NO LONGER BLIND

Soon we will be celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday. You might not know it from watching television or even reading your daily newspaper as Thanksgiving seems to be overlooked. Yet this holiday which is the very heart and soul of who we are as a nation began and must be remembered for the belief system upon which we were founded. A belief in Christianity recorded in the first document (the Mayflower compact) that served as law of this new soon to be nation as well as the writings of the first pilgrim leader Wm. Bradford (‘the Plimoth Plantation’).

Today one would not know that as a small minority of unbelievers have used our Constitution to try and scrub all visible means of faith from the landscape guided by a willing media, government, educational system and entertainment industry. Unbelievers not satisfied in their own ways try to stir up trouble. This has always been the case from the time of the Jews who did not believe in Christ (Acts 17:5). The reaction should be, as it was for Paul and others, not to be intimidated.

Unbelief is caused by sin (John 16:9) and if we do  not believe we do not belong to Christ (John 10:26). No big surprise there. What is truly sad though is that unbelievers are hindered from miracles (Matthew 13:58) and excluded from blessings (Hebrews 3:15-19). Even worse is that one day they will experience the wrath of God (John 3:36).

This day and this season it is time to open our hearts and eyes to Christ. Let the word of Ephesians 4:18 soak in so that we are NO LONGER BLIND.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The ungodly way of unbelief prevents our union with Christ.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: John 3:36 “God’s wrath is the consequence of unbelief”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord may I never doubt You and Your will.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What brings on unbelief?
  2. How in today’s world are unbelievers showing themselves?
  3. Have you ever been challenged for your Christian faith?
  4. Have you read the words of the Mayflower Compact?

 

KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE!

At the moment I cannot tell you how many religions and belief systems there are. Looking at each and everyone it can be confusing on what to believe. The answer of course is to find the truth and stand strong on it.

In the realm of Christianity on its fringe there are such groups such as Christian Science, Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Unitarian, Jehovah Witness and some others. The danger in these as well as our own journey of faith are falling prey to deceiving spirits leading us away from the truth.

Using Jehovah Witness as I have been given to understand here are a few examples. First is a lesser issue which centers on the cross that for many Christians is a symbol of their faith. Jehovah Witness believe the crucifixion was on a stake (no crossbeam) though historical evidence and Scripture would suggest otherwise.

A second major misunderstanding is the nature of Christ. Perhaps I am wrong, but Jehovah Witness among many others do not understand that Christ was both fully human and fully divine (John 1:1-18) attested to by Christ Himself in John 17:5.

Jehovah Witness and others often make bold predictions (ex. one time they felt they were the 144,000 chosen in Revelations 7:4 until their membership grew to large) only later to recant for various reasons. The important thing on this issue and all others is that Christian theology as truly expressed in Scripture cannot be revised. Absolute truth is just that…absolute. Therefore it is important as you journey through your faith and many try to persuade you that you KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:  Demons desire to destroy what is divinely intended.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR: 1 Timothy 1:4 “deceptive demons”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord ground me in Your truth.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How many religions, denominations and belief systems are there?
  2. Why do you follow the faith that you do?
  3. Have you ever discussed your beliefs with a Jehovah Witness or Latter Day Saint individual?
  4. What makes the Bible absolute truth?

USELESS!

We often speak of some people as useless or note their lack of ambition. We may feel useless ourselves when confronted by that which we are unable to wrap our hands around so to speak. The Bible clearly points out what is useless or what can also be referred to as futile. We first look to our thoughts (Psalm 94:11). I have often been amused by thoughts expressed through words by the ‘learned’ population thinking they can solve great issues of concern doing so without the understanding of God. Words without understanding as given by God certainly can be useless and often are.

This even carries over to how we worship as expressed in Jeremiah 51:17-18. When our worship is consumed by that (words, objects, etc.) devised by man and not inspired by or focused solely on praising and worshiping God, then I believe we walk on a very narrow plank of futile or useless worship. Our church customs, as warm and fuzzy as they may make us feel (Jeremiah 10:3), have been and may yet be futile in the eyes of God.

What is not futile is what God shared with Moses in Deuteronomy 32:46-47. That being that we observe and more importantly obey God’s Word as we have recorded in Scripture. The key words which are wrapped around the event of the resurrection by God’s only Son (1 Corinthians 15:17).

This day and every day we need to be careful that we not become like the words of Romans 1:21. Here we read of those who because of their futile thoughts and foolish hearts now have darkened lives. It is as Ephesians 4:17 tells us. They now walk in the futility of their mind. Indeed they have become USELESS.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Futile or useless are those full of self choosing not to fulfill that which God considers first and foremost.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: Deuteronomy 32:46-47 “obedience is not futile”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I desire to be always useful to you.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Considering Scriptural, is your life useless or useful?
  2. How do you understand praise and worship?
  3. How do you view the ‘learned’?
  4. How important is understanding the resurrection to leading a useful life?

