Monday, October 15, 2018

Daily Devotional October 15 - How Much Evidence Is Enough Evidence?

"He saved others; Himself he cannot save. If He be king of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him." Matthew 27:42 "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst the good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:19-31 Also read John 5:39-47

Isn't it ironic that those who don't believe are always trying to tell those who do believe, what to tell those who don't believe, to convince those that do believe, not to believe?

Had Jesus walked off the cross, whomever didn't believe that Jesus was the Son of God believed, would still not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. God designed man to believe in God through several methods, all of which non-believers deny.
1 God designed each person to have, in their soul, a desire to know their creator. It is inherent.
2 God designed all creation to speak of Him through the experience of the sciences.
3 God designed each person to have a need to connect with the source of their existence.
4 God designed every person to respond to the inner call from God.
5 God confirmed His existence through the writing of the scriptures, where he used men, to confirm in writing God's self disclosure, throughout the ages. The Bible is the only book that reveals the actual genealogies of man from Jesus backward to Adam.
6 The Bible verifies and codifies the history of man from Adam to Jesus by having the Bible span about 4,000 years from Adam to Jesus with multiple writers from differing cultures and milleniums, cohesively joining together the only credible source for historically accurate anthropology. And then from Jesus until now and beyond the Bible prophesies unquestionable events that have taken place and that will take place in the future.

Even if Jesus had come down from the cross or if someone went back from heaven to earth to notify those on earth that God is real, heaven is real and hell is real, those who don't believe wouldn't believe. The non-believer is always looking for more evidence. If the evidence that is available isn't enough, well, think about it.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Daily Devotional October 14 - Life Can Be A Little Complicated

"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, satan hath desired to sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." Luke 22:31-32

Are you doing a good work? Do you believe that Jesus is Lord? Have you decided to follow Jesus? Are you a member of a church? Do you teach Sunday School or have a ministry? Are you trying to do the right thing in your family life and your business life?

If you have said yes to any of these questions, then listen carefully.

  • satan will try to take away all the progress you have made.
  • satan intends to take back from you all that you have gained; money, friends, responsibilities, integrity, land, houses, children, parents, spouse, anything and everything that you are steward over.
  • satan will use trickery, advertisement, people, money, lies, family, friends, church friends, anything to make you change your mind about God.
  • satan will entice you, try to crush you, tickle your ears, divide you from those you love, break your spirit, take your things, plant weeds, make you think your something you are not, buy you, and try to make you into a fake.
  • satan is real and satan is smart, cunning, crafty, calculating, sneaky, scheming, treacherous, deceitful, duplicitous, deceptive, misleading, conniving, hateful, vile, relentless, repulsive, wicked, malevolent and foul.

When Jesus says he (satan) will sift you as wheat, Jesus knows what you are up against. Jesus knows that satan will attack you without reason, without cause, without consideration, without fear of reprisal, without any consideration for you, your family, your business, your friends, your church, your anything. If satan decides to sift you as wheat it is because you exist. You don't have to be doing a good work, living a holy life, nor do you have to be messing up, having fallen to the bottom, losing the battle or thoroughly ruined, having fallen away from what you know is right.

satan comes to sift you as wheat because you exist.

Jesus understands the whole dilemma. That's why Jesus tells Peter he is going to pray for him. That's why Jesus prays for you. That's why you need to be praying for others. Prayer provides a disconnect that thwarts satans ploys. Prayer has the power to step in between a situation and sever satans hold/stronghold/s. Prayer contains the power to overpower satan.
Ignorance does not have the power to overpower satans projects.
Denial doesn't work either.
Only prayer was designed to pull the plug on satan's activities.

Jesus prayed that Peter would hold fast to his faith. Jesus knew that there was a storm coming unlike anything that Peter had ever experienced. The only way to survive was to implement his faith. It is the only way you will overcome the wiles of the wicked one also, simple faith. If the faith you have is only in yourself, you are faced with having to fight against a powerful enemy with no weapons, naked and vulnerable, unable to stand against, fight against or even run from the evil one. No faith means no protection and no weapons to fight back.

Next Jesus says something rather disconcerting. Jesus says to Peter, who had been with him for three years, side by side, watching all the miracles and seeing results from his own hands, "when thou art converted, strengthen the brethren."
I will just say this.
Playing with God like he doesn't exist, or he is your toy or genie in a bottle will not be enough when you are tested in battle.
Playing church because it is apropos will not help you in the time of need.
Acting like you have faith while you are living out another life provides no protection against the evil forces of this world.
You have to have faith and it must in God, through Christ.

Jesus told Peter what Peter didn't want to hear. Jesus dressed him down to save his soul. Peter believed he was as strong as Jesus. Peter believed he would be protecting Jesus. Peter was wrong about Jesus and many today are wrong about who they think Jesus is too. Go ahead and read verse 33-34 and verses 54-62 and see how easy it is to think something different than what Jesus says. I would rather believe what Jesus is telling me than to create my own version and hope I am right.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Daily Devotional October 13 - Why Don't Most People Believe In Hell?

