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Do They Know The Truth?

Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge.” (Proverbs 19:25)

Children learn by example. Today’s verse tells us that we can teach the simple by rebuking those who scoff.

What does that mean? It means that a child who is carefree and careless who is simple needs to be taught the truth. He or she needs to see sin exposed and to see the fruit of sin. In Proverbs 21:11, the same thing is taught: “When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise”

Do you know the worst thing that could happen to your child? It would be for your child to live in a society in which sin is embraced and to never see the consequences of sin. As parents and spiritual leaders, one of our jobs is to make sure that those we are given influence over understand the consequences of sin.

  • What are some ways the consequences of sin are not shown in our society? (Think of TV, movies, etc.)
  • Why is it important to know the truth about the consequences of sin?

This week, take time to lovingly remind someone you influence of the consequences of sin, despite what the world may display.

Four Principles For Victory – Part 2

“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”(Galatians 5:17)

In this spiritual battle against the world, the devil, and the flesh, we can oftentimes be our own biggest enemies. In Exodus 17, God called the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and led them through the wilderness toward Canaan.

Reading this story as Christians, we see Egypt represents the world, Pharaoh the devil, and Canaan the victorious life. There are four principles of victory found in this passage. Yesterday, we looked at one, God’s gracious provision, and two, His grand purpose. 

Third, we must respect the grievous problem. (See Galatians 5:17.) As the Amalekites came against the Israelites in their weakest moments, the flesh will come up against us in our journey to the “promised land.” 

Finally, we must remember the glorious principle: Victory is God-given. We overcome the flesh by the power of God. Holiness is not the way to Christ; Christ is the way to holiness. When you take the rod of God, which is the Word, the Power, and the Spirit of God, and hold it high, you will see victory.

  • Where do you currently feel the pull of your flesh?
  • How might you pursue God and His Word to fight against the flesh?

Take practical steps in the fight against your flesh today. Spend time in the Word and prayer, trusting God for victory over the world, the devil, and the flesh.

Four Principles To Victory – Part 1

“Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”Exodus 17:6)

In this spiritual battle against the world, the devil, and the flesh, we can oftentimes be our own biggest enemies. In Exodus 17, God called the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and led them through the wilderness toward Canaan.

Reading this story as Christians, we see Egypt represents the world, Pharaoh the devil, and Canaan the victorious life. There are four principles of victory found in this passage.

First, we must receive a gracious provision. In Exodus 17, the Israelites were in the barren land, dying of thirst. God instructed Moses to strike a rock with his rod, and when he did, water gushed from the rock. This is a glorious illustration of our salvation. Jesus, the rock of ages, was smitten for us. And the blood and water that flowed from His side represent the Holy Spirit.

Second, we must realize God’s grand purpose. God’s plan for His people was not merely that they come out of Egypt and go into the wilderness of Sinai. God’s plan for His people was that they go into the land of Canaan. God brought them out that He might bring them in. Many of us have been brought out of the world, but we’ve never experienced the victory of Canaan. But God has brought us out to bring us in.

  • Where can you recognize God’s gracious provision in your life? How is Christ the ultimate provision for every Christian?
  • Where do you question God’s purpose in your life? How is Exodus 17 an encouragement in this area?

Read Exodus 17 today and take time to recognize God’s provision and purpose in this account.

Men, Lead Your Wives

“But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”(1 Corinthians 11:3)

A husband is to be to his wife what Jesus is to the Church. Now this is not for her punishment; it is for her protection. Just as God the Son is under God the Father in the Holy Trinity, the woman is under the man in God’s scheme of things. This does not mean inferiority.

If you know Bible theology, you know that Jesus Christ is co-equal, co-eternal with God the Father. Because God the Father is the head of Christ the Son, it does not mean that Christ the Son is inferior to God the Father. Likewise, no woman is inferior to a man. Galatians 3:28 says: “For there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond or free, there’s neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (KJV). We’re all one in Christ. But still, God has given this line of responsibility in the home.

  • How might you have thought wrongly about the biblical definition of submission in the home in the past?
  • What would your home look like if each member lived according to God’s line of responsibility?

If you are a married man, what can you do this week to show care for your wife, as Christ has loved the Church? If you are a married woman, how might you better submit to your husband as Jesus demonstrated submission to the Father?

The Value Of A Godly Home

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”(Proverbs 31:28)

What we need to understand is that it is not business, it is not education, it is not recreation, it is not government, it is not the Church, but the home that is the basic unit of everything and, therefore, all of the artillery of Hell is leveled against the home.

As they get older, kids are being asked the question: What are you going to be? What are you going to do? Many of them feel that they have to achieve something more than living as a godly spouse or a parent to be successful and not be considered a failure or waste. But that is not a waste. That is the highest, deepest, sweetest, fullest, most meaningful thing to have a godly Christian home.

  • Where have you been convinced that you have to do more than faithfully follow the Lord to be successful?
  • Where might you need to reprioritize your life to give greater focus to faithfully living for the Lord each day?

List some ways Christians are successful before God that may not be considered successful to the world.

Evaluate What Matters

esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” (Hebrews 11:26)

On the one hand, Moses had the reproach of Christ; on the other hand, the treasures of Egypt, and he evaluated which was greater. Now Moses, through the teaching of his parents, came to see that the riches of Christ the treasures of Christ were greater than the riches of Egypt. The word here is “esteemed.” The word esteemed is a bookkeeping term.

