Twelve Days of Christmas Day Three: The Law

Gift of Gods law

 

Psalm 19:7

“The law of the LORD is perfect and preserves one’s life. The rules set down by the LORD are reliable and impart wisdom to the inexperienced.”

John 1:17

“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ.”

This Christmas, when we think about getting what we want, I am thankful that God in His wisdom does not always give us what we want.  Further, in His mercy, He did not give us what we really deserve – His judgment.

We are all rule breakers in one way or another, often rationalizing our weaknesses away, but God’s righteous standard is held.  He does not leave us in a state of deception, but opens our eyes through His perfect law found in His Word, revealing our sin and need for a Savior.

What a gift – absolute truth – steady, unchanging and Holy in a chaotic relevant world.  In a culture that demands its own way and makes laws to condone its sin, there still stands a righteous standard.

Many feel that this standard set by God steals our freedom and joy, but no greater freedom has anyone than the one who can see his sin that shackles him and can walk away from it.

Even though we could never fulfill God’s commandments perfectly, God in His sovereignty and mercy fulfilled it for us.  His law brought condemnation so we could see our need of Him.

As we visualize ourselves opening these gifts that You have given us, Lord, help us to see Your law at work in our lives and to submit ourselves to Your will in every area of our lives.

 

 

Mundane Monday: A Watchman’s Joy

Ezekiel 4:4-6

“Also for your part lie on your left side and place the iniquity of the house of Israel on it. For the number of days you lie on your side you will bear their iniquity. 5 I have determined that the number of the years of their iniquity are to be the number of days for you–390 days. So bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6 When you have completed these days, then lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah 40 days–I have assigned one day for each year.”

Colossians 3:13

“Bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others.”

Galatians 6:2

“Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Matthew 18:33

“Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?”

This image of Ezekiel, a watchman for Israel, lying on his left side for 390 days then on his right side for 40 additional days, eating exactly 8 ounces of food each day is tortuous.  Even moreso when we consider that he did not deserve such treatment.  It does not make sense to us, but the purposes of God are higher than our own.

We do not like to be inconvenienced in today’s culture.  Our flesh recoils at the idea of suffering for our own actions and the ensuing consequences, but to do so for someone else?  Not something eagerly desired.  Even a child will cry out “not fair” or “it was not my fault” when blamed for an action he did not commit.  This makes sense to us – no one should have to receive unfair judgment.  Still God’s righteous laws demand payment for our unrighteousness.

Ezekiel was a watchman appointed by God Almighty.  He was a covering for the Israelites.  The blood was on his head if he did not warn them, and by suffering symbolically, he, more than anyone, would have a zeal to warn His fellow people after catching a glimpse of what was to come.

This heart for God’s people and for the lost sheep is the very heart of Christ, who willingly chose to bear the iniquity of those who were unable to bear it themselves.  In fact, it was for the “joy” set before Him that He endured the cross.  Wow. Jesus had an unspeakable joy that his actions would deliver the entire world from the grip of sin and the sting of death.

At the height of suffering I have lamented for self, miserable that I have had to bear consequences for another’s actions, but Christ thought of us.  He chose rejection and suffering – I did not.  This revelation reveals the selflessness of Christ and our need to follow in His steps – serving others and considering them above ourselves.  Humbling and freeing at the same time.  We cannot accomplish this on our own, but we can ask God to open our eyes and to work in our stubborn hearts.

He is still calling servants today to be watchmen for His people.   It might be uncomfortable or inconvenient – forcing us to lay down our idol of comfort, but like Ezekiel, God needs humble servants willing to roll up their sleeves and bear iniquities on their knees for others still today.  No, we cannot wipe away the sins of others, but we can stand in the gap, pray and warn people of the devastation of sin.  When the sting of sin’s aftermath and its stigma is fresh in someone’s life, we can stand with them and guide them to God’s Word and the faithful forgiveness and love of Jesus.

