“Handwriting on the Wall: The Party’s Over!” December 1

 

Handwriting on the Wall: The Party's Over! - Can you imagine the scene at the company Christmas party if a disjointed man’s hand suddenly appeared and began to write on the wall? That was the scene at Belshazzar’s bash! God was letting him know "the party's over"! What does that mean for our nation and the culture we live in? God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13.8). God has been patient and merciful to us, but He will judge our nation as a whole. In fact, the free fall in morality probably means that judgment is well underway (Rom. 1.18-32). And on an individual basis, that judgment will happen, as well. Each of us will stand before one of two judgments (2 Cor. 5.10; Rev, 20.11) and give an account. The biggest questions will be: How did we respond to the gospel and was Jesus truly Lord of our lives? Our New Testament reading warns us of judgment against false teachers whose biggest lies have to do with Jesus, especially about who He is. Cults, false religions and false teachers always deny His deity, His virgin birth, His eternal nature, His Lordship, or some other characteristic of His nature. Peter also warns us against believing and following false teachers.Handwriting on the wall: Can you imagine the scene at the company Christmas party if a disjointed man’s hand suddenly appeared and began to write on the wall? That was the scene at Belshazzar’s bash! God was letting him know “the party’s over”!

What does that mean for our nation and the culture we live in?

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13.8). God has been patient and merciful to us, but He will judge our nation as a whole. In fact, the free fall in morality probably means that judgment is well underway (Rom. 1.18-32).

And on an individual basis, that judgment will happen, as well. Each of us will stand before one of two judgments (2 Cor. 5.10; Rev, 20.11) and give an account. The biggest questions will be: How did we respond to the gospel and was Jesus truly Lord of our lives?

Our New Testament reading warns us of judgment against false teachers whose biggest lies have to do with Jesus, especially about who He is. Cults, false religions, and false teachers always deny His deity, His virgin birth, His eternal nature, His Lordship, or some other characteristic of His nature.

Peter also warns us against believing and following false teachers.

“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed” (2 Pet. 2.1-2).

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“Do You ‘Cut & Paste’ the Bible?” October 25

 

Do You "Cut & Paste" the Bible? - Many today want to throw the Bible out completely. They try to discredit God's people by saying we're intolerant and mean-spirited when we call for a biblical standard. Attempting to destroy God's Word is nothing new, but God will preserve it and one day judge those who try to destroy it just as He did in Jeremiah's time. While we can rejoice that God will deal with evil men who reject His Word, we may need to examine our attitudes toward Scripture, as well. How do we view the Bible? Do we see it as a cafeteria line where we can pick and choose what we like? Do we cut and paste it at will? Do we view it as merely a book of nice suggestions for living? Or do we view it as God's Word and allow it to direct every area of our lives? Many today want to throw the Bible out completely. They try to discredit God’s people by saying we’re intolerant and mean-spirited when we call for a biblical standard. Attempting to destroy God’s Word is nothing new, but God will preserve it and one day judge those who try to destroy it just as He did in Jeremiah’s time.

While we can rejoice that God will deal with evil men who reject His Word, we may need to examine our attitudes toward Scripture, as well.

How do we view the Bible? Do we see it as a cafeteria line where we can pick and choose what we like? Do we cut and paste it at will? Do we view it as merely a book of nice suggestions for living? Or do we view it as God’s Word and allow it to direct every area of our lives?  Continue reading

“The Most Powerful Force in the World” September 19

 

The Most Powerful Force in the World - With the destruction from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey fresh in our minds, few would doubt the sheer force of storm driven wind and rain. And we've all seen images of earthquakes and other natural disasters.   Man made destruction can be just as powerful: war torn countries, the effects of suicide bombers and terrorism, and our own twin towers. Now another enemy threatens with missile launches and nuclear tests.   But are any of those the most powerful force in the world? And, if not, what is?With the destruction from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey fresh in our minds, few would doubt the sheer force of storm driven wind and rain. And we’ve all seen images of earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Man made destruction can be just as powerful: war torn countries, the effects of suicide bombers and terrorism, and our own twin towers. Now another enemy threatens with missile launches and nuclear tests.

But are any of those the most powerful force in the world? And, if not, what is?

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 29
Psalm 108.1-6
Proverbs 25.21-22
2 Corinthians 11.1-15

 

The Most Powerful Force in the World

 

Proverbs 25.21-22:

Three Stories

 

Another Monday morning. Jeannie would have to pray. She and Sue were the only two women on a job that was hard enough without Sue’s constant antagonism. It was made worse by the fact that, as far as Jeannie knew, she had never done anything to warrant her hatred.

The cheating began just a few months into their marriage. Mary had cried, yelled, spied on him, and threatened to leave. Each time Joe would tell her he was sorry and promise to break off the affair. But before long, she’d overhear a conversation, someone would call and hang up, or Joe would stay out all night and she’d know.

Karen’s husband worked hard. He came home every night. He paid the bills. But week-ends were a nightmare. Before the sun set on Friday, Bill was well into a bottle of bourbon and the more he drank, the angrier he got. More than once he had pulled out his gun and waved it around, even pointing it at Karen.

 

Jeannie’s Story

Each workday Jeannie determined to be kind to Sue, in spite of her cursing and cheap shots. But there were days when she went home in tears and cried out to God for another job.

Then one day after a particularly angry outburst, Sue stopped and just stared at Jeannie. “What is wrong with you? Everyday you come back and treat me right no matter what I say or do!” What followed were tears, but this time they were Sue’s and not Jeannie’s, as she poured out a story of heartbreak and abuse. Eventually, she accepted an invitation to attend church with Jeannie where she found the grace to let God heal her heart.  Continue reading

“False Shepherds” July 6

 

False Shepherds - The last days will produce many false shepherds and teachers who will teach outright lies, twist the truth, or leave out those things that are unpopular or politically incorrect.The last days will produce many false shepherds and teachers who will teach outright lies, twist the truth, or leave out those things that are unpopular or politically incorrect. We must learn to recognize truth and error or we’ll be easy prey for them.

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Chronicles 7-8
Psalm 80.1-6
Proverbs 20.15
Acts 13.26-52

 

False Shepherds

 

Psalm 80.1-6:

True Under-Shepherds and False Shepherds

 

Verse 1, “… O Shepherd of Israel …”

Jesus is the Shepherd of Israel, but God also gives us under-shepherds in the form of Pastors, who are under the authority of the Great Shepherd (Jn. 10.11). The Bible teaches submission to authority in the home, in the workplace, in civil affairs, and in the church.

“Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” (Heb. 13.17).

Our responsibility is to be sure that we are in a church where the Pastor(s) are under the authority of the Lord Jesus and His Word because there are many “false shepherds” and their numbers will increase as we approach the return of Christ.

Those who are truly under the authority of Christ will teach the full counsel of God without omitting those things that are unpopular or politically incorrect.

False Shepherds will add to His Word, take things out of context, or twist the truth. At worst, they will deny the deity of Christ, the reality of the Trinity, the sufficiency and inerrancy of Scripture, or other essential doctrines.

But, we won’t be able to discern the difference unless we get to know the True Shepherd through His Word. We will recognize a counterfeit by knowing and handling the real thing (2 Tim. 2.15). But if we don’t, we’re easy prey for false teachers.

“The sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers” (Jn. 10.3-5).

You can learn to recognize the voice of the Great Shepherd by:  Continue reading