TRUST AND OBEY

One of the most difficult topics of Scripture to understand and a cause for division within and outside of the church is the idea of ‘abolishment’. What to do away with and what to keep. Before sharing a few thoughts I want to put out a disclaimer that I am not a trained theologian. I share each day only what I believe I have been given to understand. This through my commitment to being in God’s Word.

Most who often fall away from the church do so because they see a Bible and community of believers who are too legalistic. Others believe with Christ the ‘law of love’ is now substituted and many of our once held moral standards can be very loosely interpreted. Much of this comes from Matthew 5:17 where Christ tells us “He came to fulfill the law”.

We must note Christ also said “He did not come to destroy the law”. That line of thinking that the law remains in place is evident throughout the rest of Scripture. Paul tells us in Romans 3:31 that our new faith in Christ ‘certainly not’ voids the law.

For me when Christ said He fulfilled the law it was to say that the idea of a priesthood and animal sacrificial system was no longer necessary. His throne is now in place and we all can come to Him in trust because of His sacrifice on the cross. Mechanical rule keeping is no longer necessary.

The spirit of the law is now in place. An example of how ‘the law’ still was important is Paul’s use of the evidential standard given in Deuteronomy 19:15 when speaking to the church of Corinth (2 Corinthians 13:1). This law of witness is used in our court system to this day.

Another of many passages that show our need to look at Scripture from a broad perspective is in the words of 2 Timothy 1:10 where we read: “Christ has abolished death”. True in a spiritual sense but physical death still remains in place.

What is important in this matter of understanding Christ’s impact on the law is that according to Christ Himself what is not abolished is God’s righteousness and God’s Word (Matthew 5:18). In the meantime we are here to TRUST AND OBEY.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Abolish the abominations in life and abide in all that is of God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Matthew 5:18 “Christ and the law”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for fulfilling the law.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How legalistic should the church be?
  2. How should the church reach out to the confused and uncertain?
  3. How has God’s law impacted the rule of law society lives by today?
  4. How does your faith and God’s law come together?

LOOKING FOR A SOLUTION!

Needless to say there are enough problems in the world to keep us busy for a lifetime. The solutions are more limited and often difficult to find. The reason I believe is that solutions lie in truth and truth no matter how broadly and tolerant we want to define it is actually quite narrow by its very nature.

Finding a solution is like finding salvation. As Christians we think of it in eternal terms but deliverance is also available during our stay on earth. Acts 4:12 is spot on telling us deliverance comes through the name of Jesus alone. Our answer does not lie in some other human being who is also enslaved by human nature nor is it found in some form of drug or activity that supposedly keeps our mind off the problem. The answer is John 14:6 where Christ Himself tells us “I am the way (and) the truth”.

Observing life around me at times can be quite amusing even within its harsh reality. It is not all that complicated. An example of making something plain and simple was the condition the rich man found himself in after death (Luke 16:25-31). Desiring to save those he left behind, Christ shared that their (as is ours) answer was in the words of Moses and the prophets. Today it is the truth of Scripture where those words are recorded.

A second solution comes through the power one receives when they are filled with the Holy Spirit. When we step aside and let the Holy Spirit fill our hearts there is no room left for the sin of this world and its resulting difficulties.

Problems will continue as long as this world and the god (small g) of this world namely satan exist. Only in the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit do we find the answer for those of us LOOKING FOR A SOLUTION.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Expectation for solutions to extreme problems come through the explanations found in Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Acts 4:12 “solutions through salvation”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I entrust all my problems to You.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What problems are you seeking a solution for?
  2. Why are you having difficulty finding an answer?
  3. What are places we think we can find answers?
  4. Have you received ‘the ultimate solution’?

 

IT ALL FITS!

If my life were to be summarized it would be with the words: “it all fits”. Life is meant to have a divine purpose and putting all aspects of it together into a beautifully functioning experience is what we should all work for. Naturally this cannot be done without a guide book. For Christians there is only one. God’s Word given to us through the Holy Bible.