Encouragement in the face of a fallen world might be the very catalyst to turn one from repeating the same sin or serve as an example for another to abstain from walking that path of sin at all.  The voice of truth might not be welcome today when absolute truth seems nonexistent, but more than ever the world needs to hear this voice of God’s people, uniting to be watchmen for the glory of God.  The temporary cost might be more than we want to pay, but the rewards are eternal.

Lord, forgive us for being lulled into complacency.  Help us to care for those around us as you do and to be faithful in the calling of watchmen for You.

Intolerable Tolerance

2 Corinthians 11:3-4

11 But I am afraid that just as the serpent deceived Eve by his treacheryyour minds may be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus different from the one we proclaimedor if you receive a different spirit than the one you received, or a different gospel than the one you acceptedyou put up with it well enough!

1 John 4:1

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Matthew 24:4

“And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.”
Ephesians 5:6

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”

One thing that tops the chart for me as something I detest is being lied to.  We can excuse deceptive behavior by calling it a white lie or giving it a righteous spin by saying it protects the one being deceived, but it is far more painful to discover the truth later on than to face the truth from the beginning.

Lies have a way of growing over time and the harm done to the deceived multiplies in intensity, as well.  Deception is evil, yet we can play a role in willingly allow it without noticing and the church can be one of the most affected.

We do not want to be judgmental, but we can be lulled into lies by believing the best in the name of grace – without discernment.  The religion of tolerance has slipped into the church and mouths are silenced by the theme of acceptance to all.  This might at first blush seem exclusive, until we see that there are absolutes in God’s Word.  Living in a relativistic world where anything goes allows evil to thrive silently.

God will grant us wisdom to recognize false doctrines if we ask Him.  Motivation to be purposeful in discernment concerning the newest revelation comes from a desire to maintain a pure devotion to Christ.  To “put up” with false beliefs is to accept them.  Over time the convictions we held can be replaced by whitewashed “enlightened” viewpoints if we aren’t careful to hold on firmly to the true Gospel.

We are not called to be pious, self righteous or judgmental, as we are reminded that we have blind spots, too.  But we are not called to compromise, either, in the name of grace.  Grace is undeserved favor, but it does not placate or permit someone to remain in sin.  Finding balance between abusing grace in the name of liberal freedom and strict adherence to fundamentalism that imposes expectations beyond the written word is challenging, but not impossible.

No one has perfect doctrine, but we all continue to grow in our understanding and relationship with God.  Some beliefs we have held onto need to be debunked if they do not line up with the Word of God and some need to be held onto tenaciously.  God is faithful to speak to us through His Holy Spirit and to guide us into all truth.  We have a choice whether we are going to allow ourselves to be deceived or be like the Bereans, searching out God’s truth.

The church needs to speak the truth with grace.  May we endeavor to do so passionately, but never let go of love in the process.  If the church becomes just like the world in the name of tolerance, we lose our effectiveness and souls, as well.

Lord, forgive us for our lackadaisical compromise.  We are so needful of You to open our eyes to see our own hypocrisy. Wake us up to zealously cling to Your Word and help us to not tolerate sin but to love the sinner.

The Politically Incorrect Jesus

Mark 12:14-15

“When they came they said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful and do not court anyone’s favor, because you show no partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?  But he saw through their hypocrisy and said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.”

John 18:38

“Pilate asked, “What is truth?” When he had said this he went back outside to the Jewish leaders and announced, “I find no basis for an accusation against him.”

Psalm 51:6

“Look, you desire integrity in the inner man; you want me to possess wisdom.”

Proverbs 29:25

“The fear of people becomes a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD will be set on high.”

With flattery they approached Jesus, couching their questions with seeming adoration of Jesus’ reputation of being truthful. He knew their hearts.  He did not seek fame nor popularity with them.  The people who had eyes and ears to understand the truth Christ shared listened with delight.  The ones who were jealous, racked with guilt over their sin or even self righteous – plotted to murder him.

