“Cravings, Persecution & Praying Scripture” November 26

 

Cravings, Persecution & Praying Scripture - What do you crave? And how does what you crave affect your relationship with God and your spiritual growth? How should a believer respond to persecution or people in authority who are harsh and abusive? Is there a pattern in the Bible? Would you like to learn how to pray the Scriptures? Isaiah 55.11 says, "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." And Jesus said in John 15.7, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you." When we pray God's Word, rightly understood, we're praying the will of God, can be sure that He hears us, and will answer our prayers. What do you crave? And how does what you crave affect your relationship with God and your spiritual growth?

How should a believer respond to persecution or people in authority who are harsh and abusive? Is there a pattern in the Bible?

Would you like to learn how to pray the Scriptures? Isaiah 55.11 says, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” And Jesus said in John 15.7, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” When we pray God’s Word, rightly understood, we’re praying the will of God, can be sure that He hears us, and will answer our prayers.  Continue reading

“9 Ways to Live like Jesus Is Coming Back” October 18

 

9 Ways to Live Like Jesus Is Coming Back - Do you believe Jesus is coming back soon? Does your life reflect that belief? How should you live in light of that truth?Do you believe Jesus is coming back soon? Does your life reflect that belief? How should you live in light of that truth?

The alternative is to live like the people in Jeremiah’s time who needed God’s rod of judgment, as we will see in our Old Testament reading. As we dig deeper into Psalm 119, we will see how knowing and contemplating God’s Word can help us steer clear of sin and grow in our understanding of God and His will.  Continue reading

“Standing Up for the Truth” October 13

 

Standing Up for the Truth - These are challenging times to be a believer. There is a huge clash of world views. The truthfulness of God's Word is being attacked on many fronts. Perhaps, you are being attacked personally for standing for the truth. How should a believer respond to those attacks?These are challenging times to be a believer. There is a huge clash of world views. The truthfulness of God’s Word is being attacked on many fronts. Perhaps, you are being attacked personally for standing for the truth. How should a believer respond to those attacks?

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 11 & 12
Psalm 118.10-14
Proverbs 27.8
Colossians 4.1-18

 

Standing Up for the Truth

 

Jeremiah 11 & 12:

Responding When People Reject Truth (& Us)

 

These truly are challenging times to be a believer, and while it is going to get more and more intense as this world of ours spins closer and closer to the 2nd coming of Christ, it’s not new.

There was a “clash” in Jeremiah’s day, too. Chapter 11.21-23:

21 “Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the men of Anathoth who seek your life, saying, ‘Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, lest you die by our hand’— 22 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts. ‘Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; 23 and there shall be no remnant of them, for I will bring catastrophe on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their punishment.’”

There were people who didn’t want to hear the truth and who threatened Jeremiah. In fact, they threatened to kill him if he continued to speak God’s truth. But God said, don’t worry about them, Jeremiah, I’ll deal with them in My time and in My way.

despising yourselfThere will be people who are not going to like it when we speak the truth. They may be family members, co-workers, supervisors, friends or enemies. We shouldn’t be surprised by this, but how should we respond?

First, we should rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer for His name (Acts 5.41).

We shouldn’t try to fight evil with evil. Remember Romans 12.21 tells us: Continue reading

“When Life Is Hard & Confusing” August 9

 

When Life Is Hard & Confusing - There will be times in all of our lives when life doesn't make sense. It may be because of sickness or some tragedy. It may be the loss of a relationship or watching a child walk away from the Lord. It may be because of someone else's sin or just our circumstances, but there are times when life is hard and confusing. If we're not in one of those difficult times, what can we do now to be ready when they come?There will be times in all of our lives when life doesn’t make sense. It may be because of sickness or some tragedy. It may be the loss of a relationship or watching a child walk away from the Lord. It may be because of someone else’s sin or just our circumstances, but there are times when life is hard and confusing. If we’re not in one of those difficult times, what can we do now to be ready when they come?

 

Today’s Readings:
Job 9 & 10
Psalm 93.1-5
Proverbs 22.22-23
Romans 9.16-33

 

When Life is Hard & Confusing

 

Job 9 & 10:

Preparing for the Hard Times

 

In these two chapters Job responds to his friend Bildad. He’s confused because he holds to the same basic belief as his friends—that all troubles come as a direct result of one’s own sin. So, while he knows he’s not sinless, he struggles to understand how he deserves the degree of suffering he’s enduring.

But he holds on to the truths he does understand. In verse 32 speaking of God, he says:

“He is not a man like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court.”

pointing upHe understands that he and God are not equals, that God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are far above our thoughts (Is. 55.8-9).

Understanding that truth helped Job and can help us accept things in our lives that we don’t understand. And there will be things this side of heaven which don’t seem fair, things for which God has a higher and a bigger purpose than we know.

A pastor I know went through a dark depression years ago when his son walked away from the Lord. He said anything he had called depression before that time didn’t even come close. While he still believed the truths he had taught for many years, including the reality of God’s goodness and sovereignty, the darkness continued.  Continue reading

“The Effects of Adultery” February 7

 

The Effects of Adultery - Most of us know someone whose life has been turned upside down by the sin of adultery. Perhaps that is you. While it is not the unforgivable sin, the effect of adultery is often devastating, affecting our relationships with others, even our children, our finances, and our testimonies. But none of those things is the worst consequence.Most of us know someone whose life has been turned upside down by the sin of adultery. Perhaps that is you. While it is not the unforgivable sin, the effect of adultery is often devastating, affecting our relationships with others, even our children, our finances, and our testimonies. But none of those things is the worst consequence.

 

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 25 & 26
Psalm 19.7-14
Proverbs 6.32-35
Matthew 24.1-28

 

The Effects of Adultery

 

Proverbs 6.32-35

Soul Destruction

 

Most of us know someone whose life has been devastated by the sin of adultery. Perhaps that is you. While I have seen many marriages restored and even made better, the journey is hard and in many cases, restoration never happens. Instead, families, children, finances, and testimonies are destroyed.

There are many sins which have the consequences already built in. Thinking we can fool around with any kind of sexual immorality without devastating consequences is like thinking we can jump off a building and not have gravity affect us!

If there is one area where the Bible has strong warnings, it has to do with our relationships, especially the danger of sexual immorality and other inappropriate relationships!

But there is an even greater consequence; that is the effect it has on the person’s relationship with God.

Verse 32 says, “Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding and he who does so destroys his own soul.”

Notice the last part of that verse. It says, “… he who does so destroys his own soul.”  Continue reading