Nuggets – Our Adversary, the Devil

Our Adversary, the Devil
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8

This grave warning concerning the devil was given not only to young Christians, easily subject to temptations, but also to “the elders which are among you” (v. 1). It often seems, in fact, that Satan’s greatest victories are won when he can cause the fall of a Christian leader, thereby not only destroying that leader’s influence for Christ, but also giving “great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme” (2 Samuel 12:14). The devil is a roaring lion, but he doesn’t come as such. If he did, the intended victim would flee.

He is, above all, the one “which deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9), “transformed into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). As he did with Mother Eve, the “subtle” one will insidiously appeal to our pride, or our aesthetic sense, or our appetite, or our desire for material things.

Peter could speak from bitter experience. Satan had desired to “sift you as wheat,” Jesus had told him, but he foolishly boasted that he would stand true (Luke 22:31-34).

No wonder Peter could warn with such urgency: “Be sober, be vigilant.” Note particularly that, in the context, he is especially warning against greed (1 Peter 5:2) and pride (vv. 5-6). We must not allow Satan to “get an advantage of us,” Paul says, “for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). Though Satan is deceptive and powerful, we need never fall to his tempting if we simply—along with staying sober and vigilant—“submit [ourselves] therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

 

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Nuggets – The Mind of Christ

The Mind of Christ
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16

The mind of the natural man is “a reprobate mind” (Romans 1:28), a “carnal mind” (Romans 8:7), and a “defiled” mind (Titus 1:15), characterized by a daily walk “in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:17-18).

When a person is born again through faith in Christ, however, he should be “transformed by the renewing of [his] mind” (Romans 12:2) and should henceforth seek to conform to the mind of Christ in every attitude and every decision.

But what is the mind of Christ? As our text says: “Who hath known the mind of the Lord?” Paul echoed the same question to the Romans: “For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor?” (Romans 11:34).

There are many aspects to His infinite mind, of course, but the key is undoubtedly the great attribute of sacrificial love. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who . . . became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-6, 8).

Thus, following His example, we should “in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” (Philippians 2:3). We should constantly “consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest [we] be wearied and faint in [our] minds” (Hebrews 12:3). We should receive “the word with all readiness of mind” and serve “the Lord with all humility of mind” (Acts 17:11; 20:19). Herein is the mind of Christ. HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

 

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Strong and courageous: Joshua 1

Lord we lack courage which only You and Your Word can give. Help us along as Your higher hands are leading us. Amen.

Bible in a Year Blog

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“How do I find the courage to do the things I know God wants me to do?”

Many times we know God’s will but lack the conviction to carry it out. It takes courage in the face of opposition, or perceived danger, or in light of drastic changes we must make to our way of living. Joshua needed courage to undertake the invasion of the Promised Land, and here’s how God undergirded his courage.

The Need for Courage

“Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.”

Joshua’s mission was leading the Israelites as they took over the Promised Land. He needed to be strong in order to inspire his people. You and I may not be national or military leaders, but we are on a mission for God. We need strength and bravery to step…

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WHICH WAY IS UP ?

Stories well told give lessons galore, stories untold leave lessons unlearnt.

Grandpa's Stories for Young Boys

“Jack and Jill went up the hill

to fetch a pail of water

Jack fell down and broke his crown

And, Jill came tumbling after.

Some story, Huh? The problem is; that too many stories are just as exciting. Try this on today’s youngster!  We as adults can appreciate the predicament …. but, it’s hard to understand the whole process of just how these incidents happened. Or why, for that matter.

As writers and story tellers (and this would be all of us) we are told that if we use enough commanding adjectives, we can pull the reader into the story…..perhaps even a metaphor or two would garner attention.

How then might we make a successful story out of the above? Here’s a thought;

Jack and Jill were soon to be married. Their dream was to have a beautiful home of their own, and it was about to happen,  as…

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Nuggets – How to Know the Truth

How to Know the Truth
“If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (John 7:17

The apostle Paul, in his last epistle, wrote about certain philosophers who would be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). In the next verse, Paul makes it clear why such people, no matter how scholarly or well educated they seem to be, are still incapable of accepting real truth. “So do these also resist the truth,” he says (v. 8). They could not learn the truth because they were not willing to believe or obey the truth when they learned it. For example, a very vexing controversy among modern Christians is whether or not the Genesis account of six-day creation can be so interpreted as to accommodate the billion-year, geological-age system of Earth history.

Perhaps the difficulty, in this as well as in other such doctrinal controversies, is a basic unwillingness to believe doctrines plainly revealed in God’s Word when they conflict with doctrines based solely on human reasoning. When the Lord Jesus spoke the words of our text, He was speaking to arrogant religionists who regarded Him as nothing but an itinerant preacher, rejecting His teachings, even though they knew these teachings were fully biblical.

