Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Some Not-So-Subtle Sermon Suggestions - Steve Schmutzer - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8652
According to a recent "Twitter survey," the average length of a sermon anymore is about 36 minutes. I said "average." That means roughly half of the sermons every Sunday are shorter than that. It's fast food for the frenzied flock.
I suppose I could be persuaded to accept those parameters more if those 36 minutes were filled with substance and pith. You know - the "chewy stuff." I need those elements that make me think, that convict me, that expand my view of God, that shake me to my core, that nourish my faith, that compel an honest look in the mirror, and that reinforce truth "I can hang my hat on."
I'm talking about meat!
Does anyone else see this situation the same way I do? I'm concerned that more congregants share my views than the average pastor or teacher.
In a curated and published list of the top 50 sermon themes of all time from "Sharefaith Magazine," the milk rises to the top nearly every time. Yes, I admit this is my opinion, but I know many others that feel the same way I do. In this list, the most popular sermon themes camp on topics like peace, hope, parenting, love, community, thankfulness, joy, tithing, direction, forgiveness, marriage, and so on and so on.
Don't get me wrong - these themes have their place. But a diet of devotionals hardly pulls off the achievements of sermons like "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" by Jonathan Edwards, or "Old Time Religion" by Billy Sunday.
I understand not everyone can preach like those guys did, but the bigger problem here is our aversion to talking about "sin" or (gasp!) calling God "angry." Neither theme showed up on the top 50 list. As far as anything "old time" is concerned, that's definitely not seeker-friendly. The church needs to be forward-thinking to be attractive to the unsaved - right? It's no surprise "old time" wasn't part of the top 50 hits either.
These dilemmas might be resolved if more pastors and teachers preached from the Old Testament more. It's in the first half of the Bible that some of the other attributes of God show up that we hardly talk about anymore. I thank God for His grace - but the cross shouldn't change our need for a comprehensive Biblical view of God. The cross changes how God views us!
Unfortunately, according to the top 50, it looks like Psalms and Proverbs are the mainstays for those few times that sermons dipped their toe into the pool of the Old Testament. These books conform better to the cliché wall-plaque vignettes of truth we pop like pills whenever life gives us a spiritual headache.
The truth is our obsession with the Gospel has become seriously misguided. It has effectively vaccinated the church against properly handling the greater body of Biblical truth. Most church leaders forget that the Gospel's roots are in the Old Testament, and as a result, they are short-circuiting the Scriptures.
When John the Baptist said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29), that good news was based on centuries of Old Testament rituals. Paul said he was "....set apart for the Gospel of God which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (Romans 1:1-2). These passages are clear references to the Old Testament which is the basis of how the Gospel played out "according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3-5).
It's my growing conviction that today's pastors and teachers need to look to the example of yesterday's church leaders like Peter and Paul to see how they handled their sermon topics. Human nature hasn't changed from then to now, and the results of this exercise would surprise most seminary graduates today.
Acts chapter 2 is regarded as the start of the church - and rapidly, both Jews and Gentiles became a part of it. This was no casual development since it went against all the social mores of the day. Perhaps a good idea for the first sermon for this new church would have been something about "Christian Community," or maybe "How to Love Your Enemies."
But Peter chose prophecy instead. That's right - that "fringe stuff," that "non-essential" part of God's Word according to so many "Christians" today.
Keep in mind this was the start of all of church history. The church was brand new and it had all kinds of needs at that point, so why talk about "the day of the Lord?" The Bible outlines that Peter stood up, filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4), and preached a rock-solid sermon on Biblical prophecy from the Old Testament (Joel 2:28-32).
Much could be said about "why" Peter chose this approach, and apart from the basic reason that it was Holy Spirit-inspired, here are two important thoughts to consider:
First of all, a chief goal of Peter was to call people to repentance. In the vernacular of today's church, "It's all about the Gospel." Well - it was then too.
So Peter preached on the coming judgments of Jesus Christ! He taught his listeners the prophecies of the Tribulation and he revealed God's forthcoming wrath on an unrepentant world. It was Peter's version of "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," and his sermon included the texts of prophecy as he reminded them of their need for salvation.