Jesus was not deterred by their mocking one bit.  He did not fear them, either, but longed for them to know the truth and just kept living the perfect life before them.  He was more concerned about their salvation and did not try to utilize “seeker sensitive” means to win their hearts.

Truth accomplishes one of two reactions in those who hear it; it is either received and embraced or infuriates the one who does not want to be convicted by the truth.   It seems truth is an instigator.  We have to do something with it – we cannot hear it and have no response.

As believers in a very politically correct charged society, we have a dilemma.  To be all things to all people does not mean to compromise.  How are we to reach this world when absolute truth is no longer recognized or accepted?  Living a righteous life speaks volumes more than just telling someone else about it.  But what about when we make mistakes?  Even in those moments, we can respond in an honest way and repent and glorify God.  Living in truth does not mean we are perfect, but honesty is refreshing and what this world needs more than politically correct empty words.

We must put forth God’s truth in a manner consistent with the grace that has been given to us and we must not shrink back. There are those who have not yet bowed their knees to the peecee police – may we not drink the Koolaid, either.

Avoiding persecution is not a righteous choice and persecution is certain if we live in accordance with God’s truth.  We will not be understood.  We will be mocked.  Labeled.  Jesus was too.  But the peace that comes from Knowing God, searching out His truth and asking Him to help us walk with Him faithfully far outweighs the hollow, temporary acceptance from fickle man.

Lord, help us to live like You did.  May we recognize truth and settle for nothing less in our personal lives.  May we not try to curry the favor of man by worldly means, nor fear them, but love them and guide them to You – truth personified.

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

2 Thessalonians 2:8-12

… and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy by the breath of his mouth and wipe out by the manifestation of his arrival. 9 The arrival of the lawless one will be by Satan’s working with all kinds of miracles and signs and false wonders, 10 and with every kind of evil deception directed against those who are perishing, because they found no place in their hearts for the truth so as to be saved. 11 Consequently God sends on them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false12 And so all of them who have not believed the truth but have delighted in evil will be condemned

Romans 1:18-25

18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, 19 because what can be known about God is plain to thembecause God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.  24 Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”

The enemy of our souls will one day meet his demise – simply by the LORD’s presence – but not before he launches a vicious campaign, trying to deceive the whole world.  God is so good to warn us of the enemy’s attacks, but mankind can be deaf and blind to them.  We do not have to be surprised; though we will not know the very hour, we can know the season. How is it, then, that people would choose death and destruction?  Why would we ever choose to accept lies instead of God’s truth?  Can we blame the enemy who deceived us?  Eve tried that one, too.  No, we must realize that we are given free will and the opportunity to choose life or death, which are before us.

Some may question our culpability when reading the rest of this passage from Thessalonians.  God influenced them to believe the lies – but not before they first chose to.  They cannot say they did not know, because the passage above in Romans clearly shows how mankind knew the truth and suppressed it.  These verses humble me to walk in the fear of the LORD.  There is nothing in me that would make me right with God, save His grace alone.  I am forever grateful that He chose to open my eyes to understand His Word and to know Him.

The scripture above says that the cause for the people’s perishing is because they “found no place in their hearts for the truth”.  Why was there no place for God in their hearts and what did they make room for in their hearts?  Things that did not matter for eternity; lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and boastful pride of life filled their hearts and minds.  Our hearts, too, can be crowded and burdened with all that beckons to distract us from the One thing needful – a relationship with God.  We must rule our hearts and prepare Him room.  But our very hearts are deceitful – what then (Jeremiah 17:9)?  Where is hope when we are surrounded and occupied by an enemy (our flesh) inside?  It is this very knowledge that can free us.