His rebuke of these hypocrites is truly a timeless criterion for recognizing God’s truth and knowing His will. Such a heart does not try to twist God’s Word to accommodate a human philosophy, nor does it try to accommodate one’s personal will by persuading himself that it is God’s will. God’s will is always consistent with God’s Word, which is written to be easily understood by anyone who is willing to believe His Word and do His will. HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – Sinning Against the Lord

Sinning Against the Lord
“And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD  also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.” (2 Samuel 12:13

A basic truth is expressed in this confession of David’s: Every sin—not only the sin of blasphemy or of unbelief—is essentially a sin against the Lord and His nature of absolute righteousness.

This does not mean, of course, that sin hurts no one except God. In David’s case, his sin resulted in the murder of a faithful soldier, Uriah; the implication of Bathsheba in David’s adultery; and then the death of his infant son. It probably also contributed to the subsequent sins of two other sons of David, Amnon and Absalom. Furthermore, as Nathan said, it had “given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme” (v. 14).

Nevertheless, it was, above all else, a sin against God. God had chosen David as king and had blessed him abundantly, yet David was not content and elected to make his own decisions in rebellion against the will of God and the Word of God. But when he was made to realize, by Nathan, what he had done, he immediately repented of his sin, and thereby received forgiveness.

God, in His grace, has made a wonderful provision for forgiveness and restoration because “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Therefore, “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7, 9).

Confession must be specific and sincere, of course, not general and superficial, to be effective. But if this is done, then we can exclaim joyfully with David: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered,” because he first, as he said, “acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid” (Psalm 32:1, 5). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

 

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Nuggets – The Great Commission

The Great Commission
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

The so-called “great commission” of the Lord to His disciples is found in somewhat different form in each of the four gospels and in still another form in the first chapter of Acts. To get the full message of the commission, all five must be analyzed and organized together.

The most familiar statement is in Mark 16:15 above. This was in the upper room and must have followed the words recorded by John: “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21).

The commission was then further defined as recorded in Luke 24:47-48: “That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.”

Still later, on a mountain in Galilee, He told the disciples (literally): “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Not only were they to preach the saving gospel, implemented by true repentance unto remission of sins, based on His death, burial, and resurrection (Luke 24:46), but then to “disciple” people, baptize them, and indoctrinate them in all His teachings.

Finally, just before His ascension, He summarized the commission once again: “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Above all, we are to go and to witness to all people in all places, as God enables. HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Grace in a pair of shoes: Deuteronomy 29

God is good all the time.

Bible in a Year Blog

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“Can God bless me even after I disobey?”

If you struggle with an image of God as an unforgiving master, then I’ve got a word for you: shoes. Every time you see a pair of shoes, I want you to think of the grace of God. My reason for recommending this reminder goes back to the wilderness wanderings of the children of Israel. Because of their faithlessness and disobedience, an entire generation lost their privilege to enter the Promised Land, yet God did not leave them destitute. Instead he blessed them with miraculous grace.

Yet the LORD says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.” Deuteronomy 29:5

God didn’t limit the blessing of the shoes and clothing to the children of the disobedient parents. He blessed the whole tribe of Israelites. It’s an excellent…

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Deeper in debt: Deuteronomy 28

Father. help us to turn our eyes on Jesus so that the things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. May ourdesire be to please You.

Bible in a Year Blog

budget-ceiling

(As of the end of 2018 the US national debt stood at over $21 trillion)

Today’s reading: Deuteronomy 28-29.

America’s debt keeps piling up so quickly that our minds can’t comprehend it. Our politicians seem powerless to address the problem. Right now the federal government owes over 17 trillion dollars, a debt of 150,000 dollars for each U.S. taxpayer. The deficit for 2018 alone was 779 billion dollars, which means we are not only failing to address the outstanding debt but falling behind by over three quarters of a trillion dollars each year. The yearly interest on the debt is 364 billion dollars.

The Israelites stand on two mountains to the east of Canaan as they prepare to enter the land. One mountain, Gerazim, is the mountain of blessing. From Gerazim God proclaims all the blessings that will come to pass if the people obey him. Look at the blessings…

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(No) Fear of the Lord: Deuteronomy 25

In His Presence we are more certain to do what’s right. Without acknowledging His Presence we are apt to please self or the devil.

Bible in a Year Blog

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Today’s reading: Deuteronomy 24-27.

One morning in seventh grade I went to the school library to get a book. As I walked through the door, I barely missed stepping on an open ink pad on the floor. I picked it up and put it where no one else would step on it. At the same time two older boys came out of the stacks and told me to put the ink pad back. It turns out they had put the pad on the floor to see who would track ink through the library. I refused to put the ink back on the floor and left.

I don’t believe I had decided to follow Jesus as Lord at that time. In other words, I wasn’t a Christian, though I had grown up in church. What prompted me to do the right thing then? I believe it was respect or fear of…

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