It fascinates me to know that I can experience the thoughts of our God who in one moment sees all that is from a perspective of everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 90:2). Imagine each day being like a grain of sand and then looking down on earth from space and seeing all the grains of sand at one time. That ‘fit’ that we are a part of is able to be understood to a degree through our study of Scriptures and reading of God’s promises and prophecies. It is God letting us see a little of eternity while here on earth.

To be without end (everlasting, eternal) is the narrow gate we one day will be able to walk through. For now we need to know that as it applies to God in Psalm 90:2 so it also applies to the other 2 persons of the Trinity. In Isaiah 9:6 we see Christ Whose birth we remember at this time of year being referenced as Everlasting.

The eternal or everlasting nature of the Holy Spirit is noted in Hebrews 9:14. What a comfort to know that from the beginning of creation we have at our side the 3 personalities of the Trinity and that They will be with us without end. Now it is up to each of us to use our lives for the divine purpose we were created so that we can come to an understanding that IT ALL FITS.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Each day our encouragement comes from knowing eternal life awaits us.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Psalm 90:2 “God is everlasting”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for making ‘everlasting’ a part of  my future.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What are all the aspects of life we need to put together?
  2. How did the Bible come to be in the form we now have?
  3. What is it to have an eternal perspective on life?
  4. What is your divine purpose?

RELATED BLOG: What lasts forever?

PLENTY OF TIME!

Consider for a moment the amount of time you  give to various aspects of your life: faith, family, business, recreational interests, etc. Where you put the majority of your time can not help but be looked upon as where your heart most closely lies. That should frighten or alarm many if not most of us. Eating meals without the TV, visiting, playing board games or even working on a project together was once commonplace for families. Not so much anymore.

In Psalm 1:2 we read the words that blessed is the man who “meditates day and night” on God’s law. Prosperity (vs. 3) is one of those blessings. For me the thoughts of the day generally become a part of my dreams at night. It is why what I see/read, hear and do is so critical. The mind is a powerful tool for adjusting attitudes and actions. Those thoughts change who we are and what we do.

The question then becomes what is the purpose of the law that can change us so dramatically. First it is to make us aware of sin and what sin is (Romans 3:20). Our world will continue to slide deeper into sin as it removes God from schools and most every other part of that which impacts our life on a daily basis.

Law is also necessary to show us God’s righteousness. Through the law we can be led to the cross. To a need for grace that brings us eternal salvation through our faith. If not Scripture what does mankind meditate on and of what value is that both in this life and the next.

That then is the final purpose of meditating on the law (God’s Word). To tutor us until we come to Christ and find true freedom (Galatians 3:24-25). In no other recorded document including our nations Declaration can we find such freedom. Knowing this it is on Scripture that we need to spend PLENTY OF TIME.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:  The law liberates when we learn from it the legacy God has planned for each of us.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Psalm 1:2 “time spent on God’s Word”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for Your Word.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How do you spend your time and what does that say about your priorities?
  2. How long do you meditate on God’s Word each day?
  3. Are your dreams affected by your thoughts?
  4. What can we do to stop the disintegration of society?

RELATED BLOG: Key to a prosperous life!

SPIRITUAL FACT CHECK!

Today’s understanding of the truth of Scripture reminds me of my family history some 200 plus years ago. The reason as the story has been passed down to me is that before leaving Germany my ancestors were often sold by the ruling class to Napoleon as front line cannon fodder falling quickly to their death as he marched across Europe.

Those who through life without faith are on those same front lines falling quickly for any deception. Falling shortly after are those claiming to be Christian but are weak in their faith seldom if ever searching the Scripture. For me I cannot understand how anyone can live that way. As lying becomes more commonplace or at the very least deflection from truth, I need daily to do my due diligence and measure my experiences against a spiritual fact check.

The more we know truth the easier it is to detect error. Paul had this experience with the Berean Jews who searched God’s Word daily to see whether what Paul said was true (Acts 17:11). It was the fact check of Paul’s time.