Secondly, Peter reminded his audience of God's covenant relationship with Israel. Joel is a distinctly Jewish book and Peter used it to underscore God's unilateral and unconditional commitment to the Jews. Since Gentiles, too, were coming to faith, Peter employed prophecy to remind the Jews that God would keep His covenant commitments to His chosen people.
It's a sad and despicable fact that many people within the church today subscribe to the belief that God's emphasis is now only on the church, that God has somehow moved beyond the Jews, and that the promises to Israel are now intended for the church.
None of that is true! It was the prophetic Word of God that corrected that sort of thinking in Peter's time, and it is the straightforward preaching of the prophetic Scriptures that continues to remedy those errors today.
Another example of how the prophetic Scriptures impacted a "new church" is seen in comparing the texts of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. The new church in Thessalonica was anywhere from a few weeks to a few months old. They were every bit "babes in the faith."
When Paul taught these new believers in the Thessalonian church, he didn't feed them the pabulum of socially-acceptable "devotionals" the way most pastors and teachers feed their flocks today. Paul fed them real meat. This was stuff they might choke on as meat can do, but it was real food.
If you compare the content of 2 Thessalonians against the backdrop of 1 Thessalonians, you will find Paul emphasized the doctrines of the end times. This is the stuff we call "eschatology." This is the prophetic portion of Scripture that many in the church today mock (2 Peter 3:3-4).
The early church of Thessalonica may have been very young, and Paul did not have much time with them, but he used that time to teach them about the antichrist, the Day of the Lord, the Rapture, and the second coming of Jesus Christ. Like Peter did at the start of the church age, Paul emphasized the prophetic Word of God during the early phases of the Thessalonian church. Paul was concerned for their spiritual health and well-being, and it gave these believers a foundation against apostasy (see 2 Thess. 2:5).
Peter used the prophetic Scriptures to preach repentance and to affirm the character and promises of God. Paul used prophecy to correct wrong doctrines and to encourage the young believers in their faith.
All things considered, the prophetic Scripture provide immense value to anyone who is sincere about growing in their faith. So let me offer some not-so-subtle suggestions for sermon themes which would directly serve to "....equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ" (Eph. 4:12).
How about a sermon series on the various texts of the Rapture? Be sure to include the Old Testament types of how God rescued the faithful from prescribed judgment. Do a series on "the days of Noah" and drill down into the provocative question, "Why did Jesus recall this specific time in history as a reference point for His second coming?" (Matt. 25:31-33, Luke 17:26-27).
An excellent sermon series would present the personal benefits of studying Biblical prophecy - and you already have some hints for that here. A most eye-opening sermon series would study the role of Israel in the end times, and a much-needed emphasis from the pulpit would outline why the church and Israel are two different entities.
If an expository approach is more your style, take a deep dive into Romans chapters 9-11, and don't be tempted to take a non-literal approach! That's an easy escape from the truth. For a topical angle, consider studying the theme of the Nephilim from Genesis to Revelation. Believe me, it's there, and it explains so much about why certain things in the Bible are presented the way they are.
There are so many options for teaching and preaching the prophetic Word of God, and people are hungry to hear what is coming and what God has planned. The theme of Biblical prophecy endures as a vital part of God's revelation to His church today just as it was in earlier times. Churches which discount it are willfully suppressing God's best intentions for us.
Are we inching our way towards the fulfillment of Zechariah 12? - Olivier Melnick - http://www.newantisemitism.com/antisemitism/are-we-inching-our-way-towards-the-fulfillment-of-zechariah-12
Jerusalem has been at the very center of religious, historical and geopolitical tensions for a long time. With the recent move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it seems that fuel has once again been added to the fire already consuming the Palestinians with humiliation, or so would the media like us to believe. Some countries have welcomed the US embassy move and some have even announced their subsequent moves in the next few weeks. Honduras, Paraguay, Guatemala, the Czech Republic and Romania have all announced their plans to move forward with a relocation. While much of the world sees this as a defiant move, Israel welcomes the decisions of the few international friends she has. There will be more.
