“Fortune Tellers, the Heart & the Wise” March 26

 

Fortune Tellers, the Heart & the Wise -

The future, it’s full of promise, but often mixed with uncertainty. Should I marry this person? Does he or she really love me? Is this the right job? Could my spouse be cheating on me? The temptation to want to know what the future holds can be huge. But what does God say about knowing the future or seeking information about things God has not revealed?

And what about your heart? Do you have a wise heart? Are you teachable? Do you listen to godly counsel? Or do you first make up your own mind and then look for justification to believe and do what you desire? What does it means, “What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies”? See today’s Proverbs reading.

 

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 13 & 14
Psalm 37.23-29
Proverbs 12.15-16
Luke 2.25-52

 

Fortune Tellers, the Heart & the Wise

 

Deuteronomy 13 & 14:

Fortune Tellers, Palm Readers, and Other False Prophets

 

Chapter 13, verses 1-4 talk about the false prophets who predict things that come to pass. So many people assume that such a person must be from God, even though he or she says and does things that contradict biblical truth. Verse 3 says:

“… you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

There are still people out there today, claiming they can predict the future or they can tell you if your husband is cheating or give you a message from a deceased family member. They may even claim to believe in God. James 2.19 says, “… Even the demons believe—and tremble!” And in Matthew 8 when Jesus met two demon possessed men, the demons cried out, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”

You can believe in God and not be of God. We are told to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5.11). And Deuteronomy 18.10-12 says:

10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.

God is still testing our hearts today.  Continue reading

“Religious Pretenders” February 6

 

 

Religious Pretenders - It's so easy to let hypocritical attitudes creep into our hearts and allow ourselves to become religious pretenders. We may look good on the outside, but have hearts full of envy, greed, anger, worry, and self-righteousness. In the process we lose the joy of our salvation and find ourselves just going through the motions of the Christian life.It’s so easy to let hypocritical attitudes creep into our hearts and allow ourselves to become religious pretenders. We may look good on the outside, but have hearts full of envy, greed, anger, worry, and self-righteousness. In the process we lose the joy of our salvation and find ourselves just going through the motions of the Christian life.

 

Today’s Reading:
Exodus 23 & 24
Psalm 19.1-6
Proverbs 6.30-31
Matthew 23.23-39

 

Religious Pretenders

 

Matthew 23.23-39

Straining Gnats & Swallowing Camels

 

take off maskBeginning in yesterday’s reading, Jesus, in talking to the scribes and Pharisees, uses the phrase “woe to you” eight times. He calls them hypocrites, religious pretenders who attempted to look good on the outside with all their religious deeds. But he said they were full of spiritual death inside. They lacked love and mercy, justice and faith. They believed their religious activities and long public prayers made them better than everyone else. They refused to see themselves as sinners in need of a Savior.

They loved themselves instead of the poor and needy. They legalistically carried out the law against others without mercy. In verse 24 He called them “blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” They not only couldn’t see where they were going, but were leading others astray also. They couldn’t or wouldn’t see their own sinful hearts. Because of their knowledge of the law and pretending to live it, He said they would receive a “greater condemnation.”

The law designated certain things as clean and others as unclean, including animals. Unclean animals, like camels, could be used as beasts of burden, etc., but were not to be eaten or used as sacrifices. This was a picture to them, and us, of God’s desire to have a people set apart for Himself with clean hearts—a holy people.

Gnats were the smallest of the unclean animals and camels the largest. Some of the Pharisees would strain their drinks through cloth to keep from inadvertently swallowing a gnat. They focused on all the religious “minors,” while ignoring the “majors”—the attitudes of the heart.  Continue reading

“The Whole Counsel of God” December 10

 

Does your church teach the whole counsel of God? - Do you attend a church that is teaching God's Word in its entirety, the full counsel of God, or just the easy to swallow parts ... those that don't make you uncomfortable?Do you attend a church that is teaching God’s Word in its entirety, the full counsel of God, or just the easy to swallow parts … those that don’t make you uncomfortable?

 

Today’s Readings:
Hosea 11 & 12
Psalm 139.17-24
Proverbs 29.22
Jude 1-25

 

The Whole Counsel of God

 

Jude 1-25:

False Teachers & Our Own Hearts

 

The introduction to Jude in Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary says:

“This epistle is addressed to all believers in the gospel. Its design appears to be to guard believers against the false teachers who had begun to creep into the Christian church, and to scatter dangerous tenets, by attempting to lower all Christianity into a merely nominal belief and outward profession of the gospel. Having thus denied the obligations of personal holiness, they taught their disciples to live in sinful courses, at the same time flattering them with the hope of eternal life. The vile character of these seducers is shown, and their sentence is denounced, and the epistle concludes with warnings, admonitions, and counsels to believers.”

Jeremiah said our own hearts are deceitful (Jer. 17.9). They will lull us to sleep where nominal Christianity and sin are concerned. If that’s not dangerous enough, there are false teachers and others who preach a watered down version of truth that allows us to be comfortable in our sin, if not trust in outright error.

God is a God of grace and mercy and patience. But that doesn’t mean that we should get comfortable with our own sin. A heart that has truly been reborn by the Spirit of God is a heart with new desires and we need to grow those righteous desires by attending a church where the Word of God is being preached from cover to cover, not just the comfortable parts. We need to know and understand the whole counsel of God.

We also need to cultivate friendships with people who will encourage us to grow and change, not make it easier for us to remain spiritual babies. Proverbs 27.5-6:  Continue reading

March 26 “Your heart, your will & your mind”

“What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.” What has your will chosen that your mind is justifying? And what does it tell you about your heart?

the heart

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 13 & 14
Psalm 37.23-29
Proverbs 12.15-16
Luke 2.25-52

Deuteronomy 13 & 14:

Fortune tellers, palm readers, and other false prophets

Chapter 13, verses 1-4 talk about the false prophet who predicts something and it comes to pass. So many people assume that such a person must be from God, even though he or she says and does things that contradict biblical truth. But verse 3 says, “you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

fortune teller

There are still people out there today, claiming they can predict the future or they can tell you if your husband is cheating or give you a message from a deceased family member. They may even claim to believe in God, and perhaps they do. James 2.19 says, “… Even the demons believe—and tremble!” And in Matthew 8 when Jesus met two demon possessed men, the demons cried out, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”

You can believe in God and not be of God. We are told to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5.11). A command we should, also, consider in other areas of life like our reading, movies and TV habits.

God is still testing our hearts today. Do you love truth and trust that God will reveal to you anything you need to know, or do you seek to know things that only God truly knows, fully understands, and will reveal as He sees fit to do so? Continue reading

February 6 “Religious pretenders”

Religious pretender

It’s so easy to let hypocritical attitudes creep into our hearts and allow ourselves to become religious pretenders. We may look good on the outside, but have hearts full of envy, greed, anger, worry, and self-righteousness. In the process we lose the joy of our salvation and find ourselves just going through the motions of the Christian life.

Today’s Reading:
Exodus 23 & 24
Psalm 19.1-6
Proverbs 6.30-31
Matthew 23.23-39

Exodus 23 & 24

Seeing God

Chapter 24.9-11 contains some incredible statements:

9 Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. 11 But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank.

All of them saw God in some form. So incredible was what they saw that even the pavement beneath His feet appeared to be like heaven itself! Though we may never see God in the same way these Israelites did, we can behold Him in the person of Jesus Christ! The more we come to know Him through His Word, the more we see God! Continue reading