Truth as discovered in God’s Word must always be the first line of defense lest we quickly fall for the lies of satan and those who would further his plan. Phillip Brooks once said “falsehood  is always weak no matter how strong it looks”. To combat this weak opponent we must daily come to the truth of God’s Word, believe it and know it well, obey it, walk in it and declare it boldly. Keep the Bible by your side as your first line of defense and always be ready to do a SPIRITUAL FACT CHECK.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Biblical truth triumphs when people take the time to treasure it.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Acts 17:11 “spiritual fact check”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord keep me in Your truth.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Do you study the Bible daily?
  2. Do you fact check what is going on around you against what the Word of God tells us?
  3. What evil deception is society promoting today?
  4. What is truth?

RELATED BLOG: What makes Christ happy?

THE CHOICE IS YOURS!

Dr. David Jeremiah once wrote that “life is like a string of pearls held together by a thread”. Each pearl is a choice we have made that has been for the good and glorifies God. The problem is that not all our choices are correct ones and once made we must pay the price. The key to turn a negative into a positive is if we learn from those mistakes. If contrary to God’s Word confess them and seek forgiveness freely given and then move on to seek the next pearl for our strand of life.

The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:71 that “it is good that I have been afflicted (often by a poor choice) that I may learn Your statutes”.  Better yet would be to make only good choices which can come from using God’s Word on a regular basis (Psalm 119:9). It has been my discovery that when I begin each day studying the Word and being in prayer life is not only better but also makes my day more clearly planned out.

Reading God’s Word is not enough. Many do and have no understanding. The key is believing in God. Our role model in this regard is Moses who we are told of in Hebrews 11:24-29. By faith he forsook all other gods (small ‘g’) whether physical or spiritual that would pull any of us away from the one true God.

To do so is to have the heavenly vision King Agrippa had spoken of in Acts 26:19-23. That requires obedience and holding to the simple truth that Christ is our Savior. When we do so coming to our Lord in prayer our faith will strengthen us making each day another pearl held together by the strong thread that is our Lord and Savior. THE CHOICE IS YOURS!

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Choose Christ and receive spiritual cleansing.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Psalm 119:71 “good out of bad”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I choose You.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How long is your string of pearls?
  2. Have you learned from your mistakes?
  3. Are you able to learn from your afflictions?
  4. Why is reading God’s Word not enough?

YOUR FAVORITE TEACHER!

How often have you heard someone say who the teacher was who most influenced their life. Occasionally someone will say it was a parent but seldom if ever do you hear that it was the Lord. Yet in Proverbs 2:6 we read that it is the Lord who gives wisdom, knowledge and understanding. There are those who may dispute this, but my experience has been that those with a bend toward all things spiritual (Christian) are more mature, emotionally balanced and make better decisions.

The key is what comes out of the mouth. Contrary to what you hear from all corners of present day life (ex. TV, media, politicians, etc.) Scripture tells us out of the mouth should come prayer (1 Samuel 1:12) and continuous praise (Psalm 34:1) toward God.

We should also not depart from meditating or thinking on God’s Word. In that Word we find all the comfort and assurance we need (Joshua 1:8). Obedience to the Word will lead us to the successful life we all desire. More importantly as one well known passage states: If we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and has been raised from the dead we will be saved (Romans 10:9). Of this righteousness we should speak all the day long (Psalm 71:15). These instructions I learned from MY FAVORITE TEACHER. None other than our Lord God Himself.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The mouth most assuredly  must speak the meaningful message of our Master.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Proverbs 2:6 “the greatest teacher”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I look to You for wisdom and instruction.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How do you use your mouth?
  2. Who is your favorite teacher?
  3. How much time do you spend in Scripture?
  4. How is the message society is sending us today failing us?

RELATED BLOGS: Where it all begins! and What’s your pleasure?

 

KEY TO A PROSPEROUS LIFE!

How many of  us if offered prosperity would not accept it. At the very least find out what is expected from us. Today we learn from Psalm 1:2-3 that prosperity is ours if we meditate (contemplate the spiritual truths) on God’s Word day and night. That is a pretty large order for some who think on it briefly one hour a week if that. Yet that is what God asks of us. That is not to say we need to read the Bible 24/7 but also to think, meditate and discuss what we hear and read.

There is a great deal of value just in meditation. It begins in Psalm 49:3 where we read that meditation leads to understanding. That certainly seems logical that unless you “chew on something” for a while you won’t get the full taste of what you are taking in. In place of this many if not most people jump to conclusions creating problems not understanding.