ARE THE END TIMES ALREADY HERE?

One way to know if the end times are already here or coming quickly is because of ‘deception’. To understand how deception fits into end time theology we need to first understand it and that begins by knowing it is a tool of the wicked. It has no political parties. It covers the broad spectrum of life. Those who fall into this as satan would hope devise means to stir up situations creating chaos where God intended peace (Psalm 35:20). It is seen in those who speak peace yet in their hearts they know they are lying (Jeremiah 9:8).

In Romans 1:29-31 we have a list of sins mankind has invented for ourselves and once we start on that downward slide of which deception is a part it starts moving rapidly. Evil will grow worse and worse as 2 Timothy 3:13 tells us. Paul was concerned that this would happen in the church of his day as it is in our time as well. That satan would make himself look like an angel of light and cause believers to think what once was evil is now good (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Paul did not speak well of apostates and tells their end will be everlasting destruction. It would be wise for us to choose our Christian leadership carefully.

Deceiving spirits are a sign of end times (1 Timothy 4:1-2). It may well be that ‘the church’ is indicating this as non-Christian religions including secularism, humanism and even liberal Christianity dismiss the fundamental truths of God’s Word. The time has come that we need to test the spirits to see if they are from God (1 John 4:1-6) or not. We need to understand that not every inner feeling is from God. Many come out of our own wishes and fears. If we do so we will be able to discern if what we are hearing is from an anti-christ or not. If it is as so many people seem to be listening to and deceived by then perhaps THE END TIMES ARE ALREADY HERE.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Deceit destroys until the coming of the Day of the Lord.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: 1 John 4:1 “test the spirits you hear”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I desire to hear only You.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Where does deception cause chaos where peace was intended?
  2. What examples exist of the church teaching as good what was once considered evil and how is this apostasy?
  3. Are deceiving spirits more evident in the faith community than in the past?
  4. What are the fundamental truths of God’s Word?

THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATION

A Christian of long time past by the name of Anselm once uttered the Latin phrase “credo ut intelligon” which means: “I believe in order to understand”. That certainly is true as with my ever increasing faith my understanding of the world and its events become ever more clear. Hebrews 11:3 affirms this and it is why for me so easy to accept that all things came into being out of a spoken Word of God not some unexplained existing phenomena. Furthermore all that exists is held together by Christ’s ongoing over-site as Colossians 1:17 tells us. Any who  have ever studied ‘laminin’ which is critical to our DNA can appreciate this.

For me if truth be told, I believe it is our fault if we do not know God as He has made Himself self-evident clearly pointed out in the words of Romans 1:18-20. His eternal power and divine nature can be clearly understood by “all things that are made (vs. 20)”. It seems only common sense and yet our schools in their obsession to teach secular macro evolution without question are doing nothing more than often creating more fools for a foolish world (Psalm 14:1).

It is better for us to put that behind us and become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) taking on a new nature through spiritual transformation. We now become one with God understanding mercy and truth that allows us to reach into the heavens and the clouds (Psalm 57:10).

Our inheritance from God as His children was to be (2 Peter 3:13) and will be a perfect creation (Acts 3:21). Until that time satan, the god (little g) of this world, will continue in his destruction of life on earth where even now our worship of false gods and continuing in sin under the umbrella of political correctness is drawing us ever more quickly to that final battle when Christ returns destroying satan once for all and introducing us to our new eternal home. Until then we must continue to understand THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATION.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Creation is our daily companion giving us evidence of a Christian’s future citizenship.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Hebrews 11:3 “God is author of all creation”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for Your daily revelations through Word and world.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How does laminin show Christ’s ongoing over-site?
  2. Where is the danger of evolutionary thought?
  3. How is the sin also the punishment?
  4. How does the movie “Chronicles of Narnia” portray the end time battle?

RELATED BLOGS: So what did God make? and Are you a fool (Part two)?

FOR THOSE WHO DENY GOD’S EXISTENCE

There are many in the world who claim God does not exist. These people fall under the label of atheist. Someone once explained atheism as someone who believes that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what so ever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs. This is the logic of an atheist.

The Bible defines atheism a little more bluntly when David speaks in Psalm 14:1 as it being a fool’s philosophy. In a very real sense their living without God defines their lives as being nothing more than hopeless much like the Gentiles spoken of in Ephesians 2:12. Sadly there is no answer for hopelessness other than their defiance of God will subject them to the spell of demons such as spoken of in Matthew 4:24. These demons sadly lead them into lives filled with the corrupt morals Peter addresses in 1 Peter 4:3. Many an atheist has acknowledged that to live the immoral life they do they have to deny God.

