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Daily Devotional ~ Friday, July 10, 2020

WHY HISTORY IS IMPORTANT

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”-John 8:44

Take about ten minutes and look at this video from 1969. Some of the verbiage is different but the point remains the same. It’s almost as if he is describing what is happening now. Learn as the enemy of your soul is behind the destruction going on today both quietly internally and by force externally. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

Video

Daily Devotional ~ Thursday, July 9, 2020

WHY HISTORY MATTERS

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”-1 John 2:15-17

On August 19, 1966 – Chinese students launched a fight for social justice to fight for the rights of the oppressed in China. It was widely believed that the ‘patriarchal system’ in China had been created by the 1% and held down women, minorities, and the working class. The students cried out for a revolution and change, and consequentially launched the infamous Chinese Cultural Revolution. Students put a red band around their arm to stand in solidarity with the oppressed and called for a change on old ideas that they called the FOUR OLDS. The Four Olds were: Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas.

The movement was supported by the Chinese media. Mass demonstrations and looting by the students ensued. Statues were torn down. Chinese architecture was destroyed. Classical literature and Chinese paintings were torn apart and burned. Temples were desecrated. The Cemetery of Confucius was attacked. The corpse of the 76th-generation Duke Yansheng was removed from its grave and hung from a tree. Wealthy homes were attacked and destroyed. All of history, in short, was to be removed and replaced. This was the central meaning of Cultural Revolution: That China was going to destroy every trace of its bourgeois (privileged) past and replace it with a new culture built on the principles of Maoism and Marxism.  The police were disbanded in the city and the students formed a community solution called the RED GUARD. The RED GUARDS policed the communities and punished anyone who did not agree with their ideas. Even people that supported the movement, but had bad thoughts (“wrong think”) could be punished. The promise of equality for all through this “new” movement in China was a lie, that continues to place people in physical, emotional, economic, and religious bondage.

The way of the world is not the way of Christ. The philosophies and principles of this world bring bondage…only Christ brings true freedom. Sadly, even many in the church think that bringing in godless philosophies and practices will somehow bring what all people desire…freedom. This is the deception and the lie that the enemy of our souls would love for us to believe and implement. Whether we are talking about Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, or Communist China…these ungodly movements promised utopia, while bringing pain, poverty, and godless societies. If we want freedom for all people, the only answer is found in Jesus. Only Jesus brings true freedom. History tells us that the movements of man brings bondage…it also tells us that through the centuries Jesus has brought true freedom to everyone who has trusted and followed Him. John 8:36 tells us of the promise of true freedom…”Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Daily Devotional ~ Wednesday, July 8, 2020

WHY HISTORY IS IMPORTANT

When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.
But whoever obeys the law is joyful. – Proverbs 29:18 (NLT)

Vladimir Lenin was the most influential political figure in the development of the Russian Revolution. Before he was able to lead the coup in the capital during October 1917, however, Lenin first had to win the support of the Bolshevik party. Lenin appealed to the workers, soldiers and sailors, people he referred to as “the vanguard of the international revolutionary proletariat.”

Lenin believed that power must be given to “the proletariat and the poorest classes of peasants.” Moreover, he insisted there should be a complete rejection of the existing forms of government. He claimed the need for “not a parliamentary republic, but a republic of Soviets of Workers’, Agricultural Labourers’ and Peasants’ Deputies throughout the country, from top to bottom.” Though opposed by many of the Bolshevik leaders, Lenin responded to their criticisms by highlighting the dangers of dogmatism and the necessity to “consider real life.” Ultimately the Bolshevik party put Lenin in charge, and adopted his slogan, “All power to the Soviets!” After a period of time under the leadership of Lenin, Russia was forever changed by the move to become the Soviet Union…ruled by both Communism and Socialism.

Lenin was brought to power during a time of great unrest in Russia. His promotion of the denial of the established doctrine and a move to subjective experience was just what the masses wanted to hear. Basically, an appeal to no rules, but a system that would be all for the “little people” to live as they desired. The message was a lie…for the result of the move of Russia to the Soviet Union brought poverty, oppression, and an even more domineering ruling party. What was offered as the answer for equality, and the raising of the people, and a utopia…was in fact a lie. We live in a day of great unrest, and the progressives among us are calling for the dismantling of the existing system, that has served well for 244 years. They want us to deny the established truth found in the Constitution. They call for a system where the people live and do whatever they feel they want to do. Sound familiar? It’s happening again, only this time we are talking about America. This is why history is important. The answers offered by the progressive voices today have been tried and have failed…yet because of the ignorance of history they act like they have come up with something new that will change society for the better, and bring in utopia. They are deceived and ready to believe the lie. We as Christians know that only Christ can build any system that will stand, and truly be a blessing to all people.