The move of the US embassy, had it been in any other country on the planet would have garnered no interest from anybody. Generally speaking, people don't care where an embassy is located and they agree that it should be in the capital of each respective country. When the capital is Jerusalem, and its legitimacy is questioned, a move becomes a thorn in the flesh of political correctness. The locating or relocating of an embassy really shouldn't be newsworthy, but it seems that lately, anytime Israel or Jerusalem is mentioned, the world gets on edge.
If nothing else, moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem shows that this current administration supports Israel AND recognizes Jerusalem as its capital, something that previous US administrations had alluded to at best. The United Nations General Assembly voted 128-9 (35 abstentions) in favor of condemning the upcoming move, even though US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Hailey vowed that the United States would remember those who voted against the move. This was done in the form of an attempt at rendering the "Trump decision" null and void. The 9 countries that voted against it were: Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo and the US.
Then came the move to Jerusalem. President Trump chose the symbolic date of May 14, 2018, since Israel was declared a modern nation on May 14, 1948. Palestinian Authority and its close supporters declared that the move was counterproductive to any peace efforts. Simultaneously, Hamas tried to breach the Gaza/Israel border. These people flew kites with explosives over the border and sent terrorists mixed with civilians to cross to Israel. As it turned out, over 75% of the people killed at the border were terrorists. The days leading to the move to Jerusalem were supposed to be the "Palestinian March of Return" coinciding with the date of May 14th, considered by Palestinians as the Nakba or "catastrophe." The results of the border breach attempt were far from what Hamas expected. There seems to be a "Palestinian narrative fatigue" going around, but don't worry, the contempt for Israel will return before we know it. How is THIS helping with the peace effort?
As always, the media was extremely helpful in painting a picture promoting and vindicating a false narrative. The National Catholic Reporter boldly wrote that "Emboldened by embassy move, Israel unleashes on Palestinians." making Israel sound like a murderous state killing harmless peaceful protesters. CNN reported, "The US opens new embassy in Jerusalem as dozens are killed in Gaza." The article goes on to demonize Israel AND doesn't show one picture of Palestinian terrorism. It only shows people looking desperate and trying to defend themselves, which is a far cry from reality. A few websites have the integrity to properly report the facts. One such outfit is honestreporting.com and they produced several short videos clearly exposing the lies of Hamas, and the denial of the media.
The 128 countries that drafted a resolution to render the decision to move the embassy "null and void," are enemies of Israel and are not looking for peace in the Middle East. They have become co-conspirators of Hamas. While the resolution from the UN does not carry very much weight on the international scene an will likely not lead to a reversal of the embassy move, it is a symptom of something much deeper; it shows the world's opinion on Israel. Over 75% of the countries of the world are ready to render the move null and void. They have spoken loud and clear, and the 35 that abstained, have spoken by their silence.
There is an interesting prophecy in the Jewish Scriptures found in the prophet Zechariah 12:1-9. In it, we are told that at some point in future history, the whole world will turn against Israel. "Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah...."It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.
Bible students know that to be true. The day is coming when the whole world will turn against Jerusalem. 128 countries out of 193 is definitely a move in that direction. Somehow, even America will turn against Israel. We understand that even if a country corporately declares its hatred of Israel and the Jewish people, people of good faith do not have to follow suit. During the 30s and 40s, there were people who helped, protected and hid many Jews such as my mother. They were not Jewish, they risked their own lives and took no money to do so. Today, they are known as "Yad Vashem Righteous Gentiles" or "Gentiles Among the Nations." All seems to indicate that the world is in need of a second generation of "Righteous Gentiles," and they exist, I have met some of them.
We are indeed a lot closer to a fulfillment of Zechariah 12, but we must be humbly reminded of the end of that story in verse 9 "And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."
God will indeed have the final word!
Iran's Fingerprints All Over Gaza Rocket Campaign Against Israel - Aaron Klein - http://www.breitbart.com/author/aaron-klein/
The sudden, massive barrage of potentially deadly rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip is a transparent attempt by Iran to utilize its Gaza proxies to advance Iran's own aims inside Syria.
Notably, the attacks from Gaza were reportedly carried out in large part by the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, which could not possibly have launched a rocket campaign of that magnitude against the Jewish state without a greenlight from their controllers in Tehran. Hamas took joint responsibility for the attacks, but according to numerous sources, Gaza's Islamist rulers were not the ringleaders.
