Being Found A Liar

Clarity comes to the Christian life when we become “hearers and doers” of the Word. The Bible has been described as the manual for life, or “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” All the issues of life can be addressed in the Bible, some very obvious and some not so obvious. Nevertheless, my worldview must be grounded in Biblical principles if I am going to leave a truthful life:

“Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:6)

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Prison or Passion

sunday school“A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.” H. L. Mencken

“This Sunday School has been of help to me, greater perhaps than any other force in my Christian life, and I can ask no better things for you than that you, and all that shall come after you in this great band of workers for Christ, shall receive the same measure of blessedness which I have been permitted to have.” John D. Rockefeller

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Others Must Follow Them

Leaving the churchChurch authority can be a touchy subject nowadays with the “Me” centric society in which we live. We grudgingly or willfully place ourselves under authority everyday. We obey laws, we pay our taxes, and we obey our employers, even if we disagree with them. Why? We do so because of the negative consequences of our disobedience.

However, when it comes to church authority too many Christians act like church trout swimming from one church to another until they find the “perfect” church. WARNING! If you do find a perfect church whatever you do, don’t walk in! You’ll make it imperfect.

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We Live To Fight Another Day

DeterminationLast night Karen and I had the privilege of spending election night with Dean and Jan Young and many of his loyal supporters. Dean came up short in his bid for Congress, but as he said, “The whole world took notice because we took on the GOP Establishment and scared them.” Many of his supporters were obviously disappointed and determined not to vote for Bradley Byrne because of the dishonorable campaign he ran.

What I was most proud of my friends Dean and Jan is there is no bitterness in their hearts, just a steeled resolve to honor the Lord Jesus Christ with their words and deeds. Dean told the press that he would not support Byrne because of the blatant and knowing lies he told about Dean. Byrne accused Dean of stealing money from Christians and putting it in his pocket. When Byrne was proved to be lying, he refused to retract his charges and apologize. Instead he dug in his heels. Dean told the press that Byrne would reap what he had sown.

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My Hope Is In The Truth

True, False Road SignA dear brother-in-Christ of mine is running for public office and his good name is being smeared by his opponent. What is truly sad is his opponent claims to be a Christian conservative, and yet is knowingly lying about my friend. This is after he has been called on his lie by factcheck.org and my friend has clearly disputed the charges with detailed facts. Karen and I had to sit through these libelous ads against our friend while watching the World Series.

As I went to bed, the Lord comforted me with His truth found only in His Word:

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Divine Favor

prayer-for-divine-favour-of-godDivine favor is another word for God’s grace. Unfortunately when you do a web search for “divine favor,” some disturbing things come up. The first three websites have to do with gaming, magic and witchcraft. Mixed in and out of the choices is an occasional reference to God and Jesus. Such is the state of the world.

When you look at the state of our union, many words have been published as to its ills and the remedies to aright this ship called America. However, every remedy offered presupposes a righteous and virtuous people. So if the key ingredient to returning America back to her original founding is righteousness, should we not turn to the Bible for the answer? Indeed we should!

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You Have No Choice

Counted-Worthy-For-His-NameOne of my favorite chapters in the New Testament is 2 Timothy 3, and as our pastor was reading it, I read again for the first time a verse that somehow has escaped my notice. I think it may be that I so often concentrate on the first nine verses that warns of perilous times and perilous men that I miss the rest of the chapter.

However, verse 12 raised up off the page of my Bible yesterday and smacked me in the face. It is a verse that can be easily overlooked either purposefully or unwittingly. Nevertheless, we must dissect it:

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Trusting In God

trusting god 2I am an author who loves books and the written word. I love being able to use words that form sentences, bringing coherent thought and provoking conversation. So books have always been a very important resource to me. It is in reading from which most of my education and wisdom come. No greater book exists in my library than my Bible.

    “He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.” (Proverbs 16:20)

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Growing In Spiritual Maturity

Spiritual GrowthIf I am to be a healthy member of the Body of Christ, then as like a member of the human body, I must grow and mature as does the rest of my body. Imagine my right hand not growing in harmony with the rest of my body, stunted and tiny compared to the rest of me. It would be a strange sight indeed to have my right hand half the size of my left hand.

Perhaps my stunted growth could be attributed to my diet. If I’m still eating baby food and drinking formula at age 3, then obviously my diet needs to change. So it is for the spiritually immature:

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Fulfilling God’s Design

God's DesignGrowing and maturing in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ is an important task that Christians too often overlook. I can’t tell you how many Christians I know who are saved and satisfied with their “get out of hell” card. When we are saved, the indwelling Holy Spirit brings with Him gifts of grace from our Lord meant for the building of God’s kingdom:

    “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ephesians 4:7)

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Hope In God

HOPE-IN-GODYesterday I was delighted to receive a call from a wonderful couple in Missouri whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through a political organization of which I am a member. The Nolands are two of the godliest Christian patriots I know and have dedicated their entire lives to living holy lives and defending our constitutional republic. Judge Janice Noland is passionate about politics and seeing that only men and women of character serve the public.

As we were speaking on the state of our union, Judge Noland ask me, “What can we do about all of this mess?” That’s a good question. Normally I like to start at the root of the problem but I think we need to look at everything from God’s point of view.

