TELEVISION CAN BE DANGEROUS!

Society and we the people in it are in many ways being held captive by the entertainment industry. In a sense it has become our god feeding our culture of narcissism while also removing us from the truths of the one true God’s Word.

One example of this is the televangelist movement which led many to believe that church fellowship was not necessary. TV ministers sent home study material and more so you could feel it unnecessary to attend an area church often time. This bubble burst in the 1980’s with the televangelist ‘s caught acting contrary to Scripture driving many away from the Christian faith. Not unlike the words Paul shared in Romans 2:24. It is why I have not written a 7th day devotional blog. Our encouragement in the faith should come through fellowship with other believers on the Sabbath day.

The entertainment industry (not unlike the media, education and government industries) primarily led by television have also changed societies perspective of sin. Comedian Flip Wilson became famous some years ago for the words “the devil made me do it”. Paul in Romans 7:17-19 said as much. The danger here is that each of us are 3 in 1 made up of body, soul and spirit. Heaven one day will not be filled with partial beings. We need to know we are responsible for our sins and unless you take on a new nature you cannot separate sin from sinner. It is why I believe those committing sin according to God’s Word are so vehement about seeking approval for their lifestyle choices using media, government, education and perhaps most importantly entertainment to gain approval. In this regard TELEVISION CAN BE DANGEROUS.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Television when promoting that which is contrary to Scripture can be a threat.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Romans 2:24 “no image of any kind should bring blasphemy upon God”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord bring all industries to the point of accountability to Your Word.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How is the entertainment industry holding us captive?
  2. How are televangelists both positive and negative in their influence?
  3. Can you separate sin from sinner?
  4. Why do those guilty of sin seek approval from the four industries of entertainment, media, government and education?

HELPING OTHERS UNDERSTAND THE TRINITY

It is important for a Christian who takes serious Christ’s final words (the Great Commission) of making disciples of all nations to understand the Trinity or Triune God. In the baptismal ceremony (Matthew 28:19) which is part and parcel of the Great Commission we baptize in the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Three distinct personages united in one just as we are 3 in one created as body, soul and spirit. It is important to understand that as Christians we do not believe in ‘tritheism’ which are 3 separate gods, Unitarianism which is one single god or modalism which is one god with 3 different roles to act out.

Our Triune God was present at creation (Genesis 1:2) and will be present at the final revelation. In the meantime it is important that we understand that in each person we receive something special. As Paul shared in 2 Corinthians 13:14 (and we often share in closing our worship services) we receive grace through our Lord Jesus Christ, love of God, and fellowship from the Holy Spirit.

Until such time as we stand before the great throne of God (Revelations 22:1-2) we have the task of growing in holiness and furthering God’s Kingdom. Part of that is HELPING OTHERS UNDERSTAND THE TRINITY.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Our three in one Trinity teaches and touches every heart desiring to know God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Matthew 28:19 “Trinity revealed in baptismal formula”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord fill me with grace, hope and love.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How do you explain mankind’s unique nature of body, soul and spirit?
  2. How does the Triune God provide grace, love and fellowship?
  3. How do we become filled with the holiness of God?
  4. What are you doing to fulfill the great commission?

KEEP IN TOUCH

The act of contact between two things or beings is critical to life. It is indeed important as one of the five senses we are created with. It is important therefore that we understand ‘touch’ from a Scriptural point of view.

There are both unclean and cleansing touches. If we are born of God then satan in all his wickedness cannot touch us (1 John 5:18). Here it is important to understand that as in the case of Job, satan can attack all that is ours including our very bodies but he cannot touch the essence of our life which is our soul. It is the soul with the presence of the Holy Spirit that is in touch with God. The most important touch or contact we will ever make.

A second important touch is the healing touch. Jesus displayed this often as in Matthew 8:3. Being near His very presence was healing whether there was physical contact or not. Today some people have a similar effect. In fact a healing touch might be something as simple as offering a hug when needed or perhaps just a listening ear.

Touch when done according to God’s plan should purify and strengthen. That happens best through spiritual connection. Today there seems again a desire for some sort of spiritual connection to a higher power. If it is not with the one true God then it must be avoided. It is here we must test the spirit as God’s gift of free will may cause us to be in contact with the wrong spirit (1 John 4:1). We must know if the spirit who wishes to touch our lives is from self (brought on by our own emotional state) or satan, or is it the very Spirit of God representing the truth of Scripture who wishes to KEEP IN TOUCH.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: A touch from God will with time lead us to His throne.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: 1 John 5:18 “when satan cannot touch us”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I desire to be in touch with You 24/7.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What does it mean to be born of God?
  2. Does your presence before others have a healing affect in some form?
  3. Do you offer hugs and a listening ear?
  4. How can we bring a wrong spirit upon ourselves?

UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER

As a child or adult have you ever been in a situation where you said “I give up”. The situation was such that you could no longer do anything by your own power to handle the circumstance you were facing. At this point you finally realized the meaning of unconditional surrender or total submission.

This is what Christ requires of us if we want to be what I call ‘true’ Christians. Christ shared as much in the words recorded in Luke 14:26-27. As Christians we are to “bear (His) cross” as we bear ours not as an ornament around the neck or a tattoo on the arm, but in the innermost depth of our hearts.

As Christ sacrificed His life for us on the cross so now we must sacrifice our lives to Him. We do this in our submission and walking 24/7 in the Spirit. We do this when it is to Christ alone we offer our UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Unconditional surrender wipes away all unbelief and uncertainty.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Romans 12:1 “Unconditional surrender is our sacrifice”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I surrender totally to you.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What is a ‘true’ Christian?
  2. To what or whom have you offered unconditional surrender?
  3. How are you ‘bearing’ the cross of Christ?
  4. Explain walking in the Spirit?

 

 

TOTAL TRAINING

Looking around, it seems to me we have become a society that is often out of control. We want what we want irregardless of the consequences. This most especially in regard to areas of pleasure and lifestyle. What is needed is temperance or some sort of controlling mechanism. Scripture points out this need in eating (Proverbs 25:13) and sexual appetite which Paul addressed in 1 Corinthians 7:1-9. Truth is, as is expressed later in Paul’s Corinthian letter (1 Corinthians 9:25-27), that we need self-control in all of life if we want the ultimate prize of salvation.

To build this self-control we have to rule over our spirit (Proverbs 16:32). The human spirit by its very nature as we see all around, wants to nourish self rather than grow in the nourishment of God’s righteousness. For this we need a ‘spiritual trainer’ which is God’s Spirit and Who will turn our lives into fruitful ones as shown in Galatians 5:22-26. This not unlike a physical trainer does our body. This self control ultimately leading to godliness growing in God’s image. Achieving this we have achieved TOTAL TRAINING.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Temperance tests us yet ultimately triumphs.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Proverbs 16:32 “temperance helped by self-control”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord help me control my spirit.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How do we control our spirit or passion?
  2. In what areas do you need to be more temperate?
  3. How does society show itself being out of control?
  4. Is your temple (body) being built in the image of God?

 

LET THE NEW LIFE BEGIN

We play games at Halloween time with the idea of spirits. A favorite animation appearing on television is the comical story of Charlie Brown and the ‘Great Pumpkin Spirit’. Truth be told there is a very real spiritual resurrection and it is ours now. By the power of Christ (Ephesians 5:14) and the transformation aided by the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 11:19) we take on a new personality which will give us eternal life as Christ shared in John 5:24. If knowing this opportunity can be ours isn’t enough to get a person excited I don’t know what is.

Knowing this it is important we be obedient to Paul’s teaching in Romans 5:13. Our bodies, souls and spirits are no longer enslaved to sin but now must be prepared to be presented to God as holy and righteous. Our lives will change here and now in such a manner that we will turn from a wilderness to a beautiful forest as Isaiah 33:15 puts it so well.

For me great comfort is mine every time I hear the words of Christ that “he who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25). LET THE NEW LIFE BEGIN.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Spiritual resurrection restores us to our risen Savior.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: John 5:24 “our spiritual life leads to eternal life”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for Your uplifting Spirit.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Has your life been transformed?
  2. How do you understand spiritual resurrection?
  3. Why do many choose to remain dead in their sin?
  4. Are you a wilderness or a beautiful forest?

KEEP WATCH FOR YOUR SOUL!

Each of us contain an immaterial part known as a soul. It is our disembodied spiritual state that will one day be reunited with our Creator God (Revelations 6:9-11). This soul of ours belongs to God and possesses immortality. As Genesis 35:18  would indicate it leaves the body at death.

It is our soul we should be most concerned with as it has the ability to believe (Hebrews 10;39) and love God (Luke 10:27) as well as to sin (Micah 6:7).

The question then is what are the duties of the soul? The first is to seek the Lord (Deuteronomy 4:29) and do it with all the ability we have. That includes both in love and service. Part of that involves receiving and keeping God’s Word. As the body needs nourishment so does our soul.

