Thursday, August 31, 2017

Chip Off the Old Block

Lessons from Genesis – 4
And Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image.” Genesis 5:3 KJV
In my book “Deceived: The Visible Church and the Homosexual Agenda”, I deal with a major misconception made by sinful man. The argument is, “God made me and He said that everything He made was very good.” That is a true statement abused by liars. That statement means that whatever I do must be OK because God made me and I am good. If I wish to live a homosexual lifestyle, well, God made me and so it is good to do so. People can use this excuse for any and every “life style” choice they wish. But it is a lie.
Genesis teaches us that order is important. God said that everything was good at the time of creation, but it also teaches us that creation, including man, was cursed after sin. Now the image that man carries is marred. Adam begot his sons after his image. That image is one that was ruined by the fall and contained all the seed of all the sin of all mankind ever since. Jesus Christ, born in the flesh as the very Son of God was alone sinless of all mankind. He taught us that we are corrupt and need a Savior. That is the truth that has been promised since the first sin in the Garden of Eden. We are made like Adam and not perfect like God.
Dear Father, I confess that I am a sinner by birth and by practice. Thank You for Your Son Jesus Christ who has died to make me again right with You. Amen.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Restoration Expert

Lessons from Genesis – 3
For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal live through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 KJV
We often lament about how sinful our modern society has become. While we are right we are also overlooking a sad truth. People have been this way since Eden. Since Eve listened to the lie of Satan we have continued to do so. That lie is that we can be like God. Being like God means that we can make the rules. If we can make the rules we can also determine the consequences of breaking them. That is being God-like.
We hear from every corner of modern American society that if we really feel it is right then it must be. If it makes me feel good then it must be right. If God really hated it He would thunder from heaven and tell us so. The first two comments reveal our sinful nature and the third reveals our spiritual darkness. What is wrong has been established by God and He has thundered from heaven and told us so. He has also told us the consequences. Genesis teaches us clearly that the wages of sin is death. It also teaches us that God killed an animal and covered Adam and Eve with its skin. Another died in their place. Christ has died for the sins of the world. Those who know Him should not live like those who don’t.
Dear Father, Thank You for a clear warning about the consequences of my sin, and thank You for providing me with a Savior. Amen.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

From Perfect to Broken

There is none who does good, no, not one." Romans 3:12 NKJV
B. F. Skinner was a twentieth century psychologist who had a tremendous impact on the thinking and planning of post WWII America. In his book, “Walden Two”, he taught that man was nothing more than the result of his environment. The right environment would create the right man. Billions of dollars of government funds were spent to create the right environment to create the perfect society. We would all be good and happy and live in peace and harmony if we only had the right things and were taught in the right way. Genesis and Psalm 14 say that B.F. Skinner was a fool.
Genesis teaches that the perfect environment did not make the perfect man. Eden was as good as it got. Adam sinned. God gave Noah and his family a new start in a scrubbed clean earth. They sinned. God gave the Israelites the perfect set of laws and the perfect Promised Land to live in. They broke the laws and polluted the land. The Bible tells us what God knows about us; we are sinful beings. To deny that is to deny God. If you are waiting for things to get perfect before you come to God, don’t wait. Only God is perfect and He has given us His Son to pay for our sins and take us some day to His perfect place where we will indeed live without sin or its consequences.

Dear Father, We acknowledge that we are not perfect, never have been and in this life never will be. Thank You for forgiveness through Your Son so that we can be saved. Amen. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Better Creator

Lessons from Genesis – 1
I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator.” Isaiah 43:15 KJV
I like to build things. I am no expert and I wouldn’t win any woodworking awards, but I do like to build things. There is something about the things that I build that is very important. I start with material to do so. The lumber yard and hardware store provide me with everything but manpower to do the job. There is a second thing about what I build. When I am done I say, quite honestly, it is utile. I don’t brag a lot about it being good but it is good enough for what I want it for. That is what I build.
What we learn from Genesis is that God is greater than you or I. Now, you may be an expert builder and what you make is truly good. It may even win an award or be an item in great demand by others. But is it perfect? What did you make it from? You had to start with something and most craftsmen can see the flaws in their work even if others don’t. Genesis teaches us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, but to give all glory to God who alone makes things from nothing and does it all perfectly.
Dear Father, You indeed are the Almighty God, the perfect Creator. Help me to humbly acknowledge Your glory every day. Amen.