The rare barrage saw an estimated 180 projectiles fired into Israel within 24 hours, including mass produced Iranian shells that the Israel Defense Forces say were smuggled into Gaza. One of the rockets hit an Israeli kindergarten before schoolkids were due to arrive.
The Jerusalem Post reported on the extent of the attacks:
Three soldiers and several civilians were wounded by the Gazan salvos and evacuated to a hospital. One soldier was moderately wounded in his legs, while the other two sustained light injuries, the army said.
Earlier in the day, a man was lightly wounded in the head by mortar-shell fragments. Another man in Sderot suffered bruises while running for shelter, and another two suffered from shock. One Israeli was lightly wounded by the morning mortar barrage and was taken to Soroka-University Medical Center in Beersheba in light condition with a shrapnel wound to his hand.
At least 25 mortars from the barrages launched in the morning were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile-defense system, the IDF said. Several others struck open areas.
Israel struck back by targeting dozens of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror installations in Gaza. An Egypt-brokered ceasefire appeared to have taken effect by Wednesday evening in Israel.
Islamic Jihad initially claimed the barrage was "revenge" for the IDF's elimination of three of its terrorists who were killed while attempting a border attack earlier this week. Putting aside the distorted logic of "revenge" for an attack that Islamic Jihad itself initiated, the Iran-backed terrorist group's excuse simply doesn't fly. The sheer volume of the projectile attacks - the largest volley since the 2014 Israel-Gaza War - was too great for a tit-for-tat "revenge" exchange. The purpose was pure escalation.
IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis pointed a finger at Iran while stopping short of directly blaming the mullahs. "The Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization is a terrorist organization that is based on Iranian ideology and funding, and today it used Iranian-made weapons," he said.
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, the former director-general of Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry and former chief of the research division in Military Intelligence, went further, saying the attacks were "encouraged by the Iranians."
There can be little doubt that the attacks were directed by Iran, which stands to gain the most from the attacks. It is in the strategic interests of Hamas to avoid a larger confrontation with the IDF. Hamas, which has reportedly been attempting for months to secure a long-term ceasefire, cannot afford another costly war with Israel. Already the terrorist organization is teetering on the brink after its border riots failed to achieve much, and there is widespread and growing anger in Gaza over the territory's all but collapsed economy. However, since Hamas is cash-strapped and needs Iranian patronage, it wouldn't dare oppose Iran's short-term designs to heat up Israel's southern border.
Iran has been humiliated and strategically devastated by Israel's repeated strikes against Iran-run military bases in Syria, and has been feeling the pressure.
Today, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is on his way to Moscow amid widespread reports that Israel and Russia are finalizing a deal that would see Iran-backed forces removed from the area of Israel's border with Syria. If the deal is finalized, Iran would lose its foothold along the border, positions that have been the source of one of Tehran's main threats against the Jewish state. Iran could be using the Gaza card as a pressure point to secure more from the negotiations.
Iran has been suffering on other fronts. One report claimed that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has restricted the Iranian military from using the regime's air force hangers for fear of further Israeli strikes. Regardless of the accuracy of that report, the Iranians are clearly desperate to secure their remaining positions in Syria following scores of major Israeli bombing raids.
The IDF released satellite photos showing the devastation its warplanes wreaked on Iranian bases during the bombing campaign earlier this month that marked the largest IDF action inside Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. This after Iranian forces in Syria fired a volley of around 20 rockets aimed at IDF positions on the Golan Heights - the first time Iran was accused of directly rocketing Israel.
There have since been more airstrikes in Syria attributed to Israel targeting Iran-run bases. The volleys started after Iran brazenly dispatched an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) into Israeli territory in February before it was quickly shot down by the Israeli military. An IDF investigation revealed the Iranian drone, sent from the Iran-run T-4 airbase in Syria, was carrying explosives and seemingly deployed to attack an Israeli target.
Iran doesn't want more Israeli bombardments in Syria, so it must be careful not to provoke another fierce response. Instead, Iran seems to be acting to divert Israel's attention to the Gaza Strip. It is likely heating up the southern border, perhaps even briefly, as both retaliation and a signal to Israel that Iranian proxies can be turned on at will. For now.
