 3:19 tells us.
We talk about accepting Christ, but not so much on turning from our wayward lives. Repentance is crucial to the new birth spiritually.
We aren't doing fine, then adding Jesus. We're lost, then we're found. The old man passes away and the new comes to life.
Being born again is a 180-degree turn from the world and toward God. This change isn't necessarily from our efforts, though we need to choose to go the Lord's way rather than ours. It's due to the power of the Holy Spirit that comes when we set ourselves in agreement with God.
Focused prayer can end even the stickiest sins in our lives. Don't stay in bondage any longer!
“All the promises of God in him are yes and in him amen, to the glory of God through us," says 2 Corinthians 1:20.
Jesus made it possible for us to claim every privilege, provision and potential of the Lord. He forged for the believer a new and living way.
This is an exciting lifestyle with tests and trials to strengthen and teach us plus deliverance from and dominion over every work of the enemy to bless us. Take God at his Word today and receive abundant life!
The fight is on. “Contend earnestly for the faith,” Jude 3 instructs us.
Ours is not a time very open to strong, biblical stances. People do not like to hear there is such a thing as sin or that they may be committing them.
However, we believers are called to stand up for Jesus and explain his Word yet today. People are perishing and need a clear witness of Christ!
Let us not be weak-kneed in this hour but steadfastly stating "thus saith the Lord" without apology.
"Life is hard and then you die" is an old saying portraying the world's fatalism. The cliche doesn't give a whole lot of hope.
Scripture is to the contrary. "'For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,' says the Lord, 'thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope,'" reads Jeremiah 29:11. He was speaking then to a people in captivity who had been downtrodden and broken. But he kept his promise to them that they would see a brighter day.
If you're in difficulty, realize God is on your side. Haven't given your life to him? Know that if you do, he will bless you to overcome your problems. That is real and true hope, of an everlasting destiny in Christ Jesus.
I've been praying for the mind of Christ much these days. It's something every born-again child of God should desire, especially amid the worsening spiritual atmosphere in this land.
We don't automatically get a completely new outlook when we're saved. The believer is to renew the mind (Romans 12:2), working out one's own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12). It's a process.
The result of winning what Joyce Meyer once dubbed "the battle of the mind" is peace, joy, humility, obedience and all other blessings pertaining to life and godliness. Let's press into the mind of Christ and press out fear, worry, obsession and anything else that doesn't belong in our thinking. We'll be the better for it.
Can you be a Christian without fruit? "Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves," warns James 1:22.
I've always liked the epistle of James for its practicality. He taught Christianity is not simply "mental assent," as I've heard it called, but a deeply held conviction that causes change in followers' lives.
The modern church likes to focus on a moment's decision to accept Jesus in one's heart. Such a work is truly wonderful, but it must grow into a lifelong relationship with God. Remember Ephesians 4:1: “Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called." Salvation doesn't mean we are more powerful, holy or right, but just that God's Spirit now has the opportunity to flow through us.
The Holy Ghost gives us the ability to stop willfully sinning, centering upon self and denying the Lord is from whom all blessings flow. We do not have to sin; we never lose the ability, but we can lose the desire. This life of the Spirit is that to which we in Christ have been called.
“Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord,” sings Psalm 146:1-2. We must give the Lord his due. He's done everything for us, from forming us in the womb to sending his Son to die for us to giving us eternal life in him. If God's Spirit inhabits us, we will want to praise him.
If you have trouble thinking of things for which to thank the Lord, consider Galatians 3:2. “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or the hearing of faith?” it says. In this passage, Paul underscores that we're saved by faith, not our good deeds. Now, true belief leads to right action, but the labor is the fruit of salvation, not the means by which we're saved. The difference is one between joyful, meaningful work in the Lord and deadening legalism of the world.
Thus, God has given us life, health, strength and peace through relationship with him, not our slaving or self-will. Let gratitude be your attitude and joy your strength as you lift up the name of the Lord!
This is Constitution Day, marking 231 years since the Founding Fathers of the USA ratified this vital document forming the basis for our laws. That our country now is descending into lawlessness is regrettable and alarming.
The framers of the Constitution based many of its legal precepts on the sound counsel of the Bible. “One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established," says Deuteronomy 19:15.
However, over the past several years, decades-old accusations of wrongdoing without any evidence or witnesses (often posed anonymously) have been hurled at government officials, business leaders and others. Rather than rejecting these libelous assertions, those in authority in private and public positions frequently regard them, bypassing our very sound system of justice.
Authorities also have refused to enforce statutes because they disagreed with them, an extremely dangerous practice that leads to political and societal instability. Ours is a nation of laws giving birth to a spirit of vigilantism by failing to insist people use our police and courts to settle differences.
"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" asks Psalm 11:3. Let's pray for our nation to turn back from lawlessness, contentiousness, and guilt by unfounded accusation and toward order, godly wisdom and rationality.