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Paul’s Letters to Seven Churches: Thessalonica

They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” I Thessalonians 1:9 NIV
The last of Paul’s seven churches was from Thessalonica. He didn’t get to stay there very long for a crowd was stirred up and he was driven from the city. How much could Paul teach the people of the church in three short weeks? The two books of Thessalonians show us that he could teach them an awful lot. In fact, Paul repeatedly refers to his brief stay there and the things he taught them as the basis for his letter.
Lots of people get really excited about the doctrine of last things – eschatology. Paul taught them a lot about that. There is a great deal of difference between the worship of idols and the worship of God. Paul taught them a lot about that. He taught them a lot about the doctrines of suffering, purity, prayer and diligence. This might just make three weeks of modern church services seem kind of puny. Paul said to them, “I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren” and he really meant it. Let us with the Thessalonians strive to know Christ better every day.
Dear Father, You have given us Your word to instruct us and Your Spirit to teach us. Help us to be committed to knowing Your word and obeying it more each day. Amen.

  The Friday Benediction
Until Monday, my friends, may the good God envelop you with His grace; may you prove the common confession of faith, “I believe in the holy Christian church and in the fellowship of the saints”, and may you be enriched with joy and hope as you exercise that confession this weekend.  Amen

You can find Abundant Grace daily devotions M-F on my website:  You can also find quality Christian books there as well. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Paul’s Letters to Seven Churches: Colossae

These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.” Colossians 2:22-23 NKJV
Sunday after Sunday an elderly man in my church lamented that if the stores were just closed on Sunday more people would be in church. “Pass a law like in the old days,” he said. “Then we won’t have such small attendance.” Paul said that’s not true. I told the gentleman that, but he didn’t care. Rules will make people live right was his motto. The scriptures tell us clearly that the elderly gentleman was wrong.
The Church at Colossae was beset by people just like my elderly gentleman. They tried to convince the people of that church that they could be “better” Christians if they just had a few more rules to follow. The Jews had all kinds of rules and they consistently broke them. Rules did not make them live more righteously. Only Christ in the heart can do that. Rules can only make us arrogant against those who don’t likewise comply. Paul told the people of Colossae, “As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” Rules didn’t make us “good enough” for Christ and they are not going to make us “good enough” in Christ. We came to Christ because He loved us and drew us to Him. We need to walk like Christ in such a way that will draw others to Him. Christ will generate the good works we should do. No man can add to His list.
Dear Father, Help me to walk close beside Christ each day. Amen.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Paul’s Letters to Seven Churches: Philippi

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.” Philippians 3:1 NKJV
The fifth church Paul wrote to was the one at Philippi. God had given Paul a specific revelation to go to Philippi and preach. His ministry was fruitful, which landed him in jail where God further blessed his ministry with another entire family being saved. Then Paul was kicked out of town. So what is the key word in Paul’s letter to this church? Rejoice!
Paul really wanted the Church at Philippi to know that circumstances don’t dictate our response to life – God does. Whether Paul was down by the riverside seeing people be saved or being severely beaten and thrown into the dungeon he knew that God was equally in both places. Where God is rejoicing can take place. In this short book Paul says to “rejoice” ten times. He declares his “joy” six times. Then he tells the church to live in “thanksgiving” one time. All these words have the same root word for rejoice. This little lesson needs to be taken to heart by every believer.  Things go better with rejoicing.
Dear Father, Thank You for being the author of our true joy. Amen. 

You can find more Abundant Grace devotions M-F on my website You will also find a number of excellent Christian books there. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Paul’s Letters to Seven Churches: Ephesus

That we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:12 NKJV
Ephesus is the only church to have received letters from both Paul and in the Book of Revelation. Ephesus sat on the western coast of modern Turkey and was a major hub of the ancient world. Paul preached there. Timothy preached there. The Apostle John preached there. When Paul wrote to the Romans he was writing to people he had never met. When he wrote to the Ephesians he was writing to old friends among whom he had worked. His letter to them is very simple.
He opens the book by repeating the glorious gospel message, Christ died for you. In doing this He gave you all the riches of glory along with your new relationship with God. Because of this, he then says, this is how you ought to live your lives to the praise of His glory. He uses that simple phrase three times in the book. He then lists these categories for Christian living. We are to walk according the Holy Spirit’s nature.  We are to walk in purity of life and conduct.  We are to walk in Christ-likeness, as He had walked.  We are to walk in love in all areas of human relationships. We don’t do this to merit anything.  We do it simply because He is worthy of all praise and we should walk to the praise of His glory.
Dear Father, You have given us such indescribable gifts through Your Son.  Help us to walk a life that will rightly glorify Him. Amen.