So how do you discuss God with an atheist. You might confront them with what C.S. Lewis once said which is “atheists express their rage against God although in their view He does not exist”. There is no logic to what they say. An atheist lawyer Frank Morrison once tried to prove Christ’s resurrection. Not being able to disprove the resurrection he became a Christian and wrote a book titled ‘Who moved the stone’.

There is a great deal of evidence for God beginning with man’s inner conscience (Romans 2:15). For me the evidence for God is also obvious when we look at the design of all creation as Job points out in Job chapters 38-39 and is noted also in Psalm 19:1-6.

With each day I become more convinced of God as I observe how blessed my life has been. God is active in the lives of those who trust in Him. God provides in so many ways as noted in Psalm 104.

Finally Scripture has recorded prophecy which we see having been fulfilled and continues to be so today. In fact what is amazing to me is the amount of evidence that exists FOR THOSE WHO DENY GOD’S EXISTENCE.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The assurance of salvation is absent for those who claim to be atheists.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Psalm 14:1 “atheism is the fool’s philosophy”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord strengthen me to share your existence who those who doubt your existence.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How would you open a conversation with someone who doubts God’s existence?
  2. Can an immoral or God avoiding society survive?
  3. What in creation points to God?
  4. How has God provided for you?

RELATED BLOG: See category ‘atheist’.

WHAT IS YOUR VIEWPOINT?

People have many viewpoints. Many seem to change at ‘the drop of a hat’. Everyone is interested in these viewpoints as it determines how we do commerce, elect leaders and much more.

The problem with viewpoints is unless they are based on sound principles they are of little or no value. This most especially in the eyes of God. Without principle deception can control a person’s view and some form of disaster is the likely consequence.

For me life is simple. I live my life and look at the world through glasses that tell me there are only two world views. The one is a Biblical view which is based on God’s Word according to the the teachings of the Christian Bible. The second falls under the category ‘all else’.

God has given us each free will. It is ours to choose who and what to follow and then reap the reward or suffer the consequence accordingly. In making our decision we should carefully consider the advice of Colossians 2:8 to be aware lest we be cheated by deceptive philosophy based on principles and traditions of this world and not according to Christ.

Sadly, the greater portion of our world do not follow Christ or if they do they often lack the backbone to stay true to His teaching. Today each of us need to answer the question: WHAT IS OUR VIEWPOINT?

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The only philosophy that does not divide and deceive lies in the principles of God’s Word.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Colossians 2:8 “deception of philosophy”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord strengthen my backbone to stand on Your truth always.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Are you subject to societies deceptions?
  2. Why is it so difficult to stand on principle?
  3. What is the contrast between a Biblical Worldview and all other?
  4. What is your viewpoint?

 

SIGN OF THE TIMES!

The world has not changed all that much over the last 2000 years and perhaps even longer in the respect that people allowing their human nature to show are ever more frustrated over how things are going and seeking some sign that there is “light at the end of the tunnel” according to how they believe. We saw that in our recent election as voters swing back and forth from one party to another thinking that they will solve the ills of our society and yet we continue to be disappointed it seems when the next election cycle comes up. Today I would like to share with you another group of people who were seeking some sort of sign in answer to their concerns but they did not realize the answer they were searching for was already in their presence as is that answer for those of us who continue to be disillusioned by the world’s affairs.

In Matthew 16:1-4 two groups (the Pharisees and Sadducees) who would normally be at odds with each other joined forces to try and corner Christ Jesus who had performed miracles and attacked their traditions and was gaining a considerable following. They did so by asking for a sign from heaven as they believed earthly evidences were more from satan and only heavenly signs were from God (ex. Rainbow after the flood, manna from heaven, etc.). What they failed to see was that in the words of Christ about rebuilding the temple in 3 days and the example of Jonah in the belly of the whale for 3 days they were being told that the ultimate heavenly sign stood before them which would be evidenced by His death and resurrection 3 days after that death on the cross.

For me I am assured each new day by the events of that day of the message our Lord would have us understand. Unlike those who opposed Christ in His time on earth I do not seek something supernatural when the evidence for Christ is all around me. The educated and arrogant nature the Pharisees and Sadducees showed still remains today in our political and educational institutions as we often see in their challenging the faith of we who hold to a simple but easily understood (for those not blind) belief in God’s Holy Word. Furthermore, I believe that no matter the evidence many will still not believe. As we see in Matthew 16 Jesus condemns the hypocrisy of those who opposed Him during His time on earth and today many are in danger of that same condemnation if they are not careful. The SIGN OF THE TIMES are clearly evident. Don’t let money, power, or any other object of distraction blind you to those signs.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The sign of salvation is seen in our Savior and His death and resurrection.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Matthew 16:3 “the sign of the times”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord continue to open my eyes to the signs of your presence.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

1. What are the signs of the times?

2. What causes frustration and how is it cured?

3. How does a free society and mankind’s freedom of the will deal with life’s complexities?

4. How evident is Christ’s message to you?

DENIAL OF THE OPPORTUNITY FOR ETERNAL LIFE!