Apostasy, Then And Now - By Grant Phillips -
Apostasy as defined by Merriam-Webster is: an act of refusing to continue to follow, obey, or recognize a religious faith; abandonment of a previous loyalty.
"Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion." (Jude 11 emphasis mine)
As early as the first century, apostasy was already creeping into the Church. Paul, James, Peter, John and Jude all address this cancerous growth that was trying to eat away at the true Gospel. Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote a very short letter, but it really packs a punch. I am only going to use verse eleven, but all twenty-five verses should be read.
Apostasy actually began with Satan in the Garden of Eden when he successfully seduced Eve to believe his lie against God's truth. From Adam and Eve to Jude's day this baby (apostasy) grew into a monster. Satan has had many years to improve his technique and increase his lies. From Jude to today, this monster has grown even more and is seducing millions away from the true Gospel.
The carriers of apostasy are said by Jude to go the way of Cain, rush to profit as in Balaam's error, and will be destroyed as in Korah's rebellion.
WAY OF CAIN
In Genesis chapter four we find the historical account of Cain.
Genesis 3:21 tells us that God made a covering for Adam and Eve to hide their nakedness. This covering, from an animal(s) that God sacrificed, denoted His righteousness covering them so they could be presentable to be in His presence. This sacrificial system was passed down by Adam and Eve to their children.
Both Cain and Abel knew they were to present a blood sacrifice before God. Cain refused and then became jealous when God accepted his brother's sacrifice and refused his. This sinful attitude resulted in Cain murdering his brother Abel.
Adam and Eve explained to their children that because of their sin, they must present a sacrifice before God. They explained that they, their children, their children's children and all their progeny would be required to offer a sacrifice for their sins until God provides the final sacrifice for all mankind (Genesis 3:15, John 3:16). They all knew that:
Despite knowing this, Cain depended on his own works, denied his sins and the blood redemption that is required to be cleansed. He rejected faith and accepted religion instead without the bloody sacrifice.
Those in apostasy today do the same.
Is Cain's rejection of God's blood sacrifice any different than what is being proclaimed today about the cross? Many in the so-called church crowd today deny the cross, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, any need for repentance, and any thought of judgment. Let's just get together, have a salad, a meal, sing some modern praise me songs and pat each other on the back, say they.
This is the way of Cain and it is apostate.
ERROR OF BALAAM
The elders of Moab and Midian were afraid Israel would consume their land after they witnessed what Israel had done to the Amorites. Beginning in Numbers 22 God gives us the historical account of Balaam being urged by Balak (king of the Moabites) to pronounce a curse upon Israel.
At first Balaam could only pronounce blessings, but finally he told Balak to introduce the daughters of Moab to Israel. The beautiful daughters of Moab would marry the sons of Israel and destroy Israel from within.
Jude calls this the "error" of Balaam. Balaam knows that God is righteous, and assumes God must curse Israel. He also assumes God must punish sin and sinners cannot be forgiven. He thinks he has come up with a way for God to do the "dirty work" without him being directly involved. Let God pronounce the curse, he thinks.
Over in 2 Peter 2:15, Peter labels it the "way" of Balaam. Peter is describing Balaam as a profiteer seeking to make money from God's gift. If you could number the fleas on a dogs back, you could probably have an idea of the number of apostate scammers that have fleeced mankind. Your television (among other sources) provides a daily dosage of these Balaam type apostates.
Revelation 2:14 mentions the "doctrine" of Balaam in that he taught Balak how to corrupt Israel.
So here again Jude rightly defines apostates with the likeness of Balaam who depicts God as without mercy and only out to harm mankind.
REBELLION OF KORAH
In Numbers chapter 16 Korah (a Levite) along with 250 of Israel's finest, rose up against Moses and Aaron. They were power hungry.
God had placed Moses and Aaron in charge of leading Israel. Korah and this large group of power seekers saw something they wanted ... power. They forgot though that the power was not of Moses and Aaron, but from God. So they said in effect, "We're taking over." God said, "No you're not." For their rebellion they were swallowed up by the earth and dropped alive into hell.