You can find more Abundant Grace devotions M-F on my website You will also find a number of excellent Christian books there. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Paul’s Letters to Seven Churches: Galatia

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8 NKJV
The true doctrine of the church as taught by the entire New Testament is that we are saved by grace through faith. We are justified before God by the merit of Christ alone and not by our own works. If we were to be saved by works then we would not have been saved by grace. If we were to be justified by works then we would not have been justified by Christ. If we are to be justified by works how will we know when we have done enough? 
Paul wrote to the Church in Galatia, a region and not a city, to challenge them on these issues. False teachers had come in and told them they needed to do such and such and so and so to be truly saved. Paul said that those teachers were accursed by God. Many religions are based on “supposed” angelic revelation.  All of them center on the works of man and not the work of Christ. Any angel who offered up such a false scheme is a fallen angel who has been accursed since Satan’s rebellion. Christ is our confidence. Christ is our sufficiency. Christ is our only hope. Paul says that it can’t be much plainer than that.
Dear Father, Thank You for not making my salvation dependent on my own failure to always please you, but to lay it fully on Your Son, my Savior. Amen.

You can find more Abundant Grace devotions M-F on my website You will also find a number of excellent Christian books there. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Paul’s Letters to Seven Churches: Corinth

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body.” I Corinthians 12:12 NKJV
The Church of Corinth was a problem child. To be a Corinthian Church is no complement.  Paul wrote twice to this church, each lengthy epistles, to straighten out serious problems. Forty years after Paul wrote his letters to Corinth, Clement of Rome sent them a lengthy stinging letter as well. Sadly, so much of what was seen in the Church of Corinth is now seen in the American church today.
They were a divided and divisive group. They were bragging, “I’m of Paul” and the next would say “So what, I’m of Peter!” Then they would brag about why they were better than others because of what they could do.  “I can preach”.  “Well, I can heal.”  “Well, I trump you all, I can speak in tongues.” Even at the Lord’s Table they were divisive segregating the meal out according to economic position. Paul said, “Listen, you were all called in Christ, so you are one, not many.  You were all gifted by the Spirit, so none of your gifts are your own talents and they are all equally useful. You are all one body, so when you eat the body of Christ – act like it.” To this church Paul actually gives the challenge to examine themselves to see if they are really believers in Christ. If we want to know how not to act as believers, we need to study Corinthians.

Dear Father, Help us to act like we ought in love and truth and oneness in Christ. Amen. 

  The Friday Benediction
Until Monday, my friends, may the good God envelop you with His grace; may you prove the common confession of faith, “I believe in the holy Christian church and in the fellowship of the saints”, and may you be enriched with joy and hope as you exercise that confession this weekend.  Amen

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Paul’s Letters to Seven Churches: Rome

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1 NKJV
As a pastor I have been asked so many times, “Can’t God just make things clear?” Those people have a low view of God. God loves us and He makes things abundantly clear to us. But, God does not always want to be talking to three year olds who have no basis for understanding. To know what God says we must read what He says, not just a verse a day but the whole book. Then things will clear up. In the book of Romans Paul uses many Old Testament passages and illustrations in making one of the clearest presentations of doctrine we will ever find.
Romans is centered on the truths that we all sin and are not just “kind of not OK”. This sin, Romans continues, brings death to all men.  But God loves us and gave His Son to die for us that we might have eternal life with Him. But love and forgiveness does not mean we can just go out and continue to live the life of sin. As Paul says, “God forbid”. It didn’t do well for the Jews in the Old Testament and it won’t work well for us. Then Paul testifies of true hope in Christ and how we should respond to His wonderful grace. Romans is as plain speaking as you can find. It is great for evangelism and for personal growth. Every believer should have a good understanding of Romans.

Dear Father, We thank You that You don’t talk in mysteries but make plain for Your children truth to live by. Amen.  