The Scripture puts it this way…
“Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.”-Psalm 127:1-2.

Daily Devotional ~ Tuesday, July 7, 2020

WHY HISTORY IS IMPORTANT

“Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”-2 Timothy 2:19.

In pre-WW2 Germany Adolf Hitler was moving within his own country to control the minds of the people. His propaganda machine pushed slogans in order to move the people to a place of compliance and one-mindedness to the spirit of that day. “Hiem ins Reich” was pushed as the chant of the day to get people on board with the agenda of the Third Reich…it means “Come home into Reich”. These few words were deceptively used to move people’s minds and lives into compliance with Hitler and his Nazi party. Today, we have people demanding that everyone quote the same mantra and slogan, in order to prove you are in line with the collective and are part of the great societal spirit. I would tell them I have one mantra…”Jesus is Lord”

Once the propaganda had moved a sufficient number of the populace to have the same mindset as the Third Reich, the next step was to require people to swear allegiance to an earthly leader and earthly movement. This was required of all “patriotic citizens who really loved their country”. The oath’s wording was…”I swear that I will be faithful and obedient to Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer of the German Reich and German people, and will observe the laws and will conscientiously fulfill my official duties, so help me God”. The penalty for those refusing to swear this oath was they would be “dismissed”. Now keep in mind that the Third Reich had nationalized everything in the nation of Germany…including the churches. Pastors had to decide whether to swear the oath, or keep their allegiance to God alone. Thank the Lord for people like Dietriich Bonhoeffer, Helmut Gollwitzer, Martin Niemoller, and others who would not swear such an oath…and stood fast in Jesus. They were considered “illegal” by Hitler, and it cost them greatly, some like Bonhoeffer, with his life. Today we Christians and especially Pastors need to stand in Jesus, and make our allegiance to Christ alone. I have a great concern that many professing Christians and many pastors, sadly like thousands during the time of Hitler, will easily give their oath to this world’s system.

Why is history important? Because we are not the first to go this way…we are not the first to have to make a choice between this world and the Lord…we are not the first to be pressured to compromise, and give our allegiance to the spirit of the age. History tells us others have gone this way before…others stood in Jesus in the face of opposition…others refused to compromise with the powers of this world…and others saw the salvation of their Lord. History, along with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God tells me that we too can stand in this day…we can decide to bow our knees only to Christ Jesus our Lord. Finally, both history and prophecy tell me that Jesus has the victory! I choose to stand in Jesus alone. “On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand”.

Daily Devotional ~ Thursday, June 25, 2020

WHO YOU ARE CHILD OF GOD… LOOKING AT EPHESIANS 4
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”-Ephesians 4:32.

Now Paul instructs us in how we are to relate to one another. The Holy Spirit working freely and ungrieved in us will produce these things in our lives. To be kind is to extend Christian courtesy to one another. We are told to be kind to each other as we walk in this unkind world. Our brothers and sisters ought to be able to find a refuge with us…a refuge of kindness. I love the thought of the church as being a spiritual and emotional hospital…a place of healing for the Christian who has been mistreated by the world. Jesus told us how the world would treat us…”And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.”-Luke 21:17. In the church we need to be kind to one another…we need to have a refuge from the unkindness and hatred of the world. Paul expands the kindness we are called to by telling us to be tenderhearted to one another. To have a genuine heart of love, care, and empathy for one another. It is the thought of a deep affection for each other…we are family and we love and care for each other like family.

This chapter ends with Paul telling us that we need to forgive one another. Again, he is not telling us to be like the world…but to forgive the way God forgave us in Jesus Christ. How did God forgive us in Jesus? Well we could say He forgave us completely…and that would be true. When God forgives He also forgets…He never holds against us what He has forgiven. We are called to forgive each other that same way. Now it must be said that God’s forgiveness is conditional, not universal. God only forgives through His Son Jesus…and He only forgives someone who comes to Him with a broken repentant heart, and asks for forgiveness, putting their trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Complete forgiveness requires both the one being forgiven and the one forgiving to be involved. While it is true we can forgive someone who has done us wrong even if they don’t acknowledge their wrong…that kind of forgiveness releases the forgiver…sadly the one forgiven never experiences the reality of the healing power of forgiveness. The Bible says that God loved the whole world that He sent His one and only Son…Jesus died in our place that we might know the forgiveness and salvation of God. Sadly though most will not receive for themselves what Christ did for them on the cross…so they will spend eternity without ever experiencing the wonderful blessing of knowing the forgiveness of God.