"For what profiteth a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:" Mark 8:36 and 1 Peter 1:24

Can you lose your soul? Yes. You can lose it in this sense; You are alive and you have the power to feed and nurture your soul with the Word of God. You can commune with God and you can hear from the Holy Spirit all things pertaining to building up and filling the soul with God things. Your soul can be enlightened with the things of God. You can decide today to enhance your soul by praying or worshiping or praising or thanking God from the inner man. But there will come a time when you will no longer have that power. When you die, if you are born again, you will still have power over your soul. You will not lose control of you. What good is it to gain all the material wealth that the world has to offer and then lose control of your living soul for eternity.

By losing control I am saying that in hell (the place where non-believers will reside for all eternity) their soul remains alive and they are conscious of their surroundings, but no longer will anyone who goes to hell have any control over anything, not even their existence. They cannot even die or become unconscious. Maybe it is important to believe and to reveal the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the only way to avert a terrifying destiny.

Just one more note: Modern man doesn't fear hell. We can thank our preachers for that. Modern man doesn't believe hell is the place that Jesus says it is. I think everyone should re-evaluate what they believe. If the scriptures are true about salvation and true about the benefits of knowing Jesus and you recognize the truth of this by the evidence of experience, shouldn't we also believe what the Bible says about hell?

Friday, October 12, 2018

Daily Devotional October 12 - Life Is Like A Vapor

""Go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4:13-14

Pray before you move. Is it God guiding you to move here or there because He has a plan for your life, or is it that you think you will make a killing if you go to such and such a place? You can have both, but just to move to get gain is foolish. You might get rich. You might lose it all. But to move to get gain doesn't give God the honor nor does it follow the biblical prescription of bringing your plans to God for approval before setting out on a venture.

"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow." A lot can happen in one day and we really don't know about tomorrow, but to go into tomorrow on our own fuel, so to speak, doesn't make sense to James and it doesn't make sense to me either. You need spiritual fuel and that comes from the Spirit of God. When God has been invited in to what you are doing, in advance, before you move for gain, you will get understanding. Whether things go right or if they go wrong, if you succeed or if you fail, there is understanding when God is involved. The Spirit of God communes with your Spirit to help you to get out of the experience necessary components that make a godly life.

James goes on to remind of us of the brevity of our life. A moment with God is better than a lifetime without. Life is short and God wants us to dispose our time wisely. Wisely is when we bring God into our situation early; early in the morning, early in the decision making process, early in the business start-up, early in the relationship, early in our decision to move. When you do this, you are inviting God to supernaturally intervene in your natural world. Time is spent wisely when you are following the lead of the Holy Spirit in your life/lifestyle. If my life is a vapor, when it is over, I want it to have left more behind than I took with me. I think that is what James is trying to tell us.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Daily Devotional October 11 - The Worst Subject Ever

Mat_18:6  But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

In every generation since the beginning of time there have been really good and righteous religious leaders and really bad and evil religious leaders. We know that from scripture and from writings over the last 2,000 years. Today we have the same scenario. Why does God allow this balance/imbalance of religious leadership?

The answer is simple. Free will. Despite your view of what God can or will do and what God does or does not do, God designed the concept of free will and embedded within us the right to free will. Many people on many continents do not practice their free will because of the conditioning of the religious and/or political leadership, overpowering the peoples God-given understanding of free will.  Over-powering in the sense of making living most miserable for the people if they do not contour their thinking to that of the government or religious leadership.

This message is for those who have transcended their governmental or religious oversight to have in them selves an inner-man understanding of the concept of free will and how it relates to their every day actions. In this treatise I want to discuss the Catholic Church and its contribution to the fray.

Much of the leadership of the Catholic Church has gone amok.  Many nameless priests have either committed crimes against children or played a significant role in covering it up. Not a few, or a rogue priest running away from the teachings of Christ, but a plethora of ordained clergy at all levels. This is a sickness related to the operations of the Catholic Church. This sickness in the framework of the clergy is not indicative of other religious organizations. Most Christian and non-Christian religious groups have mechanisms within their organization to flush out such behavior as child molestation. The gears of their polity work in such a way that only fetid individuals commit isolated incidents until found out. Most churches cut this individual out of the flock with impunity.

The Catholic Church has not dealt with this aversion to normal Christian behavior with the same fervor as others, all others. The Catholic Church has embraced this epidemic as "growing pains,"  "careless behavior," "thoughtless actions," "infraction of principle," and their priests are reprimanded by relocating them or placing them on "temporary leave," or in many cases just talking to them about their behavior and hiding it or covering it up to the Church members, the general public and specifically the law of the land.  After years of a priest abusing children they are taken aside for a talking to, to try to bring them around before someone finds out.

