Tag Archives: wickedness

Joyce Meyer – Love One Another

 

[Let your] love be sincere . . . hate what is evil [loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness], but hold fast to that which is good. Love one another with brotherly affection…giving precedence and showing honor to one another. – Romans 12:9-10

As a Christian, you are to have sincere love—God’s kind of love. God doesn’t always love the way people act or the things they do, but He always loves them as people. God calls you to that same kind of love. You don’t have to like everything someone does—in fact you are told to turn from wickedness—but it is your Christian responsibility to follow the example of Christ. When you recognize that everyone is God’s creation, it is easier to obey His command to love and honor them.

You must have a loving attitude toward people, an attitude that is filled with mercy, kindness, and sincere love. This doesn’t always come easy, but God will provide the strength you need to show His kind of love to others.

Alistair Begg – Hate Sin

 

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Psalm 45:7

“Be angry and do not sin.”1 There can hardly be goodness in a man if he is not angered by sin; he who loves truth must hate every false way. How our Lord Jesus hated it when the temptation came! Three times it assailed Him in different forms, but He responded with, “Be gone, Satan.” He hated it in others, no less fervently by showing His hatred often more in tears of pity than in words of rebuke; yet what language could be more stern, more Elijah-like, than such words as, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers.”

He hated wickedness so much that He bled to wound it to the heart; He died that it might die; He was buried that He might bury it in His tomb; and He rose that He might forever trample it beneath His feet. Christ is in the Gospel, and that Gospel is opposed to wickedness in every shape. Wickedness arrays itself in fine clothes and imitates the language of holiness; but the precepts of Jesus, like His famous scourge of small cords, chase it out of the temple and will not tolerate it in the church.

So, too, in the heart where Jesus reigns, what a war is waged between Christ and Satan! And when our Redeemer shall come to be our Judge, those thundering words, “Depart from me, you cursed” that are, indeed, but a prolongation of His life-teaching concerning sin shall manifest His abhorrence of iniquity. As warm as His love is to sinners, so hot is His hatred of sin; as perfect as is His righteousness, so complete shall be the destruction of every form of wickedness. Glorious champion of right, and destroyer of wrong, for this cause God has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.

1) Ephesians 4:26

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

Presidential Prayer Team; C.P. – Mercy Plea

 

God is not a stone idol. He sees, hears and speaks. He looks upon the good and the bad done on Earth. Like He saw the evil in Noah’s time, He sees the wickedness in present times as well. Jesus said His return will happen in days similar to those of Noah (Matthew 24:37).

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth.

Genesis 6:5

Everyone sins and falls short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), so He provided the gift of righteousness in Christ (Ephesians 2:4-6). Those who put their trust in Jesus are forgiven, cleansed, and have the hope of eternal life (Acts 10:43, I John 1:9, John 3:16). Yet everyone’s actions will be judged; though their works may perish, their souls will live.

The word “sin” is rarely used now because so much of what the Bible describes as sin has become acceptable and even encouraged. Pray for God to have mercy on this nation and to cause a great spiritual revival among this country’s citizens and leaders. Then thank God for your salvation and set your heart to do the good works He has called you to do (Ephesians 2:10).

Recommended Reading: I Corinthians 3:10-17

Joyce Meyer – Four Principles for Successful Daily Living

Joyce meyer

For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good—whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit). Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace . . . and seek it eagerly. . . . —1 Peter 3:10–11

I enjoy just reading over this passage and soaking up the power from its principles for successful daily living. It gives four specific principles for those who want to enjoy life:

1. Keep your tongue free from evil. God’s Word states clearly, the power of life and death is in the mouth. We can bring blessing or misery into our lives with our words. When we speak rashly we often get into arguments, so choose your words carefully.

2. Turn away from wickedness. We must take action to remove ourselves from wickedness or from a wicked environment. The action we must take could mean altering our friendships; it could even mean loneliness for a period of time. But you can always trust God to be with you.

3. Do right. The decision to do right must follow the decision to stop doing wrong. Both are definite choices. Repentance is twofold; it requires turning away from sin and turning to righteousness.

4. Search for peace. Notice that we must search for it, pursue it, and go after it. We cannot merely desire peace without any accompanying action, but we must desire peace with action. We need to search for peace in our relationship with God and with others.

When I started living by these principles, not only did my relationships improve, but so did my health, my attitude, and all areas of my life. The same will be true for you.

Trust in Him Which of these four principles do you need to work on the most? Focus on one area at a time, and trust God to give you the power for a breakthrough so that you can enjoy your everyday life.