Meditation is also spiritually satisfying. With each ‘aha’ moment your spirit and life become more enriched (Psalm 63:5-6). I believe this is because meditation fills any thirst for God like water does the body on a hot day. True spiritual satisfaction.

Finally meditation puts us on a higher plain than all the non-believing instructors teaching in and out of classrooms around the world (Psalm 119:99). I do not believe it is prideful to know that many who society consider the elite could not reason themselves out of a paper bag.

In a world where many throw around words and their credentials as if it means something, I find my comfort as a follower of our Lord in Whom I indeed have found the KEY TO A PROSPEROUS LIFE.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Meditation on our maker makes mankind more mature.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Psalm 1:2-3 “prosperity comes with meditation”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord help me to be more patient as I meditate on Your Word.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. In what do you find prosperity?
  2. Do you meditate daily on God’s Word?
  3. Do you find spiritual satisfaction when reading God’s Word?
  4. How would you carry on a conversation with a ‘cultural elite’ person?

GOD’S WORD STANDS FOREVER!

If you are reading this you will know that I have overcome one of my most frustrating experiences of late. After 3 plus years of consecutive posts (Monday through Saturday) my computer would not allow me into the program that allows me to do this. Thankfully the person I rely on to help my ineptness in these matters has gotten things back to normal. Interesting though is all the thousand plus posts of the past were not lost. For me that was important as each daily devotional was my sharing a part of who I am and what I believe with each of you. Something which has become very personal. It is somewhat like those old love letters you may have between yourself and your spouse if married. The words help bring a person or event back to life in a very meaningful way.

These experiences remind me of the words of Isaiah 40:8 where we are told no matter the passing of time “the Word of our God stands forever”. On numerous occasions I have heard it said that the Bible is God’s love letter to humanity. Indeed it is and as it is it should be kept by our side and read often.

When the word forever is attached to something it bears serious consideration. Christ Himself spoke the following: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away”. The Word of God and Christ Jesus remain forever (John 12:34) and one day our faith will unite us with Him in a new Heaven and new earth (Isaiah 66:22).

This then is what is truly important. Not my words or anything which our minds can conceive save for what is or should be most important in each of our lives and that is that GOD’S WORD STANDS FOREVER.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The Word of God is the word of life for all who wonder what life is all about.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Isaiah 40:8 “God’s Word is forever”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for Your Word.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Do you look at the Bible as a love letter from God?
  2. What stands the ‘test of time’?
  3. What carries permanence in your heart?
  4. How often do you read God’s love letter?

 

THE ULTIMATE SELF HELP BOOK!

It is amazing to me the millions if not billions of dollars people spend on self help books, CD’s, DVD’s, etc. We do so in search of motivation, instruction, healing and more and if truth be told there is very little of what we seek that the Bible does not provide if we know where to look and search deep enough.

In Hebrews 4:12 we see that the Scriptures are living and powerful because they are the Word of God. It is no  wonder then that the Bible is the #1 selling book in all the world.

In addition to the Word of God it is the word of truth (James 1:18). Abiding in this truth we will be as verse 18 tells us the ‘first fruits of God’s creation”. Others may be motivated to read books helping lead them to great wealth or some earthly objective. I would rather read what leads me to an eternal life of peace and happiness.

Paul tells us in Romans 1:2 that the Scriptures are holy and they are the sword of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). When we stand on God’s Word as truth no matter what battle we may fight in this world we will not be let down. It is for that reason I do not believe any discussion or debate can go on unless the Bible is the reference book used for answers.

THE ULTIMATE SELF HELP BOOK has been used by the earliest prophets (Romans 16:26) until and through this day. It continues to serve as our guide no matter what our need.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Scripture is the sword of the Spirit that helps us survive.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Hebrews 4:12 “Scriptures are Word of God”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for Your Word.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How does the Bible provide motivation, instruction and healing?
  2. Why does the Bible continue to be the #1 book sold?
  3. Where do you look for truth?
  4. How do we use the Bible as a sword?

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