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Seven Churches: Laodicea

For in Him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28 NKJV
Sometimes teenagers can get pretty uppity and say to their parents, “I don’t need you. I can live my own life.” To which parents sigh and know that it will never be true. But imagine the church saying that to Christ. There is no life on earth, saved or lost, that can truly say that to God. He is Life and without Him there is no life. But the Church at Laodicea did say that to Him. Oh, what a sad way to end our look at the churches, but Jesus put it last.
What they said was that they had “need of nothing”. What Jesus replied was that they were really wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. That seems that they needed a lot. But they thought they could do without God. Look at the churches today. How many say that they don’t believe the Bible? How many say that Jesus was just a man or good teacher? How many churches say that human intellect has taught us better truth than old fables? Jesus stands at the door of this church and says, “Let me in.” But sadly, like a rebellious teenager they say, “We don’t need you.”  Let us never lose sight that it is in Him only that we have life, hope, goodness and a future.

Dear Father, Guard our hearts that we might not act so foolishly to think that You are not all that we do truly need. Amen. 

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Seven Churches: Philadelphia

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matt 28:19 NKJV
Philadelphia is the second church against which Christ brought no accusation. They were not like Smyrna, though, in many respects. They were not weak or persecuted. They were an active church before whom Christ placed an open door. That door is the door of opportunity to spread the word of God. Imagine having the freedom to worship. Oh, yeah, we do. Imagine using that freedom to worship as an open door to leading others to faith in Christ. We were not given salvation for our own enjoyment. We were given salvation to pass it on!
Philadelphia is the church with opportunity that seized the opportunity and used it for the proclamation of the gospel. That is what freedom of worship is for, to have the freedom to extend the hope of Christ and His worship to a lost world.  We are not saved to soak, we are saved to serve. We are not saved to be silent, we are saved to speak. We are saved to use every open door for the glory of God. The people in the church of Philadelphia did so and they were given great and precious promises because of it.

Dear Father, Help us to seize the opportunities that You give us to proclaim the hope of Christ to others. Amen. 

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Seven Churches: Sardis

Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise in the assembly of the saints.” Psalm 149:1 NKJV
Have you ever been to a dead church? They are a stench to heaven. What is dead should be buried and that is Christ’s message to Sardis. They laid claim to being born again but they were dead. They had just about as much enthusiasm as a hound dog on a hot day. Their routine of sleeping in the shade is not to be disturbed by any outbreak of spiritual activity. The sermons are to be thoughtful so as not to disturb the minds of the hearers. The hymns are to be quiet so as not to disturb the dead in the graveyard next door. Oh, God hates a dead church.
God delights in a church where the redeemed of the Lord testify to their salvation. He delights in a church where people weep over the lost and entreat them to salvation. He delights over a church that does His work and delights in doing so. He delights in a church where the joy of the Lord is on faces and passes like wildfire from one to another. But God hates a dead church and He wants those in it to make it alive or go somewhere where the church is alive.

Dear Father, You have given us life, let that life be vibrant and exuberant for You in our churches, homes and lives. Amen. 

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Seven Churches: Thyatira

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14 KJV
Who wants to be peculiar? Yes, there are those really show off type of people that want to constantly attract attention to themselves, but most of them do grow up. We don’t, for the most part, like to stand out. Yet that is what Jesus has called us to do. We should stand out clearly in a world that mocks holiness. We should stand out clearly in a world that puts self service above serving others. We bear the name of Christ and He stood out. You couldn’t miss Him and the world should not be able to misidentify us.
If Pergamos practiced immorality a little, Thyatira did it in spades. They had a woman preacher who said it was OK, so they lived without restraint. But the Name of Jesus was on them. They bore his brand. They bore it into the mud and muck of sin, not to pull others out but to revel therein. He told that church that He would “kill her children with death”. That means that there were many in that church who used His name that would not be living with Him for eternity. They made a mockery of Christ with false faith and their judgment was sure. Also it did not bode well for their children. How many of us want our children to perish forever. Perhaps what they see in us may make them think that Christ is of no account. Then what?

Dear Father, Let me be always mindful that I bear the Name of Christ and pass the honor of that Name to my own family. Amen. 

  The Friday Benediction
Until Monday, my friends, may the good God envelop you with His grace; may you prove the common confession of faith, “I believe in the holy Christian church and in the fellowship of the saints”, and may you be enriched with joy and hope as you exercise that confession this weekend.  Amen

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Seven Churches: Pergamos

Abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22 NKJV
I hear this from many people today, “Jesus only cares that I believe in Him. He doesn’t care if I am living with my girlfriend. Solomon had many wives and God didn’t care. These rules of old fashioned morality are not for our enlightened generation.” I actually hear that from people in the ministry. If that nonsense makes you fighting mad, you are in the good company of Jesus.
Pergamos was another church which had sound doctrine. They held fast to the Name of Jesus and performed works of love to their community. What they also did, however, was abandon moral purity. Jesus was not pleased. Indeed, Jesus said that if they didn’t repent He would fight against them. That is fighting mad if there ever was. The response I have too often received to my book, Deceived: The Visible Church and the Homosexual Agenda, has been very much as if I were speaking in Pergamos. The church needs the book as certainly as they did in that ancient city. Yes, they rebelled against Christ and He shut them down.