 

Charles Stanley – How to Survive a Satanic Attack

Charles Stanley

Ephesians 6:12-13

When we hear the word war, we think of physical combat with armored vehicles, soldiers in uniform, and deadly weapons. Yet there is a spiritual war going on around us that is just as dangerous—one we often ignore or fail to understand. We have a powerful opponent working against us. In fact, the Lord calls him “the god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4) because he is the source of evil and wickedness in our world. To overcome Satan’s attacks, we must first recognize that he is a real adversary. Then we need to hold our ground against him. To stand firm, we have to dress for battle.

Wear the belt of truth. Because of who our Enemy is—namely, the Father of Lies—we must wear a belt of God’s truth to counter his deceit. It is imperative that we make a commitment every day to hold to the Lord’s plan, obediently following Him, whatever the cost. Just as a belt secures clothing in place, our lives are to be encircled and held together by the truth of God’s Word.

Put on the breastplate of righteousness. Much like a protective covering, obedience guards us from harm. Since the Devil prowls around seeking to deceive and destroy (1 Peter 5:8), we are to “suit up” daily in the armor that comes from choosing God’s way in our conduct and conversation. When we are protected in this way, Satan’s arrows of lust, doubt, or fear will not penetrate.

Today, safeguard yourself by spending time absorbing God’s truths (the belt) and then applying them through obedient action (the breastplate).

 

John MacArthur – Identifying the Real Enemy

John MacArthur

“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

Sometimes in the heat of battle we might lose perspective on who the real enemy is. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that our struggle isn’t against sinful people, but against the evil system and the supernatural forces that influence their attitudes and actions.

In his assault on the kingdom of God, Satan has assembled a highly organized army of fallen angels. Paul categorized them as “rulers . . . powers . . . world forces of this darkness . . . spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

That isn’t a detailed description of Satan’s hierarchy but simply a general indication of its power and sophistication. Apparently “rulers” and “powers” are high- ranking demons. “World forces of this darkness” are possibly demons who infiltrate various political systems of the world, attempting to direct human leaders to oppose God’s plans. An example is a demon called “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” in Daniel 10:13. He withstood God’s angelic messenger to Daniel until Michael the archangel came to the rescue.

“Spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” perhaps refers to demons involved in the most vile and perverted kinds of sins: gross immorality, occultic practices, Satan worship, and the like.

Those who reject Christ and God are unwitting prisoners of war–captured and mobilized by the enemy to accomplish his purposes. Tragically, when he’s finished with them he’ll abandon them to an eternal hell.

You probably know unbelievers who enjoy ridiculing your faith and making life difficult for you. Although that is hard to take, be patient and don’t become embittered toward them. Ask God to make you an instrument of His love as you reach out to them. Also pray that God will remove their spiritual blindness so they can see beyond Satan’s lies and recognize their need for a Savior.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Praise God for delivering you from the domain of darkness and transferring you into the kingdom of His beloved Son (Col. 1:13).

Ask Him to use you today to break through Satan’s deception in someone’s life.

For Further Study:

Read 2 Corinthians 4:3-7, noting why people reject the gospel.

 

 

Greg Laurie – Not a Default Destination

greglaurie

But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. —Revelation 21:8

I believe there are people inside the church today who will be outside the gates of heaven. Being in a church does not mean you are getting into heaven. We, as individuals, must put our faith in Jesus Christ because one day we will stand before God all by ourselves.

Heaven is not the default destination of every person. It is promised only to those who have believed in Jesus Christ. We have this warning in Revelation 21:8: “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

It takes courage to be a Christian. People will harass you and make fun of you. You may even be physically harmed. Some have lost their lives because they believed in Jesus. It takes courage to make your stand for Christ, especially in our culture today.

The cowardly won’t make it into heaven. Some are afraid of what others think, which I have always found amazing. I don’t think we would be as concerned about what others think of us if we realized how rarely they do. If you are cowardly, meaning that you won’t stand up and follow Jesus, then you won’t have any value system. You won’t have any absolutes. You will pretty much do what you want.

That leads to being abominable—being wholly caught up in wickedness and evil, pulling out all the stops and removing all restraints. It is going whole hog into evil.

Revelation 21:8 is a warning that we need to heed. Some people may say, “Well, I don’t agree with that.”

God makes the rules, and we can either follow them or reject them. But it is not for us to edit God.

 

John MacArthur – Overcoming Satanic Opposition

John MacArthur

“Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might . . . . For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:10, 12).

Through the ages Satan has accused, besieged, and battered believers in an effort to prevent them from living to the glory of God. He attempts to snatch the gospel message from a person’s heart even before salvation occurs (Matt. 13:19). He bombards believers with false doctrine, trying to confuse and distract them from biblical truth (Eph. 4:14).

Martin Luther reported that his conflict with Satan became so intense that at one point it was as if he could see him. In anger over Satan’s incessant attacks, Luther picked up his inkwell and threw it at him. It hit the wall with a resounding crash, splattering ink throughout the room. The stains remained for many years, reminding all who saw them of how vivid spiritual conflict can be.