Daily Devotional ~ Wednesday, June 24, 2020

WHO YOU ARE CHILD OF GOD… LOOKING AT EPHESIANS 4

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”-Ephesians 4:31.

If we are to keep from grieving the Holy Spirit in our lives there are some things we must get rid of. Removing these things from our lives will lighten our load… and will make the testimony of our lives reflect the life of Jesus. This is a good list to stay as far away from as possible. Look at it! Bitterness is an irritable state of mind which produces harsh and hard opinions of others. Wrath and anger are outbursts of passion. Clamor means the bold assertion of supposed rights and grievances. Evil speaking is blasphemy, but it also means all kinds of slander and malice. All of these things need to be put away from we followers of Jesus.

I hope you noticed that this list is the way the world deals with issues and just life in general. It seems the more bombastic and cruel a person can be in today’s world the more admired they become. There is little civility today… yet that is what we are called to…even, and maybe especially so, when we are in disagreement with each other. I have even seen people try to promote that people who use vulgar and ungodly language are somehow demonstrating their great intellect. Jesus stood against evil and injustice all during His ministry… but He never lost His testimony by giving into bitterness, wrath, clamor, or speaking evil. As the Holy Spirit manifests Himself in us, and we do not grieve Him, the world will see the reality of Jesus in us. It is too easy to give into the methodology and ungodliness of the world…but we are called to walk in the Holy Spirit, and He will produce the fruit of the Spirit in us… and in Him we will glorify Christ in our lives.

Daily Devotional ~ Tuesday, June 23, 2020

WHO YOU ARE CHILD OF GOD… LOOKING AT EPHESIANS 4

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”-Ephesians 4:30.

Is it really possible to grieve the heart of an all-knowing, all-powerful God? Paul says it is. He gives us the command to not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is God and we can actually grieve Him. The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity…and as such He can be grieved. What is it that grieves Him? It is the offenses that have been listed. When a Christian lies…it grieves the Holy Spirit. When a Christian has dirty thoughts…it grieves the Holy Spirit. What happens when any person is grieved? It harms, or breaks the fellowship that once was there. The Holy Spirit cannot work in our lives when we have grieved Him…when our fellowship with Him is broken. Not because He is made impotent…but because when our fellowship with Him is broken, we place ourselves in a position that is unavailable to the Spirit of God.

Paul goes on to tell us in this verse that we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit. This means that though we can grieve the Holy Spirit…we cannot grieve Him away! Why? Because we are sealed by Him…and there is no one big enough or bad enough to break that seal. At the moment you responded to the call of the Holy Spirit and trusted in Jesus as your Savior, you were sealed. How long does that seal last? “Until the day of redemption”…He seals you until the day He will present you to the Lord Jesus Christ. Once you with Jesus…you no longer need to be sealed…for the purpose for which you were sealed will be accomplished. Even the true believer cannot unseal what the Holy Spirit has sealed…though we may grieve Him. The great difference in the lives of believers today is that some live with a grieved Spirit and some live with an ungrieved Spirit.

Daily Devotional ~ Monday, June 22, 2020

WHO YOU ARE CHILD OF GOD… LOOKING AT EPHESIANS 4

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”-Ephesian 4:29.

To edify is to build up…you cannot build up with that which is corrupt. Construction crews use the best materials to build the best buildings…it is dangerous to use material that is filled with flaws and corruption, for the building won’t stand. If the wood in your home was infested with termites, before long the corruption done by these pests would cause your home to deteriorate. To fix that deterioration and repair and rebuild may take some sawing, hammering, and throwing out the corrupt parts…but the intent of all that work, as hard as it is, is to build up that which corruption has torn down. In the church we have the teachings of Christ, the Scripture, which we are called to speak and teach in order to build up the body of Christ. When corrupt words are taught they always bring destruction. False teachers and their false teachings are dangerous…they are designed by the enemies of God to tear down the church and destroy precious souls for which Jesus died.

