ARE YOU HUNGARY?

At some point all of us answer this question in the affirmative but not for Scriptural reasons. Hunger can either be physical or spiritual. The worst case scenario for physical hunger is the experience that will happen at the end times where Christ Himself tells us in Matthew 24:7 that their will be famines during a period of tribulation. At this time many will fall away from the faith as they loose any courage or strength they had in remaining true to God’s Word despite all odds.

The second hunger comes from the lesson the nation of Israel experienced which is described in Deuteronomy 8. A lesson that spiritual hunger is more important than physical. That God desires we return to Him through the invitation of His Spirit into our lives or judgment will come upon us as happened to Sodom and Gomorrah (Amos 4:11).

If we come to God to be spiritually filled our lives will be enriched almost beyond belief as shown so well in the words of Isaiah 55:1-2. In fact Christ Himself underscored this in His Sermon on the Mount telling us that “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6)”. If we never want to hunger again we need only to come to Jesus as He Himself has told us “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger (John 6:35)”. ARE YOU HUNGRY?

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Hunger happens when humanity hides from the Heavenly Father.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Matthew 5:6 “blessing of spiritual hunger”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord fill me with Your Spirit.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What is the world’s current famine and hunger situation?
  2. How strong would your faith be if confronted by serious famine?
  3. Do you have spiritual hunger?
  4. What are you doing to fulfill yourself spiritually?

CONTINUING TO GROW SPIRITUALLY

Infidelity is a serious matter. It occurs when a person(s) no longer believes in a relationship that has been revealed or opened over a period of time to two people or as in the case of Scripture between God and man. When relationships break up there is always a big price so it is important to look at the cause, effect and treatment of infidelity and its impact on our spiritual growth.

The cause begins with a hardened and impenitent heart (Romans 2:5). When the focus is on self rather than growing a relationship and forgiveness is not at the forefront all relationships break down. This brings blindness to matters spiritual in nature. As humans we lock ourselves out from the rich teachings of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14). Unbelief ensues and individuals then turn to earthly wisdom which is pure foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). That it seems is where we are today in many friendships, marriages and the faith of mankind in God.

The result is a world where humanism grows stronger and Christianity declines. A world that not only rejects God’s Word (2 Peter 3:3-5) but that will laugh, scorn and mock believers much as it did in 2 Chronicles 30:10. We are told in Scripture this world will hide itself in lies, growing evermore so in doubt even to the point of looking at religion (or at least the Christian version) as worthless.

This will not go unpunished as those individuals who choose this path will experience eternal separation from God (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9) and face the horrors of hell as Christ shared in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31).

Fortunately there is a remedy against all forms of infidelity. We need to turn to the example of Christ when tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:3-11) and stand strong upon God’s Word while putting on God’s Armor (Ephesians 6:10-19) and CONTINUE TO GROW SPIRITUALLY (2 Peter 1:4-11).

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Infidelity imprisons the soul of an imperfect mankind.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: Matthew 4:3-11 “Remedy for infidelity is to stand upon God’s Word”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord strengthen me.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Has infidelity been a part of your life?
  2. What steps did you take to overcome infidelity?
  3. In what ways has humanism taken over this post-modern world?
  4. Does eternal separation from God concern you?

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF IMAGINATION

Growing up I was a fan of Walt Disney and his wonderful world of imagination. There was Frontier land, Adventure land and of course Fantasy land. A child (and adult) could pretend and imagine most anything. That has changed after Mr. Disney died to a more politically correct theme park in many ways but imagination goes on all around us.

At times as I look out upon God’s creation my thoughts or imagination still run wild, in a good way, through the high plains grass surrounding my acreage. As crazy as it may sound I still see puppy dogs in clouds and imagine hearing God’s majestic voice in the rolling thunder before a summer storm.

Imagination contains within itself a great deal that is positive but we are also warned in Scripture (Jeremiah 18:12) not to let it become willful guided by an evil heart. A heart conceived in sin and guided by human nature to do that which is contrary to the will of God. A heart that Proverbs 12:20 tells us can be filled with deceit. Even our imagination must be reigned in at times.