An old saying goes to “never look a gift horse in the mouth” meaning if there is a possibility of receiving something good we should accept it yet many do turn what is good away for various reasons which we will look at today. The gift that people risk loosing that is most valuable is salvation by their denial of Christ, and the methods and reasons for denial are varied begining with the influence of money (Prov. 30:8-9). Either having too much or too little resulting in placing it’s pursuit above seeking Christ is one of the many reasons for lost salvation.

A second reason is fear for your life or what being a follower of Christ might cause others to think of you. The denials of Peter are a good example of this (Mt. 26:69-75) which should cause us to examine the depth of our own faith knowing that even disciples would on an occasion cower to mankind’s ways.

Another way we deny the opportunity for salvation was seen in the Jews call for Barabbas (John 18:40) prior to the crucifixion of Christ denying Him as Lord and Savior. The decision we make on which religion and to some extent even which belief within that religion will jeopardize our eternal life. We must never forget Christ’s own words in John 14:6  in speaking on He being the only way to eternal life.

Who we look to for instruction beginning with the church we attend and the instructors in our classrooms is also important. Heresy and lies are second nature for those who would pull us away from our faith. For example the teaching of macro-evolution as absolute fact despite the numerous unproven statements thrown at it or our not challenging it at all is a serious problem. Be ever watchful for false teachers challenging them on the one truth which is God’s Word.

Finally we have to be vigilant for the spirit of the anti-christ. Any who would doubt or deny Christ must be avoided. There ears I believe have been shut by their own choosing to the wonders we all experience who faithfully follow Christ. Look today at your faith or lack thereof and ask if there is something which is causing you to deny THE OPPORTUNITY FOR ETERNAL LIFE.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Denying Christ is delivering your soul to the doctor of eternal death.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Prov. 30:9 “a cause for denial”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord keep me ever faithful.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

1. Is there anything which would cause you to deny Christ and his death and resurrection?

2. Have you hid your faith in certain situations?

3. What is your view of evolution?

4. Who on earth carries the spirit of the anti-christ?

ARE YOU BLIND?

How many times have you heard the expression “are you blind why it’s as plain as the nose on your face”. That is how I often feel when I look at the people around me and in the news and they continue to show their skepticism about our creator God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Scripture warns us clearly about not only what an atheist or skeptic is but how we can fall into that life of disbelief ourselves. It BEGINS with our DEFYING GOD. This is the person who has a “in your face” kind of reaction. They would be the ones who when you share your faith might say something like “if God is real let Him hit me with lightning right now” and when it doesn’t happen walks off laughing not understanding how judgment works.

The SECOND way an atheist or skeptic shows himself is by a life of CORRUPT MORALS. This attitude of almost anything goes is best seen in how we have rapidly turned to a mind set of ‘if it feels good do it’. Recently Supreme Court Justice Kennedy said issues of a moral nature become acceptable with time (and he was okay with that it seems). An example is seen on our cable TV. Choose any half hour of any day and look at the show themes: murder, divorce, infidelity, crime, etc. Is it any wonder morals are going down hill.

The THIRD way skeptics and atheists develop or show themselves is by their BLINDNESS AND HARDENED HEART. The verse for today states that clearly. At some point if you doubt and act contrary to His Word He will allow you to be so blinded you will no longer understand His Word. There are times when I want to scream out “just open your eyes and use some common sense” but we don’t . NASA spends millions on the search for extra-terrestrial life. Scientists think they have found the origin of life in a little particle yet will never be able to explain where that first ‘gaseous’ substance came from.

FINALLY skeptics and atheists come out of an IRRELIGIOUS MIND SET. These are people who act religious but their works show their disobedience. These are people who might be sitting in the pew next to you or worse where you are sitting. It is time for us to remove our blinders and step up to the plate and defend our faith to all who doubt or question. The CURE FOR BLINDNESS IS IN OUR HANDS AND HEARTS.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Atheists are assured of an eternity without God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: John 12:40 “how God handles skeptics”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord may I never loose sight of You.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:
1. Do you have any of the symptoms of a skeptic or atheist discussed above?
2. How would you respond to someone who defies God?
3. How do you deal with a corrupt world?
4. Why do people refuse to recognize God for Who He is?