Dear Father, Help us to be aware that You are a holy God and look for holiness in Your people. Amen. 

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Seven Churches: Smyrna

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 KJV
Wouldn’t it be nice to be part of a church where God had nothing bad to say about it? Sadly there are now almost more ex-pastors in this country than active ones. It has become the average for a pastor to stay in the ministry for only five years. That isn’t just at one church but in the ministry period. The Church at Ephesus was wanting before God and was closed. The Church at Smyrna had a better recommendation from Christ.
The church was poor. We look today to have fine buildings at great expense. Many even preach the false doctrine of the prosperity gospel. The church was weak. We seem to think that the church should be the powerhouse in modern politics. The church was sorely abused by the world. We think we should be respected and set above others. But this poor, weak and abused church got an A+ rating from Christ. He had nothing to say against it. Interesting. What He did say to them was simply, “Keep the faith. I have not forgotten you.”

Dear Father, Thank You for the example of the Church at Smyrna. Amen. 

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Seven Churches: Ephesus

He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.” John 2:10 NKJV
Have you ever felt abandoned? It can be very scary. Spouses get abandoned; children get abandoned; animals get abandoned; ideals get abandoned. Something or someone always gets hurt in abandonment. The church at Ephesus experienced this sorrow in a twofold way. Others got hurt and then the Church got hurt.
The Ephesians had a very strong position on sound doctrine. Good for them. It is too often abandoned these days. But they became so obsessed with sound doctrine that they nitpicked on every minor area (Romans 14:1-10) and abandoned the doctrine of love. Jesus had told His disciples that the world would know they were Christians by their love. The church in Ephesus became so centered on total conformity in all doctrine that they left their love for others in the church that didn’t totally conform. Those people were hurt by the rejection. But Christ warned the church not to do that and that if they did He would close them down. We know from history that He did just that. Then they were hurt and the entire city lost one of the greatest of all the early churches. Let us love one another and also encourage one another in sound doctrine. We need both.

Dear Father, Thank You for giving us truth and thank You for giving us love. Help us to be faithful to both. Amen. 

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Monday, August 7, 2017

A Special Promise

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34 NKJV
Our next group of seven things comes from the Book of Revelation. God gives a special promise to those who read this book (Rev. 1:3), but many people become so obsessed with certain particulars that they lose sight of the beautiful truths found in the book. The book is prophetic, but we will not be looking at prophesy. Our look will be at the seven churches found in chapters two and three and how they speak to our church today. We live today, not in the future but in the present. Therefore the Scriptures must speak to us about the present.
In II Corinthians 13 Paul admonishes the people in that church to examine themselves to see if they are really Christians.  In Revelation two and three Jesus challenges the people of five of the seven churches to consider their own walk with Christ and whether it is Christ-like. That is a call for all of us to answer, how and I doing in my walk with Christ today? If I can sort out all the particulars of Revelation’s prophecies, but can’t live like Christ today, what good is it? I trust these seven devotions on the seven churches will be an encouragement to us all toward a more Christ-like walk.
Dear Father, Help me be concerned today about how I live for Christ. Amen

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Friday, August 4, 2017

School Days, School Days

It’s August and time to get back to readin’, ‘ritin’, and ‘rithmatic. New clothes, new pencils, books and backpacks; we wouldn’t dream of not sending our children off to get educated in the 3 R’s. Why those are downright important things that will carry our children into the future where their children will learn that what they are currently learning is no longer true. But, we will still insist that they devote great time and energy to temporary truth. What about eternal truth?
The Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, these are truths that have not changed and will not change forever. We say to our children, “Keep your grades up or you can’t play sports or participate in other extracurricular activities.” This statement compels them to keep their minds toiling away at the grindstone of learning temporary truth, both temporary in the sense that it is always changing and in the sense that it does not carry over into heavenly places. But in a dramatic change of attitude from not too many years past, a time when spiritual truth and biblical knowledge were highly valued, we say to those same children that if they succeed in learning that which will not last, that they can skip out each week on learning that which will last.
We argue that they are only young once and that they should have all the opportunities to explore their talents in many areas, even if exploring them keeps them from Sunday school, church, confirmation, and faithfulness to the teaching of the Word thereafter. What has happened to the spiritual understanding of our adult population? Solomon wrote, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” So, train up a child to consider what he wants to do as being more important than what God wants him to do, and that attitude will carry him or her through life.