The good news is that when Christ returns we are promised a cleansing (Jeremiah 3:17) of our evil hearts and the wonders of imagination and though as God designed will be ours. I pray earnestly for that WONDERFUL WORLD OF IMAGINATION.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The immortality of imagination is illuminated when under God’s influence.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Jeremiah 3:17 “cleansing of imagination”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord guide and release my imagination.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. In what ways can imagination be evil?
  2. In what ways can imagination be good?
  3. How is your imagination fed by God’s creation?
  4. How is your imagination?

WHAT ABOUT GOVERNMENT?

The word government in its Greek form is used only once in the New Testament as I understand. Generally it applies to those given responsibility to guide a ship of some sort through treacherous waters or paths. Interestingly enough the modern word cybernetics comes from this Greek origin which is control by means of computers. For we today I think we can cull at least two primary pieces of information from this topic. One is how we as a society and country understand submission. The second is how we select leaders who are of an even Kiel personally.

It is important to note we must have a voice or say in who leads us in a non or anti christian way. Paul warned us of this in speaking to the church at Thessaloniki (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12). The ways of the antichrist are lawless and oppose God’s way of ordering the universe. Those who follow him (and there are many in leadership today) will do whatever they can to destroy Christianity and what it stands for. When necessary they will use methods of deflecting and denying and whatever else is necessary to defeat Christians and the furtherance of God’s Kingdom. One of the first places you will see it is in false teachings and moral decline. Something we are all too familiar with today. These individuals will be ignorant of all matters spiritual (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). You will not be able to debate with them logically or even use common sense. Their starting point is an end objective where evil rules. Our starting point is Genesis chapter 1 and begins with an omniscient and all powerful God.

Despite all this it is our responsibility to pray for and be obedient to our leaders as Paul once wrote in 1 Timothy 2:1-3. This must always be the case unless what is asked of us is contrary to God’s Word (Acts 5:29). Just one example of this is smuggling Bibles into places that are not familiar to receiving God’s Word. This and more is what we should consider when we ask ourselves the question WHAT ABOUT GOVERNMENT?

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Truly great governments are guided by our Lord God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: 1 Corinthians 2:6-8 “ignorant government”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord speak to the hearts of our leaders.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How might computers play a role in end time government?
  2. What are the ways of the anti christ?
  3. How are the the anti christ’s ways being carried out today?
  4. What are examples when we should not be obedient to  our government?

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO KNOW GOD!

The heavens are fascinating to many including myself. Why should it not be since Genesis 1:7 tells us “God made the firmament”. The great expanse between our universe and God was created so that we may know God. In fact if we do not know God it is our fault as God and His attributes are clearly evident in the firmament He has given us (Romans 1:18-20). It shows us God’s eternal power and nature. To not see and understand this makes us the fool as Scripture attests to.

As a fan of all things natural, I am constantly fascinated by how nature acts and how each element of it no matter the size is placed so precisely and operates with such precision and efficiency that only an omniscient God could have done it (Psalm 19:1). The evolutionary slime theory much of mankind has bought into is for me the ridiculous.

One day the firmament we have before us will signal the end times have arrived (1 Corinthians 15:52) and then those who acknowledge Christ as their Lord and Savior will ascend above the firmament (Ephesians 4:10) to God in the highest Heaven. Indeed IT IS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO KNOW GOD.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The firmament is the finger of God pointing us to His Divinity.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Psalm 19:1 “the heavens proclaim God”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:  Lord help me understand You  better through Your creation.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Is it possible God’s Word has reached all people by the mere existence of His Creation?
  2. What makes the expanse of space (firmament) so fascinating?
  3. Are you a weather watcher in its fullest definition?
  4. How will the firmament declare the end times?

FIRE!!!

There are few who aren’t mesmerized by fire. Be it a campfire, fireplace or even some major fire related catastrophe. Why the amazement? Perhaps it is because of how we are told God uses it in Scripture.

For me it begins with the fact that God made Himself known to Moses through a burning bush (Exodus 3:1-6). Fire indicates God’s power (Exodus 9:24) which will one day be used to punish the wicked as Christ Himself spoke in Matthew 25:41 and will occur in the end time as noted in Revelation 19:20. Interestingly enough when this end time comes all of “the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).