What we need to be careful of are the enemies who would take our soul from God which include fleshly lusts (1 Peter 2:11), being in evil environments (2 Peter 2:8) whether we are in the physical presence of or simply hearing about evil. Sadly, for many, ignorance brings some of this upon a person and leads oneself to eternal death. Today and everyday it is advisable to KEEP WATCH FOR YOUR SOUL.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Our soul is meant to seek and serve the Lord.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Ezekiel 18:3-4 “the soul belongs to God”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord keep my soul.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What does it mean to avoid hearing about evil environments?
  2. Are there evil environments around you to avoid?
  3. What nourishment do you provide your soul?
  4. How do you care for your soul?

A FULLY SENSORY FILLED LIFE

Living life fully is to experience all the sensory pleasures God would have us experience. The sense of taste is recorded in Psalm 34:8. We are to “taste and see the Lord is good”. Taste or consumption of our Lord happens when we take in or consume the Word of God. Doing so opens our senses beyond even what virtual reality claims to be able to do.

A second spiritual sense that can be ours is sight. It is as Ephesians 1:18 tells us that the “eyes of understanding will be enlightened”. We will see what most of the world does not. We will see from the heart guided by the Holy Spirit. It will be as though we are adults watching children playing in the playground of humanity.

Finally we will experience the sense of hearing which comes only through the Word of God and leads us to that saving faith we should all desire (Romans 10:17). Any action by any individual, group or government that would hinder God’s Word from being heard must be resisted to our fullest capability. For indeed God desires we live A FULLY SENSORY FILLED LIFE.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Spiritual sense separate Christian believers from selfish scoffers of faith.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Romans 10:17 “importance of hearing”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for bringing my faith alive.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How are your spiritual senses?
  2. Have you resisted anyone’s desire to remove God’s Word from your life?
  3. How much of God’s Word do you consume each day?
  4. Is the Holy Spirit guiding your heart?

TRUST IN GOD!

There seems to be a great deal of confusion on the topic of science and its relationship to Christian faith. For me science is a current description of how God is currently running the universe. Nothing more and nothing less.

Where science gets into trouble is in the realm of metaphysics. Where the desire is to get in contact with the beyond but do not want Jesus to be part of the equation. Scientific inquiry is okay but what is left out and key in all inquiry is that which is critical to Christians. Trust in our Triune God and living a holy life.

There is that in life from which we can get exact knowledge. For example the genetic transference of disease and other traits. Matters of the soul do not fall under this scientific inquiry as it is a creation of God. It is why scientists and abortionists as a specific example feel emotionally and spiritually empty. They deal with theories and limited realities.

Ultimate meaning does not come through wisdom as the Greeks believed and still hold influence through Gnosticism. Ultimate meaning comes from knowing that science manifests God’s existence (Psalm 19:1-6) and is used in this life to illustrate heaven’s glory (Revelations 21:9-23). Science serves a purpose but only when we add to it TRUST IN GOD.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Science satisfies only  when understood through Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Psalm 19:1 “nature manifests God’s existence”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I trust in You.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What is the purpose of science?
  2. Why is understanding body and soul key to life?
  3. What is metaphysics?
  4. Why does science often leave one emotionally and spiritually empty?

HOW WE COME BEFORE HIM

One topic I have yet to address that is very evident throughout Scripture and evident in so many ways in our society is that of nakedness. As Christians that which causes us discomfort or unease we like to ignore yet it (nudity) affects us in so many ways. Daily we read stories of incest, adultery, pornography and more. We observe nudity on the street, television, theater and art museums. It is even a part of the necessity for care and healing in a medical setting. So what should we think?

God cannot by His nature create that which is sinful. I believe all God’s creation is beautiful including our very physical presence. Adam and Eve understood this (Genesis 2:25) when living in a righteous state. The problem as it is with everything is when sin came into the picture. Nakedness is a natural state until we fall into sin (Genesis 3:10-11). We are born as a special creation of God without clothing, yet original sin requires that our life in all its aspects (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) must come to God fully clothed in righteousness (Isaiah 61:10-11 and Revelations 19:8). What God cares about is HOW WE COME BEFORE HIM.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Nakedness was natural until sin found a necessity for clothing.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Genesis 2:25 “the original state of mankind”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord may I fully understand Your plan for me.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What sinful acts make clothing necessary?
  2. Is seeing the unclothed human frame acceptable in any situation (ex. museums, hospitals, care facilities, etc.)?
  3. Is there any spiritual significance to our being born naked?
  4. What is necessary to grow in righteousness?