Now it’s time for training in the real 3 R’s. Right Truth, Right Knowledge, Right Goals. God’s word is eternal truth. Jesus said, “Thy Word is Truth” (Jn. 17:27) Knowing God’s word is right knowledge “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” (Prov. 1:7) Right goals are to live a life for Christ, not self. “For me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). Our choice is the 3 R’s, temporary or eternal. Choose like Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:15)  

  The Friday Benediction
Until Monday, my friends, may the good God envelop you with His grace; may you prove the common confession of faith, “I believe in the holy Christian church and in the fellowship of the saints”, and may you be enriched with joy and hope as you exercise that confession this weekend.  Amen

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Armor of God: The “Air Power” of Prayer

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints, and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.” Eph 6:18-19 NKJV 
What if we could go over the head of our enemy and hit him in his rear guard? What if we could rain down power from above to help defeat our determined foe? The Bible doesn’t say this is a “what if”, but it is an absolute certainty. Prayer brings power to bear that strengthens our position and weakens our opponent. Paul specifically mentions two kinds of prayer in concluding the armor of God. Neither of them is gimme, gimme, gimme.
Paul admonishes us to pray for our fellow believers who are facing the attacks of Satan. Those who are sick, hurting, troubled, sorrowful, unemployed or any other crisis need in their life. We are to pray for them. God will pour out His power and strengthen them through our prayers. He can weaken the assaults of Satan as well. The other prayer that Paul told us to use was for those who are at the battle front invading enemy territory to take captivity captive. There are many people who are daily trying to rescue the perishing and they need our prayers to give them success in their warfare. God gave us “Air Power” against our foe. We should be using it in defense of our fellow soldiers and in offense against the enemy who would hold captive lost souls.

Dear Father, Thank You for giving us the powerful weapon of prayer. Help us to be diligent in using it for Your glory. Amen. 

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Armor of God: Sword of the Spirit

Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve’.’” Matt 4:10 NKJV
We have played defense long enough. Satan has attacked the truth of God’s word. He has attacked the Righteousness of Christ. He has attacked our feet with the troubles of life. He has stepped up his attack with fiery darts of trials. He has tried to undermine our certainty of our salvation in Jesus Christ. He has attacked and attacked and attacked. God has given us the armor to fend off each and every one of them. He has also given us armor to fight back.
When Satan tempted Jesus, our Savior replied three times, “It is written”. There is a reason that Paul said to “study to show ourselves approved” and that the word of God would make every man fit for good works. The word of God is critical to our Christian life and victory in it. Our assault weapon against Satan is God’s word. Instead of constantly getting beaten on by him, why not send him packing with the promises of God. David said that God’s word was more important than daily food. He said blessed is the man whose meditation is in the word day and night. He said those things by the direct inspiration of God. When Satan attacks we must use all our defensive weapons but not hesitate to pull out the sword of the spirit, the word of God, and have at him with a little offense of our own.

Dear Father, Thank You for Your true and powerful word. Help me to love it and know it better every day. Amen. 

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Armor of God: Helmet of Salvation

“. . . will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:7 NKJV
Paul said, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep [me forever].” John wrote, “These things I have written unto you so that you may know that you have eternal life.” That little word “know” is very important. God gives us a know-so salvation. We are to know that it is so. That means that our minds are to be set securely in His promise of salvation through Jesus Christ. Satan has an easy mark with many people because they don’t know the promises of God concerning their salvation.
The first verse of Scripture many people learn is John 3:16 which ends with these clear words, “but shall have everlasting life.” Satan will try to discredit the truth about Jesus Christ and His life and ministry. He will try to discredit the proven facts of His death and resurrection. He will try to destroy the confidence we have in Him for salvation. We need to have our minds protected from these assaults. These are facts: Jesus lived, Jesus died, Jesus rose again and He gives eternal life to all who believe. We need to repeat these facts over and over again until we can say them in our sleep and thus put on the helmet of salvation.

Dear Father, Thank You for the certainty of salvation to all who believe in Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

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