Knowing the truth about our hearts can set us free.  Placing confidence in God and His word, not our flesh, not our hearts, is making Him room.  Choosing to believe the One Who is truth personified, versus believing the One Who is known as the Master Deceiver, is the path to eternal life.  Seems like a simple choice, right?  But our heart of flesh can be strong and we will often have to go against very persuasive feelings which betray God’s Word.  Although satan’s deceit is powerful to twist the truth, God’s truth is all-powerful to change hearts, and illumine the truth to our eyes.  Today we have a choice set before us . . . make way for the Messiah!

Lord, help us to daily, moment by moment, to seek You first.  May our lives not become too crowded, lest we forget our real life’s purpose – to know You and glorify You.  Our hearts are all laid before You, Master.  Help us to turn others from the path of deception toward an eternal life with You!  Amen.

The Fruit of an Apt Reply

Luke 12:12, 17, 34, 37

12 Now they wanted to arrest him (but they feared the crowd), because they realized that he told this parable against them.  So they left him and went away17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him34 When Jesus saw that he had answered thoughtfully, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Then no one dared any longer to question him37 If David himself calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.

2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction.

Proverbs 2:10

For wisdom will enter your heart, and moral knowledge will be attractive to you.

Our response when we hear truth, even when it hurts, shows the condition of our hearts.  We can choose to ignore it and run away, we can stand in amazement or listen with delight, or be humbled and silent.  I love the feeling I get when truth in God’s word pierces my soul – it is a cleansing, a revealing that sets me free.  It is not condemnation, but a sweet conviction or affirmation that heals my soul.

But what if no one had ever been willing to share truths with me that might hurt initially, but ultimately would liberate my soul?  I thank God for people who loved me enough to share a fitting word, whether it was for my edification or instructional, which bore fruit and brought glory to God.  We are called to follow Christ’s example and to speak the truth in love.  Of course Jesus is perfect and His answer will always be perfect, holy and fitting.  We can get off track and forget why we have to be prepared at all times to share God’s word.  Paying it forward, some call it – Scripture says that just as we have received, so we should give.  Not just material belongings, but the deep spiritual truths that we have been entrusted with.  It is not just a defense of the Gospel for knowledge sake, no, it is a fervent desire to share God’s love with another and set them free from the bondage of sin.

If I have this deposit from God contained in this clay vessel and forget the mission I am on, I can get puffed up with this knowledge which was given to change me to be more like Him and to serve and help heal others.  We desperately need truth – we need our eyes to be opened to the constant deceit satan is dispensing.  We do not need enablers who will flatter, nor do we need condescending judgmentalism.  We need to be prepared at all times and sensitive to God’s leading to share God’s message to one another.

The greatest commandment – to love the LORD our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength – propels us to fulfill the second greatest commandment – to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.  Sometimes that love takes action by providing for a need, and other times by speaking an apt word to another soul loved by God.  May we be ready to do both.

Lord, help us too be led by You in our busy lives, to study Your word and share it with a dying world.

Not Our Home

Photo Credits  jlhaughton.blogspot.com

Photo Credits jlhaughton.blogspot.com

Ephesians 4:1

“I, therefore, the prisoner for the LORD, urge you to live worthily of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  22 You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires.  23 To be renewed in the spirit of your mind.  24  And to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.  Therefore, having laid aside falsehood, each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.  27  Do not give the devil an opportunity.”

Ephesians 5:11, 15-17

Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  15 Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise.  16 Taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  17 For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise by understanding what the LORD’s will is.

Imagine walking out your door in the morning to find everyone speaking a language you don’t understand.  As you go about your day, you notice you do not have much in common with all those around you.  You have a choice to make: will you try to be like them, or choose to be different?  Such was a similar scene in the sci-fi thriller, “The Bodysnatchers” which terrified me as a child.  Every person’s souls were snatched away, one by one, replaced by look-alikes who had no soul, no god.  The panic was tangible – being the only one still with a soul, running into friends who were no longer who you thought they were.  So it is today.