Knowing this Peter who may have been Christ’s closest friend asks all a legitimate question. If everything we seem to be in such hurry to accumulate is destroyed why are we not more about living lives of holy conduct and godliness (2 Peter 3:11) and by so doing hastening the return of God (vs. 12)?

Fire can also represent God’s glory. This occurred on what we now celebrate as Pentecost. On this day tongues of fire sat on the devout men of God filling them with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4). At this point for those of us who truly desire God’s presence within us 24/7 will know and understand what it means to be a child of God. That is what is so wonderful about FIRE.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The Spirit of fire fills the forgiven so we never forget our Father God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Exodus 3:2 “Fire manifests God”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord fill me with the fire of Your Spirit.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Why do you enjoy watching fire (assuming you do) ?
  2. Knowing ‘the rest of the story’ about earth and our possessions why are we not more about living godly lives?
  3. How do you honor Pentecost?
  4. Have you welcomed the Holy Spirit into your life?

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HUNGER!

Those reading this likely when hungry can go to a refrigerator and get nourishment in some form rather quickly. For that privilege we should be thankful to God. Yet God expects more from us when Christ shares in Matthew 25:40 that when we give food to the hungry it was as if we fed Him.

Today I want to look for a few moments at the idea of famine in its various forms which will never go away. In fact it will get worse as we grow nearer the 7 year tribulation before Christ returns to earth (Matthew 24:7). In fact it will get to such a point that in the end times food will be carefully measured out (Revelations 6:6) with some being more fortunate than others. A situation that has already begun and becoming more evident with each passing day.

Famine can be either physical hunger as Abraham experienced told in Genesis 12:10 or it can be spiritual as mentioned in Amos 8:11. Either way the lack of it ends in death. Growing up reading and studying Scripture was important but equally so was its memorization. Once in our heart we will never starve spiritually.

The causes of physical famine are recorded throughout the Bible. Hail, drought, insects or enemies of one sort or another will always exist in this life. Our sin may in all likelihood be another reason (Exodus 14:12-13) we experience physical or spiritual hunger. God has shown that famine can be the result of God’s punishment (2 Kings 8:1).

Famine can be long and severe as Genesis 41 and Deuteronomy 28 show. As individuals and nations we need to understand this and correct the errors of our ways. Even then as we near the time of Christ we need to understand their will always be HUNGER.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Famine is the fault of disobedience to our Heavenly Father.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: 2 Chronicles 15:3 “spiritual famine and its harmful nature”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord keep  filling me with Your word.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What groups are best supported for their world hunger efforts?
  2. How can you help combat hunger locally (example are food banquets and food pantries)?
  3. How is Revelation 1:6 already beginning today and what lesson is that for us?
  4. How does spiritual famine look?

 

THE WORLD’S NO. 1 PROBLEM!

The answer I believe is wrapped up in one word: Egotism. The sinful exultation of one’s self. Egotism is under the control of satan and as Christ did not fall for it (Luke 4:5-6) so should we not as well. Sadly society and satan feed us this 24/7. We are conditioned, counseled, awarded and so much more at every turn that we are moving toward a secular humanistic world thinking ourselves as little gods.

It began with Lucifer who wanted to sit on the throne of God and was cast down to where he now weakens nations and their peoples (Isaiah 14:13-14). Goliath, huge in stature, displayed this as much as anyone standing before little David armed only with a small stone and slingshot. As we know Goliath’s ego brought him down. Killed him in fact.

Egotism feeds right into end time theology. As Paul shares in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 exultation of anti-christ will happen before Christ returns to reclaim His own. Each day we stoke the embers of this fire that will destroy so many. If you wonder what mankind will look like in these last days as a result of our egos then look to 2 Timothy 3:15.