We genuine followers of Jesus are called to speak and teach that which builds up the body of Christ. Sometimes like the sawing and hammering to fix the corrupted buildings, it is hard to repair the corruption that has found its way into the body of Christ. Sound doctrine is necessary in order for the church to be built up and be stable and strong. We are called to speak that which is genuine and true…for the purpose of speaking in the church is to edify, to build up the body. We cannot impart grace to hearers if what they are hearing is corrupt, perverted, apostate, or false. We impart grace by sharing the words of life…the very Word of God which is infallible, inerrant, and everything we followers of Christ need in order for us to be everything God has called us to be.

Daily Devotional ~ Wednesday, June 17, 2020

WHO YOU ARE CHILD OF GOD…LOOKING AT EPHESIANS 4

“Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.”-Ephesians 4:28.

Work is good…sadly we live in a time when this actually may be seen by some as a controversial statement. Some spend their days just existing and living off of other people. The Scripture has much to say about those who are lazy and will not work…everything from describing them as sluggards in Proverbs to Paul who says, “if you don’t work you won’t eat.” The Bible is not speaking of those who cannot work, but those who will not work. People are pushing systems today that promise the government will take care of everyone…people are describing things that we used to work for as basic human rights…therefore requiring that government provide them. Biblical compassion requires that we minister and take care of those who for some legitimate reason cannot take care of themselves…but if never promotes laziness or the abdication of personal responsibility. Paul says in 1 Timothy 5:8…”But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” There is nothing godly or admirable in laziness, and living off other people when you have the ability to work.

Paul in our passage speaks of the wrong of taking that which does not belong to you. We all have watched looters raid stores during demonstrations in recent days. For some reason they believe that they have a right to take, to steal, things…that they are owed. What an incredible time we find ourselves in…the only thing someone is owed is what they have earned through work, not what they can steal. We work to take care of our families, and we work in order to give to those who have legitimate needs. Once again there are those promoting an economic system that makes all people equal in what they have regardless of people’s willingness to work for what they have. The Scripture teaches us to give out of a heart of genuine concern for others…but if we buy into the lie that no one needs to produce and work…what will we have to share with those in need? Some of the most generous hard working people I know follow the biblical mandate to work hard…take care of your family…and meet the needs of the genuinely poor. The Scripture calls all people to work for what they have…it condemns slothfulness and stealing from others. There is virtue in hard work…there is no virtue in being lazy and living off others when a person is able to work

Daily Devotional ~ Tuesday, June 16, 2020

WHO YOU ARE CHILD OF GOD…LOOKING AT EPHESIANS 4

“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.”-Ephesians 4:26-27.

Anger is not a sin on its own…both God the Father and Jesus the Son exhibited anger. There is a place for righteous anger…when we see people’s lives being destroyed by evil, there is a reason for anger. When we read of children being kidnapped and sold as sex slaves…there is reason for anger. When we read and see literally thousands of innocent souls destroyed daily in the abortion industry…there is reason for anger. When we hear and read of false teachers and preachers adulterating and perverting the Scripture…there is room for anger. When we see both the racists and the race baiters leading people astray, and destroying our country…there is reason for anger. Where there is no truth, but lies are presented as truth…there is reason for anger. When we see people misusing the Name of the Lord for their own personal agenda, their own personal gain, their own personal power…there is reason for anger. Righteous anger is being under the control of the Holy Spirit…the Spirit causes us to see things the way God see them…and to act and react the way God does.

Paul warns us though that we are to be angry, but not to sin. If we let anger consume us and take control of us…we have sinned. Human wrath is sinful…for it is out of control anger. James 1:20 says…”for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” Not only do we need to be careful not to enter into human anger, which leads to wrath…but we need to take care of our anger today. Paul tells us not to let the sun go down on our wrath. We either need to deal with the issue today…or leave the issue in the hands of God. We are not equipped to remain in anger of any type. Sometimes we are able to express our anger…change what needs to be changed and then move on. Other times we may not have the ability to change anything or even express our anger in order to correct a situation…in those cases we need to give the anger over to the Lord before the day is over. Carrying anger in us all the time gives place to the devil. We open ourselves up to giving him a place in our lives that he should not have. We are called to be filled with the Spirit of God…if we are there is no room for the devil.