Today we’ll talk about the danger of believing lies when it comes to our spiritual life. Whether that means trusting good works, religious activities, or some higher knowledge to save us, our eternal destiny is at stake when it comes to what we believe. Could you be believing a lie?
We’ll also continue our study in Revelation as the final conflict approaches.
There are only two more days in 2017. Can you believe it?! Have you set a goal for your Bible reading in 2018? Have you invited someone else to join you? Let’s bring others along as we “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3.18).
On to the readings …
Are You Believing a Lie?
The Idols Speak Delusion
I found verse 10.2 very interesting. It says:
“For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; they are in trouble because there is no shepherd.”
Yesterday we talked about “Babylon the Great” from Revelation 18 and how the world’s religious and socioeconomic system will be destroyed at the end of the age. We also talked about the allure of false religions. So often, what makes false religion so alluring is because it tells us what we want to hear.
False religion tells us we’re “OK” if we just keep these rules. It enables us to feel self-righteous because all those “other people” outside our group don’t get it!
Or it tells us that god is within us and we just need to reach some higher level of spirituality and that we can do so by meditating on this mantra or using this substance. This appeals to the self-delusion that we are more spiritual than someone else.
The lure of false religion is one of the reasons we get so enthralled with things like “The DaVinci Code” and tales of “lost gospels.” It’s the appeal of Gnosticism, the belief in some hidden knowledge, not available to the “less enlightened.” It’s the appeal of the Masonic Temple and many “secret” organizations. It’s the appeal of martyrdom for Allah and the reward of “100 virgins.”
It’s the deception of earning some god’s favor by self-denial or self-abuse or martyrdom. Or keeping the rules so you can be reincarnated into some higher life form in the next go-round. It’s not eating meat, or not marrying, or keeping other restrictions to earn God’s favor.
The problem is just what the Prophet Zechariah prophesied, “… the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; they are in trouble because there is no shepherd.”
The truth is Jesus is the only way.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14.6).
But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind (Is. 64.6).
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4.12).
The gospel is for all who realize they can do nothing to save themselves. That they cannot earn salvation through religious works or keeping rules. Instead, they see their need for a Savior and put their faith and trust in His finished work on the cross.
Today’s Other Readings:
The Song of the Redeemed
Verse 1, “Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, and His praise in the assembly of saints.”
The new song is the song of the redeemed! When we gather together, we are to sing and rejoice for the great gift of salvation!
Nursing Our Wounds
Verse 32 says, “put your hand on your mouth” if you have angrily devised evil if you have meditated on some wrong and been tempted to spew it out because just like churning milk produces butter and twisting the nose produces blood, anger will only produce more strife (v. 33)!
Much of our anger comes from meditating on our hurts and nursing our wounds. When we have been sinned against in some way or just perceive we have been wronged, we often play the video of the event over and over and over, sometimes embellishing it as we go, and almost always attaching some motive to it.
Pretty soon we are filled with anger and bitterness. Hebrews 12 warns against harboring those things:
15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.
It not only hurts other people, it hinders our relationship with God, as well.
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matt. 6.15).
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Eph. 4.31-32).
Let’s seek to be more and more like Christ by being quick to extend grace and forgive others.
[Tweet “Just like churning milk produces butter, anger will only produce more strife.” #soulsurvival #anger #Proverbs]
Jesus—King of Kings
Toward the end of the Tribulation, the armies of the world under the control of Antichrist will gather together to destroy Israel. Instead, Jesus himself, the Conqueror, will come on a white horse, followed by His army, all of us!
He is called “Faithful and True” (19.11). He is “the Word of God” who will destroy all Satan’s forces with His Word, that sharp two-edged sword (19.13, 15). He is “THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” All the armies, all the power, all the schemes of the devil will fail to stand against Him.
In the next few days, we’ll talk about how to face tests and trials, how the Bible is not 66 books, but one, and about the importance of giving our best to God.
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This year is fast drawing to a close and many of us are thinking about 2018. We’ll set goals for eating better and using that gym membership. We may set financial or career goals. Some may choose a word or character trait to focus on this year. But let’s not neglect the most important area of life …
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Today’s Featured Resources:
Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney
“This little book is explosive and powerful.”
R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
When you pray, does it ever feel like you’re just saying the same old things about the same old things?
Offering us the encouragement and the practical advice we’re all looking for, Donald S. Whitney, best-selling author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, outlines an easy-to-grasp method that has the power to transform our prayer life: praying the words of Scripture. Simple, yet profound, Praying the Bible will prove invaluable as you seek to commune with your heavenly Father in prayer each and every day.
The MacArthur Daily Bible takes a portion of the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs for each day of the year, with daily comments that guide and inform you as you read through the Bible in a year. John MacArthur’s insight maximizes the benefit of each day’s reading. If a commitment to daily Bible reading never worked for you before, this is the answer. With John at your side, there’ll be no such thing as a tough portion of Scripture.