They rebelled against God's authority, and that was their fatal mistake.
Way of Cain: The apostate rejects faith. His religion, whatever it may be, overrides anything God says.
Error of Balaam: The apostate does not believe that a holy God would actually provide a way of forgiveness through His Son.
Rebellion of Korah: The apostate rebels against God's authority.
So there you have it. The apostate:
This is a very condensed synopsis of what Jude was saying in this one powerful verse, but I'm sure you understand his warning against apostates. Nothing but lies drip from their tongues. The mother of these lies comes from the mouth of Lucifer as he whispered in Eve's ear, "Hath God said?"
The Bible is clear that in the last days apostasy is one sign among many that the Lord's return is near. Apostasy today is off the charts, and I can't imagine how full-blown it will become during the Tribulation prior to Christ's return.
How do I defend myself against apostasy? How do I know what is true and what is false? There is only one sure-fired way. Get in the Bible. Study God's Word as we should be doing anyway (2 Timothy 2:15) and ask Him to teach you.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot: To unsubscribe or not to unsubscribe - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Lately, I have noticed a trend among some Daily Jot readers. There are certain hot-button topics that people claiming to be Christian do not want to read about. Among them are socialism and religion, the Millennial generation challenges, Israel and God's people, Christianity supporting ungodly issues. There are issues that churches across America are willing to soft sell or wink at rather than deal with from a scriptural perspective. They don't want to lose people due to offense. Just like people may know what is written in the Daily Jot is true, just as they know the scriptures are true, but they would rather disengage or unsubscribe than look the issue in the mirror.
If you are a follower of Christ, the Messiah, then you know his promise. The entire Bible is given to us as the word of God, as is Jesus Christ. In Christ is our salvation and in the Bible is instruction on how we are to work out our salvation here on earth. Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, "And fear not them who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." The promise of eternal life, knowing the end game so to speak, should give us all the confidence to speak boldly as we ought to speak and having done all, to stand. Jesus said in Matthew 24:6 that ...see that you are not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet."
Isaiah 54:17 says, "No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, says the LORD." Likewise, Isaiah 33:14-16 says, "The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness has surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walks righteously, and speaks uprightly; he that despises the gain of oppressions, that keeps his hands from the holding of bribes, that stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the fortresses of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure."
As the LORD says, your heritage--your prophetic place--is in his righteousness and it is you who shall have a place of defense in the fortress of rocks, dwelling on high with bread and water. Do not be overwhelmed by the things of this world. We are exhorted in Romans 12:21 to, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Let's not sit around ignoring what is unrighteous, but rather seize our place in the righteousness of the LORD. We don't have to be enslaved by the oppression of the world. We can stand in that gap, be that royal priesthood. We were not put here on earth to live in a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. So after doing all, we stand. Or...we can merely unsubscribe.
Daily Devotion: From Generation to Generation
- By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you." -Genesis 17:7
Through the years I've seen a lot of drama played out in real time in many lives. I've seen what happens to men and women who get married, stay married, and work on having a strong marriage and raising their children in the way of the Lord. Then their children have children, followed by great-grandchildren. I have seen what ultimately happens when God's truth is passed on from generation to generation.
God said, "Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you" (Exodus 20:12 NLT).
In the original language, the word used here for honor means "to give weight." In other words, "Give weight to your parents." As you are being raised by your parents, they will say things that you don't like, such as "Do you think that I have a money tree somewhere?" and "When I was your age, you don't know the sacrifices I had to make." Then there is my favorite parental saying: "Because I said so."
Sometimes we may look at God's laws, standards, and absolutes and say, "I struggle with that. I don't know about that. How can I know it is true?"
Yet God is simply saying, "You know it's true because I said so."
God is the source of truth. God is truth. So if God says it is true, then it is true. You may agree with it, or you may disagree with it. You may not fully understand it, but that doesn't change what it is. I think it will all sort itself out in Heaven. Let's just take God's word.
Every family has its challenge and its tragedies. But in the end we'll see the results of passing on His truth from generation to generation.
FROM THE HEART
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Bakersfield, CA 93384-0516