The native tongue today is lies.  Flattery and white lies are uttered throughout the land.  Even more bold, outright falsehood and slander permeate our society.  If you speak the truth, it is not perceived or understood. Blinded by political correctness and dressed-up “truth”, we each swallow the daily dose and march to the drum we are told to march to – or not.  When I was first saved, my eyes were opened that I had been “bodysnatched” before, not really living at all.  Once I knew God and His truth, suddenly the world around me seemed odd.  Walking into a grocery store, I had never before been bothered by magazines with ungodly images, but now my heart felt differently.  I was a citizen here in the United States, but also simultaneously a citizen of Heaven.

Such talk might sound strange to the unredeemed, but to those who have tasted and seen that the LORD is good, there is nothing this world has to offer that could ever come close to what God has given.  Striving for self glorification is replaced with dying to self, serving others and glorifying God.  Talking about others is substituted with praying for others.  Former desires, which were once carnal and worldly, are now saturated with a desire to please God.

Oh, but if we could just stay there.  I fear that the bodysnatchers have returned to deceive the elect – if that were possible.  Once saved, we can begin to grow comfortable in our new culture and begin to adapt to a new blend – Christian hallmarks, with a touch of the world to be “relevant”.  Once we have been redeemed, we can’t forget the cost for that redemption.  We need to be vigilant to place reminders all around us, lest we grow lukewarm.  God help us to not acquiesce to the culture around us, slowly being numbed to the evil all around, which is sometimes dressed up to look righteous.

Lord, no one is good, no not one.  We all stumble in so many ways and each of us has gone astray.  Strengthen your bride, LORD.  Please help us to not compromise in this day and age and boldly live for You, no matter what the cost.  Our cost could never compare to Yours, LORD.  Thank You for paying the ultimate price for our salvation – may we cherish that sacrifice and live worthy of that payment!

Which Way is Right?

Proverbs 16:2

“All a person’s ways seem right in his own opinion, but the LORD evaluates the motives.”

Psalm 81:12

“I gave them over to their stubborn desires; they did what seemed right to them.”

Here we are again on Thoughtful Thursday.  I am so grateful for the wisdom God gives us in His Word.  Reading the book of Proverbs is like drinking refreshing water for the soul.  Today I was struck by the verses above, one from Proverbs and one from the Psalms.  Evaluating truth has become very complex today – determining what is right is almost considered being judgmental – in truth, we stumble over its simplicity.

Who is right today?  So many differing political and religious opinions – how can we know truth?  It is an age old question that Pilate asked Jesus in John 18:28, “What is truth?”  Pressed by all those who were claiming many falsehoods about Christ, Pilate knew that Christ embodied the truth – He was truth personified – and yet Pilate caved and acquiesced to the voices that were louder.  The people wanted an insurrectionist, a murderer, a terrorist, if you will, released – Barabbas – not God.  Not truth, but a lie.  Claiming innocence, he still did not lead according to truth, but according to peer pressure.  Sound familiar?

Left to our own devices, we are easily led astray, too – that is the natural drift.  We think so many thoughts in a day, I cannot fathom counting them all, yet God knows each and every one.  Amazing.  God can reveal our inner heart if we ask Him to help us recognize our hidden motives.   Running our thoughts through the filter of God’s Word and through prayer helps us to discern whether our thinking is godly and right.  Only He can evaluate our thoughts accurately and justly – we lack the objectiveness and sincerity.  Top that off with the reality that our own hearts within us are deceitful.  Bummer.  But laying down our agendas again and again, surrendering our way to His Word is a great start and lifestyle.

We have all heard the WWJD phrase, and I believe it was helpful, at first.  But complacency and rationalization often keep me lulled into a sense of “I’m ok”, and excusing myself based on my intentions rather than my actions.  I can whitewash any motive and sanctify it with nice religious sounding terms, but the Holy Spirit nudges me – do I listen?  Sometimes I just want to rest.  I want to feel like I have arrived.  But we dare not look back from the plow and cease our laboring in Christ – it will be worth it all.