Today we have ids, egos and superegos. We have psychology and educational conditioning but what we seldom have is the world acknowledging the primary psychological fact of life that our ‘old nature is unredeemable’ (Romans 8:5-8). Until we confess that we are dead to sin and live only in Jesus Christ (Romans 6:11) nothing will change. Knowing this is what makes the Easter event so special. Indeed Easter should be the worst for ego and all who celebrate it. For at this time we crucify our ego (sinful nature) and live in Christ completely (Galatians 2:20). We no longer have a problem. It is now only THE WORLD’S NO. 1 PROBLEM.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Education encourages ego unless it enlightens that which by faith endures.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Romans 8:5-8 “the primary psychological fact of life”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I repent of my sins and am wholly yours.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How do individuals and society show their ego?
  2. How is  2 Timothy 3:1-5 being shown in the world?
  3. Where does the idea of cheering for the underdog come from?
  4. What can we do to defeat the Goliath of 2 Timothy 3:1-5?

GOD’S ECONOMIC PLAN

It always amazes me how mankind with its supposed wise leaders and lawyers require large libraries filled with volumes of books to rule (poorly at best) when far fewer words carefully chosen in a small book known as the Holy Bible guide us far better.

This thrift of words was also seen in the words of Jesus in John 6:12. When speaking about economy it all begins here. In fact where John the Baptist served as a role model for prophets and missionaries in how he chose to live (Matthew 3:4) we also see economy. He led the way in showing that the Kingdom of God is for the poor as Jesus Himself proclaimed in Luke 6:20 and also for those poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3) who I believe by not realizing economic gain and what academia tells us we should strive for we will be the more blessed for it.

The law of economy is not to fill our pockets (Proverbs 11:24, Haggai 1:6) but to help others. In fact our seeking change in our economic status at the expense of time serving the Lord is ill advised. Sadly we are seeing this more and more as we push the church and its activities into a smaller and smaller corner while raising the flag of the almighty dollar ever higher.

All this seems inevitable as we near the second coming of Christ. Those least able to afford food will see prices go higher (Revelations 6:6) making even more valuable services such as food pantries and meal services for the poor. In fact it is by controlling the economy that the Mark of the Beast will take over religion many believe. I agree we are seeing the beginning stages of that in the United States where freedom of religion and conscience does not allow you to turn away those who flaunt a lifestyle contrary to Scripture and yet demand some time of business service. The good news is that in the end the plan that will win is GOD’S ECONOMIC PLAN.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Faith based economic education is necessary for everyone.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: John 6:12 “Jesus exemplifies living thriftily”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord may I wisely use the gifts you have blessed me with.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Is it possible economic success and academia’s mindset can be aligned with caring for the poor?
  2. What are examples of setting aside service to the Lord for economic gain?
  3. How can we help the poor?
  4. How do you see the Mark of the Beast coming into existence?

THE END OF THE WORLD!

If you watch science fiction movies you would be led to believe that the end of this world will come with some alien beings landing on earth and wreaking havoc on the planet. That is the Hollywood version which sadly many believe including some of those in what we might consider the upper echelons of society.

Truth be told the ‘acharit hyamim’ (Hebrew for end of days) may already be here. Many believe including myself that since our Messiah Christ Jesus has already come once that we are at least living in the beginning of the End Times awaiting His return at the end of the end of times.

At that time Christ will return and the good qualities we each had when originally created in God’s image will return (Genesis 1:26). Until that moment we live with Jesus as our advocate (Hebrews 4:14-16) but when the moment of judgment comes He will be our judge laying out our life or that of those who are unrepentant as Hebrews 4:12-13 tells us.

As one saved by faith through grace I anxiously look for the glorious appearing of Christ (Titus 2:13). Before that time we will go through a time of apostasy seeing all around us that which 2 Timothy 3:1-5 clearly describes. Reading this I see that time is already upon us. With this beginning we need to understand that the time may be very near when fire, darkness and whirlwinds will occur (Hebrew 12:18) and the sound of the shofar and trumpet will be heard (vs. 19).

In the meantime do not store up wealth for yourself (James 5:3) beyond what is necessary as God would see. Instead use your time and talent to help others to prepare for that time when we will see THE END OF THE WORLD

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The end of the world will be eagerly awaited by all who are enemies of satan.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Titus 2:13 “awaiting the appearance of Christ”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Come Lord Jesus.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What is the difference between end times and end of days?
  2. What are the 24 qualities sin made disappear from God’s image in us?
  3. How does 2 Timothy 3:1-5 describe the coming apostasy?
  4. How much do you understand about the end times?