Purified Hope

Purified HopeOne of our greatest challenges of Christianity is the discipline of waiting on God. It’s been said that God’s timing is perfect, it’s just three days late for us. Now that may bring a wry smile of agreement to your face, but think about its truth. We do not like to wait, even if it is God upon whom we are waiting. And yet the Bible clearly instructs us to wait on our gracious Father:

    “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)

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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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You Are My Hope

God my hopeThis morning I began reading the five psalms for the day and I couldn’t get past the first six verses of Psalm 71. Today many people are living without hope and that is because they have placed all their hope in man, primarily themselves. The Psalmist tells us we are to look to the God who is the Rock of our salvation:

    “In You, O Lord, I put my trust; let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; incline Your ear to me, and save me. Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.” (Psalm 71:1-6)

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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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Free From All Obscurity And Error

Mirror ReflectionIf I was asked to sum up in one word the one thing that cripples most Christians’ walk with the Lord, I would have to say immaturity. I am speaking of spiritual immaturity that comes from not growing in Christ. We are expected to grow daily in our walk with the Lord, everyday learning something new about Jesus and ourselves. It is never cute to see an adult act or talk as a child, neither is it to see a Christian who should be spiritually mature acts as a spiritual child:

    “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)

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The Abiding Consciousness Of God

Not aloneWhat do you think about during the day? More importantly, when you become stressed, what are your initial thoughts and reactions? Whatever our minds are conditioned to think about will always be our initial thoughts. Whether or not we dwell upon them is a matter of Christian discipline and maturity.

So it would seem that if we conditioned our minds to dwell upon God, then our initial thoughts would logically turn to our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Living The Simple Life

SimplicityHave you ever heard someone complain that life is just too complicated to figure out? I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said that to me. Even in my worst days, figuring out life was never hard for me. If life was complicated for me it was because I had done it to myself. Thankfully God made me a simple man; one who sees all of life in black and white, and right or wrong. I have always known that my decisions have affected my life. I didn’t always put that knowledge to good use and that is because I was lacking godly wisdom.

A simple life is one of the wonderful gifts we receive from the grace of God. In his second letter to the Corinthian church, Paul wrote:

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Reaping Righteousness

Reaping What You SowThroughout my involvement in politics, particularly in the last six years, I’ve met many a patriot who believes we can return our nation back to its greatness. There is one problem though. Many of these people do not want to deal with the “social issues” and want to concentrate mainly on fiscal issues primarily, and then national security secondly. There is one problem with that; it won’t work the way they envision it. In fact, it’s already been tried (is being tried) and it always fails.

Why is that? Because to reap righteousness, you must sow righteousness. We learned in church last Wednesday of the principle of righteousness. Bro Pete explained that “righteousness is doing what is right in the sight of the Lord.” He gave the Old Testament example of building and keeping a legacy through the lives of King Jehoash (Joash), his son King Amaziah, and his grandson King Uzziah:

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When Good Men Die

waiting-on-godEvil seems to be winning and it is definitely on the rise. What used to be shameful is today just the ordinary. We shake our heads in disbelief and disgust and wonder what has become of our nation. The late Adrian Rogers once put it best; our nation has lost its ability to blush.

And evil is becoming more and more bold as was evidenced last week in Austin, Texas where abortion supporters were singing praises to Satan to mock Christians. This may be a surprise to some, but this is not something new:

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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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