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The Very Same Grace

Sufficient GraceDid you ever think you were too bad for God to save? That’s actually a good place to be because you are now ready to receive the grace of God. Last time we talked about the scandal of grace. To receive unmerited favor, getting something you do not deserve, defies human logic. However we can not apply human logic to heavenly love. The chorus from a Rhett Walker Band song titled “Brother” sums up grace nicely:

Brother don’t you know
No one’s too high to fall
No one’s strong enough to make their own way
Brother don’t you know
We’re all just beggars and thieves
In need of the very same grace
The very same grace

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The Scandal Of Grace

Scandal of GraceGrace can almost be considered scandalous. In fact, Hillsong United has a new song out with the same title as this devotional. The Random House Dictionary defines scandal as “a disgraceful or discreditable action, circumstance, etc.; an offense caused by a fault or misdeed; damage to reputation; public disgrace; defamatory talk; malicious gossip; a person whose conduct brings disgrace or offense.”

I want to concentrate on that last definition: “a person whose conduct brings disgrace or offense.” It is said that our Lord Jesus Christ offended many a religious person in His time. He brought disgrace upon them for their burdensome system of works of righteousness when all the while it was grace that would save them. Even in the Old Testament system of sacrifices, one would have to put his or her faith in the grace and mercy of God.

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Never Less Than Adequate

Jer 29-11Sometimes we look around at our circumstances and we become nostalgic for the old days. As I wrote to a young lady feeling nostalgic, “Nostalgia can be fun for an evening of ‘remember when’s.’ However, when we look back, we do so to see from where we’ve come. Then we look forward to see where The Lord is taking us.”

The Babylonian captives no doubt had constant feelings of nostalgia, longing for their beloved Jerusalem and the days of Solomon’s temple. In Jeremiah 29 we find the prophet writing a letter to them exhorting them to build houses relying on the promise that God would rescue them after 70 years. Many a Christian’s life verse is Jeremiah 29:11, but it is wrapped around some heavenly nuggets:

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Creating A Sense Of Guilt And Need

guilty conscienceI received a response to my last devotional “Examining Our Consciences” and I thought it was worthy of sharing. The respondent wrote, “Thanks be to my LORD for my conscience for what would I be and where would I be and where would I be headed???” I knew I was going to write about this and I meditated on it a couple of days. The answer to my dear brother’s questions is, we…the church…would be where it is today.

Last night Bro Pete shared a powerful message on being a church member and he gave very alarming statistics and the sum total of the statistics is that the American church is in decline because the number of believers are declining. If memory serves me right, the Builder Generation, those born in the early 20th Century, sixty-percent were born again believers. The Millennial Generation, born between 1908-2000, the number of born again believers drops to under 20%. This explains a lot.

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Examining Our Consciences

bible-magnifying-glassOne of the greatest ways to protect our consciences is to salve it in pragmatism. We believe because something will work that is it a righteous act. Far too often the opposite is the truth. The late, great lion of the faith Adrian Rogers once said in a sermon that, “It is high time we stop asking will it work and start asking is it right?” Amen Brother Rogers!

We think because we do good that what we do God will bless. God will not bless if we do not do what He wants us to do:

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Probing The Consciences Of Men

Human brain glowing lateral viewI praise God for the preaching at my church, Midway Baptist in Gulf Breeze, Florida. In fact, the preaching at my church is an answer to prayer. I have been praying for years that God would raise up Holy Ghost fired-up preachers across America to quicken the souls of men and women. The Lord has blessed our church with the example of what I have been desiring for our nation; men who will preach the gospel unapologetically and unashamedly.

So while I am thankful for our ministry staff, my heart is broken over the multitudes of namby-pamby preachers bringing feel good messages from the NTFV (New Touchy-Feely Version) Bibles to the itching ears of consumer “Christians.” However, I also know that there is a remnant of preachers adhering to the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to Timothy:

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A Desire For Self-Realization

it's all about meWhat do God’s promises mean to you? Or rather, what effects on your spiritual life, your prayer life, and your everyday workaday life do God’s promises have? Maybe you’ve never thought about that or it has been some time since you last meditated on God’s promises. Many a book has been written on God’s promises, but our Lord Jesus Christ literally wrote the book on them:

    “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:9-13)

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Seeking The Welfare Of Men’s Souls

Love-One-AnotherLast night I had the most amazing and enjoyable dream I’ve had in years. I’m not allowed to share it with you for a number of reasons. One is that I’m still trying to remember the details of it. I pray God will give me great remembrance of it. Secondly, I believe God gave this dream to me as a possible future work of fiction. He knows that has always been a great desire of mine (see Psalm 37:4); to create a work of Christian fiction. However what is clear is that He wanted me to share about His great protection, providence, and provision.

A dear friend of mine is going through a very rough time right now; emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I talked with him for about 30 minutes yesterday afternoon trying to bring him encouragement and hope. What my dream reminded me is that in the midst of a seemingly hopeless situation, Christ shows up a performs a miracle in our lives. I remembered the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand:

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Ignoring The Differences

holiness 1 Peter 2-9Looking at the four reasons found in 1 Peter 2:9 on why we are to praise God, the third reminds us that we, God’s people, are a holy nation that should continually seek holiness:

    “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…” (1 Peter 2:9)

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