We are to be not just hearers, but doers of the Word also (James 1:22). However, are we going about our work with the wisdom of God?
I've at times seen Christians work fanatically hard for the Lord, yet their efforts seem to result in little benefit to the Kingdom. The key to being, as I often pray, "efficient, focused and effective" for God is seeking what tasks he wants done and how to go about them.
Before getting into a major project, we should spend time in prayer with the Lord about it, asking, "Is this what you want us to do?" After we get the go-ahead, we then petition him to "send out laborers into his harvest," giving us the right people (Matthew 9:38).
Second Corinthians 10:5 tells us the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but spiritual. We Christians need to discern God's will and way; then, we'll be the most fruitful possible for his glory.
Pray for anointing from on high. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,” Jesus tells his followers in Acts 1:8.
After we have endured difficulty, learned the necessary lessons, and seasoned for God's work, he sends the Helper to propel us forward into his fields white unto harvest.
In the season of waiting, we must stay assured the Lord loves us. In the season of sending, we must stay assured God is with us.
Ministry is a contact sport, so to speak, lived out with flesh-and-blood friends and foes as well as spiritual company on both sides. However, the armor of God will keep us safe while we storm the gates of hell.
Let's get ready to move!
Jesus says, “He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live,” in John 11:25.
Christ is the resurrection and the life. Only he has triumphed over death, hell and the grave, something no other faith can proclaim its leader has done.
This existence is but a gateway to eternity, a test after which those proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus will enter into another dimension of transcendence. Those who scoff at the Savior may live now but spend the rest of time dying, remorseful at the opportunity they missed to accept Christ.
The world and nation are becoming overwhelmed with division. I call this the spirit of Meribah ("contention") and Massah ("proving") after the two places where the Israelites complained vehemently against Moses and the Lord (Exodus 17:1-7).
This spirit must not continue to dominate or there will be dramatic schism in the USA and globally. Those unwilling to yield and destabilizing government use lies, inaccuracies, and false reports to stir hatred, arrogance and fear, demonic tactics. Oddly, much in the United States is extraordinarily good: economy, foreign affairs, taxation, religious freedom, global competitiveness and more.
However, the unreasoning, irrational, lying forces are likely sent strong delusion from the Lord that they should believe the lie of Antichrist (2 Thess. 2:10-12). The globe may become so acrimonious it must unite under his diabolical rule. God is using the enemy’s work to bring the current epoch to an end, judge the world in the Tribulation and deliver Israel. He then will perfect the globe in its final day, the Sabbath of 1,000 years, the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Many find it easy to say evil and wish evil on those with whom they do not have relationship. As our society lives more of its life online and via social media, it is becoming less loving, less kind, less relational and more insensitive, hateful and unforgiving.
Our challenge as Christians is to tell people what Scripture says, but with genuine compassion. "Be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed," 1 Peter 3:15-16 says.
This means loving others by showing we have empathy for them yet willing to be disliked if necessary to help them grasp biblical truth. If we disagree on essential doctrine, we believers can still be in contact and as helpful as we can. Of course, if the person is a Christian but in willful rebellion against God, then using biblical discipline and withdrawing our fellowship for a time may become necessary (Matthew 18:15-17).
Zechariah 14:9 says, “The Lord shall be king over all the earth." This globe has some breathtaking scenery and magnificent man-made edifices, but they all pale to the purity, holiness and power of God. As an old song goes, "You ain't seen nothin' yet."
The prophet here looked forward to the day when Christ in his Second Coming would rule and reign over the earth. In these times, we struggle to keep our minds focused on the Lord, but then, we will have him ever before us and the Holy Spirit will be in the air wherever we go.
Yes, the turbulent weather, social upheaval, racial hatred and other signs of the "beginning of sorrows" (Matthew 24:8) are here. However, our sorrow will turn to joy when we see our Lord face to face.
What a vision of the future – worth the wait!
Don't look for the unsaved to understand Christians. “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,” says 1 Corinthians 1:18.
The world is looking for military might and strongarm dictators. Talk that the Savior of all died on a tree and rose again makes no sense to it. That's because the Almighty's wisdom comes from above, not below.
God's perfect holiness could only be satisfied by an unblemished sacrifice, Jesus Christ. His death quelled Jehovah's wrath and his resurrection imparted the Lord's blessing.
Look to the intelligence of the Creator rather than the disputers of this age.
Sin has a price. “He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow,” promises Proverbs 22:8.
We look around today, and everywhere we see evil: murders, lust, pride, envy, extortion, hatred and much more. Those who commit such offenses seem to get away with hardly a care or difficulty. However, God's wheels of justice grind exceedingly long but also exceedingly fine.
People reap what they sow, and, as the psalms tell us, one day we'll search for the wicked and they won't be found. If we stick with doing right, we'll outlast the unrighteous.
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