Moses was balancing the ledger. What he saw was this: the glories of the future would outweigh the pleasures of the present. He saw that to be a child of God was greater than to be a grandchild of Pharaoh. He saw that it was better to have favor with the King of kings than with the King of Egypt. Moses got his values straight. That is so important for our children. We must teach our children how to evaluate as Moses did. 

  • How often do you take time to compare the promises of Christ with the offers of the world?
  • Why are the promises of God always better than the things of the world, no matter our current circumstances?

Make a list comparing the promises of God with the things of the world. Take time to meditate on the lasting promises of God that far surpass the temporal things of the world.

Darkness At Noon

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. 
Luke 23:44-45 

When Jesus was born, there was a bright light at night (Luke 2:8-14). When Jesus died, there was darkness at noon. Even the sun hid its face from the terrible suffering of the Son of God. Jesus’ suffering was not only physical but, more deeply, spiritual. Even though his pain was indescribable, from the flogging and torture he endured to the excruciating agony of crucifixion, Jesus’ greatest suffering was that he was separated from the Father and subjected to the torments of hell.

Jesus became a curse for us. Our transgressions lay fully on him. The ugliness of our sin covered him with shame and pain. The crushing weight of our iniquities was cast on him. Because he was made to be sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), the law demanded his death, for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

In the darkness of that day, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, and Jesus opened for us “a new and living way” to God (Hebrews 10:20). Through his death we are reconnected with God.

On the cross, Jesus opened for us the door to heaven!

Father, the darkness that inhabited my heart has been dispelled by your light. The glory of your majesty has filled my soul with the presence of Jesus. In him I give thanks! Amen.

Seeing God At Work

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.”(1 Corinthians 12:13)

The motivating power of Jesus’ body is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is to be the life of the Church. Without the Holy Spirit, there is no power in the Church! There is a difference between an organism and an organization. The Church is organized, but it is not an organization; it is an organism. An organization does not necessarily have life. There are so many wonderful organizations, but none like the Church. The life of God is to be in us.

Granted, you can get a group of people together, get a beautiful building, get a man who can speak well, get them organized around some causes, and call it a church, but it may not be the Lord’s Church. It may be a wonderful organization. But there’s a distinct difference when the Spirit of Almighty God is working and moving among His people. There is a spiritual dynamic in the Church. Just as my human spirit is the life of my body that is motivating me right now, the Holy Spirit of God is the life of the Church. There is a song that says, “All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down.” The Church is not a corporation with Jesus as the president. It is a body with Jesus as the head.

  • How have you seen the Holy Spirit at work in your church?
  • When have you seen the Holy Spirit alive in other members of your church?

Pray for your church and ask God to make His Holy Spirit alive in your local church body.

Do You Obey The Truth?

But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:26-27)

There was a theater that was packed full of people who came to hear a great actor. The manager of the theater came to him just before he was to step on the stage and said, “We have an emergency. A fire has broken out in the wings of the theater, and we don’t want the people to stampede. We would like you to go out and tell the people that the theater is on fire but keep the crowd under control and ask them to leave quietly and politely and nobody’s life will be in danger.” When this great actor stepped on the platform, they applauded. He held up his hands to stop the applause, and he said, “Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention. I have a serious announcement to make, and I want you to listen very carefully.” He said, “There’s no cause for panic. Everything is under control. But I have been informed that a small fire has broken out in the wings of this theater, and so it is important for our safety that we rise from our seats and carefully leave the building. There’s enough time for everyone to leave in order.” The audience responded with, “Bravo, bravo.” They thought it was a part of the act. “No,” he said, “ladies and gentlemen, this is not a part of the act. There’s a fire. It is important that you leave the auditorium now.” Again they said, “Bravo, that’s even better.” Now with the tears streaming down his cheeks, he said, “You must go.” But they continued on, “Yes, wonderful, wonderful.” 

So many times we sit in church and hear truth that way, as if the preacher is some actor and this is some form of entertainment, but we do not act upon that truth. Jesus said when we hear truth but do not obey the truth we’re like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand. And the storms are coming. We must hear and obey the truth. 

Act in obedience with the truth God has revealed to you today.

Being Needy For Jesus

And he answered and said to Him, ‘Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.’”(Mark 10:20)

Mark 10 tells the sad story of the rich young ruler who, when given the opportunity to follow Jesus, turned away. This story offers four insights to help avoid striking out at the opportunity to follow Christ.

First, proud men at their best are sinners at their worst.

This man in Mark 10 was quite proud of his achievements; he was eager, full of strength and the vigor of youth. Outwardly, he was morally clean; he knew the commandments and had kept them in his youth. But Jesus taught him things he didn’t expect: the young ruler, in himself, was not good, and also, Jesus Himself is God. 

Second, God’s perfect law condemns man’s sinful pride.

God is a holy God with holy laws; the purpose of the law is to show us our need for Christ. God’s grace means nothing to us until we first see ourselves as sinners in the sight of a holy God. When a person has been wounded by God’s law, then he or she is ready for the healing balm of salvation.

  • Have you been deceived to believe that you can be good in God’s sight?
  • How does recognizing our own sin make God’s grace more precious to us?

Beginning with Jesus’ sacrifice on your behalf, make a list of ways God has shown you His grace despite your sinfulness.

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