This is reprehensible. The point I want to get to is the quality of teaching that permeates the Catholic Church has been altered from its original intent. I would say to the point of no return. The same priest pledging allegiance to a Sovereign God, praying the Rosary, taking and giving communion, teaching the flock, offering advise to parents, bringing up others in the clergy, turn a blind eye to the most egregious crime of man.

This organization is hiding behind what it calls a legacy of holiness. Even if that were true and it is not, the organization has taken up arms to protect the guilty while ignoring the innocent and helpless.  The people/parishioners of the Catholic Church can do better than continue to serve a selfish and self-serving organization that has lost all hope of regaining any measure of credibility.

Mat_18:6  But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Daily Devotional October 10 - How Infinite Is The God You Serve?

"He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by name." Psalm 147:4

Numbers are important and God uses numbers, multiples of numbers, special numbers and every other kind of number you can think of. God created numbers. God put all the sciences in place so that they would have measurable results and of course these measurable results are usually found in numbers.

You might wonder, if God telleth the number of the stars, whom did He tell it to? And if he calleth them all by name, what are their names? Those are good questions. The number of the stars is so big that we cannot say it, we haven't invented it yet, we don't have a way to express it. How could we? Those who have been born again understand this better than those who have not, because as we grow closer to God we get understanding that God gets bigger and as we learn more, there's more yet and as we contemplate real deep, there is deeper still. We get it.

The realm of God is beyond our comprehension. We don't have enough space to write down the number of the stars, much less their names. I'm OK with that. If I could know all there was to know about God or figure out every science to its fullest depth and end, then God would be too much like me. But that's not the case. We are made in the image of God and we are to be like God in so many ways and we are designed with the capacity to grasp God concepts, but to think that we could find the end of any is for skeptics, not believers.

Yes God did give each star a name and yes they are innumerable by our standards, but to God they are all easily accessible and discernible. If you are wondering if your problems get the same attention that the stars get, quit even thinking that way. "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs on your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31

Your breath is weighed, your step is measured, your movement recorded, your thoughts archived. There's nothing about you that God does not already know about, your past, present and future; each minuscule event, every nano-second, carefully seen and considered by God, every word of prayer, every hand clap, every everything, all measured, calculated, stored and easily retrievable on your behalf. God takes all these measurements and with that of every other living creature answers your prayers by integrating the same for all mankind at the same time so that you can be blessed, bodies healed, hearts cleansed, minds purified, attitudes adjusted, houses built, food provided and sins forgiven.

Is this a resemblance of the God you serve?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Daily Devotional October 9 - Oh Boy, Theology. Hold on To Your Seat

"And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever." John 14:16

For how long? Forever. Good theology: Believe what God says before you believe what someone says about what God says. The Godhead; the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit abides with us from the moment we accept Christ as our Saviour. I know that many religions have different rules about salvation, but clear uninterpreted truth direct from scripture should not be quickly dismissed.

There are a few reasons I am making this point.
First: Jesus is praying the Father that the Father will give you the Holy Spirit. If Jesus prayed that for me, I would know for certainty that it was for all eternity. I don't believe that God the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit makes mistakes, or qualifies someone for salvation that they have to later rescind, or change their mind about how secure salvation is for the believer. Jesus prayed the Father, the Father sent the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit resides within the believer.

Secondly: All that being said, everything to do with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are eternal things.

  • Do you really think that the one most important thought of all, the salvation of believers (the joining to God of fallen man to become joint heirs with Christ by adoption) is ill conceived? 
  • Do you really believe that Christ died for your sins and when you were born again that what Christ did through the atoning sacrifice was not quite good enough to last? 
  • Are you of the persuasion that in order to be fully saved you have to jump through hoop number two or three or that being saved is just temporary as long as you don't do or say something wrong? 

If that were the case none of us would have a chance.

Thirdly: Salvation is a finished work of God for all eternity. Sanctification is the ongoing process of being purified in word and deed. But being sanctified makes you no more saved than you were before you were sanctified. Being sanctified makes you no more holy either. Being sanctified does make you more cognizant of your spiritual responsibilities. Standing before God there are not two lines, the saved line on the left and the sanctified line on the right. Just the thought of it reduces the possibility of the sanctified having a better place before God, because God lifts up the humble and abases the proud.

Those of you who treat salvation as a lesser gift should be ashamed. And you need to get your theology straight. Salvation is the All in All work of God that all other things spiritual come under. Sanctification, holiness, purification, spiritual gifting, fruits of the Spirit, gifts of the Spirit, measure of faith, all fall under salvation. None of these things exist unless a person is saved. And when a person is saved all of these things become part of the process of being with God forever.