God does grant us rest in Him, but we must saturate our minds in His Word to ascribe toward the mind of Christ.  Our flesh is always ready to offer an easier road, but it is a deceitful one.  Cling to God and His Word today.  Read when you don’t want to.  Do hard things and run hard after God.  God promises to give us wisdom if we cry out – He alone can reveal if the path we are on is right. Unlike Pilate, let us not be sidetracked by the multitude of opinions or political correctness.  Like Pilate, let us recognize that only Christ was truth and the source of discerning truth.  He still is today.  Recognizing Christ as LORD and truth is not the same as living that truth out in relationship.  Keep living the truth and put truth out there – lest any goodness remaining in this world become engulfed with lies.

Lord, please open up our eyes to see Your truth.  Help us to boldly proclaim your truth and not cave in to the fear of man.  God help us and have mercy on us!

 

Tolerance?

tolerance

2 Corinthians 11:3-4; 14-15
“But I am afraid that just as the serpent deceived Eve by his treachery, your minds may be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus different from the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the one you received, or a different Gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it well enough. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will correspond to their actions.”

Today is marked by an atmosphere of tolerance. We are not politically or religiously correct if we dare to believe that there is truly one way. Now I am not speaking about different denominations, as people can have varying convictions, and there are certainly differing freedoms we can have in Christ, as well. But there is one faith that is truly acceptable by God, and that, the Christian faith.

Yes, today the knees are bowed to tolerance and the irony is that if you are a Christian or believe firmly in the One true God, you are deemed intolerant and not tolerated, either. Who originated this message? The chief deceiver from of old, and it has been widely accepted. But somewhere a simple voice of reason cuts through the madness if we listen. If we are attentive, we can hear wisdom’s call to earlier times where we are reminded of honest days in which people were not told their belief system had to be sanitized with the religious system of the day. In fact, our very nation was founded on the principle that the church should be separated from the state – not so the church could not affect the government, but so the government could not force a particular religion. But time marches on and intentions are forgotten.

Do we enjoy one ice cream flavor more than another? Intolerant. Do we prefer one subject in school more than another? Intolerant. I am speaking foolishly here, but it is acceptable to have preferences when it comes to seemingly unimportant things. But ought it not to be significantly more important to have preferences over eternally important matters? Do we believe that there can be an absolute truth? Intolerant and not relevant. Perhaps we do not understand the definition of tolerance. God help us.

So what do we do about all these other religions in the world? Many have been around for a long time – God exposed them in the Bible. We are told that we should accept all religions. Tolerating one’s belief system is one thing, but promoting or endorsing it is another thing. Having an absolute belief is labeled “judgmental” often in today’s society, too, like we cannot have a firm belief in one religion. Sad. Where is the wisdom in that? Abraham was the first to put aside the polytheistic faith of his predecessors. People probably thought he was judgmental, too, but Abraham was the beginning of the formation of the apple of God’s eye – Israel, and ultimately the salvation of all mankind. I’ll follow that God.

We must be discerning today and students of God’s Word on the watch for faulty beliefs that can take us captive. The enemy is cunning, but if we know God’s word we can refute lies and walk in truth. We need to embrace our faith and love this world – not judge it – only God is the Righteous Judge. But we must put forth God’s truth out there – Christ died for that and gave us this never-ending task to do. May our mouths not be shut because people are uncomfortable with truth, but may we share God’s truth in a way that shows people their need of this truly amazing grace that God has brought to all people. The world is counting on us – may the church wake up from her stupor and open her doors to shed God’s light.

Lord, the world is in turmoil and needs you more now than ever. So many faith alternatives beckon people away from you and to no real hope. Please have mercy on us and open people’s eyes to see You – the One true God. Help us to be faithful and true to You and Your Word, Lord. May we not lose our reward and forget that we are on a mission here – all for Your glory!