“Is your hope in truth or lies?” December 19

 

Just as in Micah’s day, one of the devil’s oldest tricks is to get men and women to put their hope in a lie. Even though it is often what they want to hear, it leads to despair when they realize their hope was fixed on a lie. How could you be misplacing your hope?

And in our New Testament reading …

In Revelation 9 the fifth and sixth trumpets sound! The fifth releases swarming locust-like demons with tails like scorpions. Their stings will leave people begging to die, but not even able to commit suicide. And the sixth is even worse.

 

Today’s Readings:
Micah 1-3
Psalm 144.9-15
Proverbs 30.10
Revelation 9.1-21

 

Is your hope in truth or lies?

 

Micah 1-3:

Putting Your Hope in a Lie

 

Like many in our culture today, the people in Micah’s time rejected God’s truth (2.6). They dismissed the prophets as “prattlers” or babblers. But God said, the real “babblers” are false prophets who tell people what they want to hear (2.11). Furthermore God warned them of a time when their false prophets would be exposed for the fakes they were and discredited, leaving the people with no hope, because they had put their hope in a lie (3.6-7):

6 “Therefore you shall have night without vision,
And you shall have darkness without divination;
The sun shall go down on the prophets,
And the day shall be dark for them.
7 So the seers shall be ashamed,
And the diviners abashed;
Indeed they shall all cover their lips;
For there is no answer from God.”

Deception is one of Satan’s oldest tricks. Jesus said he is the “father of lies” (Jn. 8.44). Just as he did in the garden where Eve put her hope in his lies, he first plants seeds of doubt by implying, “Did God really say …?”

“Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Gen. 3.1).

But sooner or later he simply calls God a liar:

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3.4-5)

There is no end to the lies people place their hope in today. Lies such as: Continue reading

The Jesus Code: “What does the Lord require of you?” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 25 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.

 

This week’s question: “What does the Lord require of you?” (Micah 6.8).

This should be one of our greatest concerns, “What does God require of us?” Hawkins says:

God is rich in mercy and full of grace, yet He requires certain things of us who are citizens of His kingdom. Sometimes we think that because our sins are forgiven, it really doesn’t matter how we live. Wrong! And the prophet Micah, who wrote seven hundred years before Christ, understood that.

Micah is best known as the one who foretold that the coming Messiah would be born in the tiny, seemingly insignificant village of Bethlehem: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5: 2). Micah is also known for his very practical teaching in chapter 6. The lesson comes in a combination question/ answer verse: the answer is embedded in the very question it asks! “What does the LORD require of you . . .” His three-part answer immediately follows: “Do justly . . . love mercy . . . and walk humbly with your God” (6: 8). These three actions are not suggestions. Nor are they mere options. These behaviors— related to our actions, our affections, and our attitudes— are “required” of each of us.

Our Actions

As believers, we should live differently from those around us. Our actions should always be moral, ethical, and just. God requires us to “do justly” in our own actions and to defend those who are treated unjustly.

Our Affections

God’s people should “love mercy.” The author says:

Mercy is best defined as “not getting what we deserve,” whereas grace is “getting what we don’t deserve.” Micah’s instruction means that we are required to give people what they don’t always deserve; we are to cut them some slack and show them some mercy.

If we truly love God we will show it by loving others and that love is often demonstrated through mercy.

Our Attitudes

Hawkins points out that  we are to walk humbly before God and others, and walk refers to how we live our lives.

Christ, Our Example

Again, quoting the author:

And Jesus is our ultimate example. Knowing that divine justice demanded payment for the penalty of mankind’s sin, and even though He Himself never sinned, Jesus went to the cross to “do justly.” And from the cross we see how He loved mercy, saying to those who had driven the spikes into His hands, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23: 34). Did He walk humbly? Even on the evening of His betrayal and arrest— the evening of His greatest need— Jesus was on His knees, washing His disciples’ feet (John 13: 1– 17).

A note:

I have been pulling a few thoughts out of each chapter, but I cannot cover all the nuggets Hawkins shares in this little gem of a book. I hope these excerpts whet your appetite to purchase the book for yourself. Just click on one of the links below.

Blessings,
Donna

 

Next week’s question: “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and you will not hear?” (Habakkuk 1.2).

Last week’s question: “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jonah 4.4). Read it here.

 

 

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

 

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