You may not have experienced anything like the intensity of Martin Luther’s conflict, but spiritual warfare is just as real for you as it was for him. You are in mortal combat with Satan and his evil forces. That’s why Paul said, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against . . . spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

“Struggle” in that verse speaks of life-and-death, hand-to-hand combat–the kind Jesus Himself experienced while on earth. He met opposition and persecution at every turn. The same was true of Paul and the other apostles as they dealt with Jewish religionists, heathens, sorcerers, and demon-possessed people who tried in vain to thwart their missionary efforts.

Satan’s onslaughts may seem overwhelming at times, but don’t be discouraged. See them for what they are: a defeated foe’s last-ditch efforts to inflict damage on the conquering army. The Lord will strengthen and protect you, just as He has protected all believers before you.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Praise God for being your protector and the source of spiritual victory.

For Further Study:

Read Acts 4:1-22.

What kind of opposition did Peter and John face?

How did they respond to the Jewish Council’s order not to preach the gospel?

 

 

Charles Spurgeon – Christ in the covenant

CharlesSpurgeon

“I will give thee for a covenant of the people.” Isaiah 49:8

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:16-23

When tempted to sin, reply, “I cannot do this great wickedness. I cannot, for I am one of Christ’s.” When wealth is before you to be won by sin, touch it not; say that you are Christ’s else you would take it; but now you cannot. Tell Satan that you would not gain the world if you had to love Christ less. Are you exposed in the world to difficulties and dangers? Stand fast in the evil day, remembering that you are one of Christ’s. Are you in a field where much is to be done, and others are sitting down idly and lazily, doing nothing? Go at your work, and when the sweat stands upon your brow and you are bidden to stay, say, “No, I cannot stop; I am one of Christ’s. He had a baptism to be baptised with, and so have I, and I am in bondage until it is accomplished. I am one of Christ’s. If I were not one of his, and purchased by blood, I might be like Issachar, crouching between two burdens; but I am one of Christ’s.” When the siren song of pleasure would tempt you from the path of right, reply, “Hush your strains, O temptress; I am one of Christ’s. Your music cannot affect me; I am not my own, I am bought with a price.” When the cause of God needs you, give yourself to it, for you are Christ’s. When the poor need you, give yourself away, for you are one of Christ’s. When, at any time there is anything to be done for his church and for his cross, do it, remembering that you are one of Christ’s. I beseech you, never belie your profession. Go not where others could say, “He cannot be Christ’s.”

For meditation: The Christian is doubly Christ’s one—by his choice to bear fruit (John 15:16) and by his purchase to glorify God in the body (1 Corinthians 6:19,20). Are you giving him at present everything he paid for?

Sermon no. 103

31 August (1856)

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – His Ways Will Satisfy

dr_bright

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how His ways will really satisfy you” (Romans 12:2).

“The trouble with living sacrifices,” someone has well said, “is that they keep crawling off the altar.” That may be true. We “crawl off the altar” when we sin, and the only way to put ourselves back on the altar is to breathe spiritually – confess our known sins in accordance with the promise of 1 John 1:9 and appropriate the fullness of the Holy Spirit as we are commanded to do by faith (Ephesians 5:18).

When we do this, we will be living supernaturally and our lives will produce the fruit of the Spirit in great abundance.

Only by being filled with the Spirit, and thus realizing the fruit of the Spirit, can spiritual gifts be effectively utilized in witnessing and building up the Body of Christ.

We begin by totally yielding ourselves by faith to Christ in a full irrevocable surrender to His lordship.

“He died once for all to end sin’s power, but now He lives forever in unbroken fellowship with God. So look upon your old sin-nature as dead and unresponsive to sin, and instead be alive to God, alert to Him, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

“Do not let sin control your puny body any longer; do not give in to its sinful desires. Do not let any part of your bodies become tools of wickedness, to be used for sinning; but give yourselves completely to God – every part of you -for you are back from death and you want to be tools in the hands of God, to be used for His good purposes” (Romans 6:10-13).

Bible Reading: Romans 12:3-18

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Knowing that God’s ways will really satisfy me, I will seek first His kingdom, resist the devil at his every appearance and watch with joy as he flees.

 

Presidential Prayer Team; J.K. – Encouraging Attitude

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The people of Israel were trapped between the Red Sea and an advancing, unhappy, powerful army. You likely recall Moses’ command to them: “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today.” (Exodus 14:13)

The gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand.  I Corinthians 15:1

The apostle Paul captured the same sentiment for the Corinthians. He said, in effect: I have preached to you Christ…His death, burial and resurrection. Don’t be swayed by wickedness surrounding you. Hold steadfast to your faith (I Corinthians 15:1-2).

Do you understand how grand a message that is…and the impact that believing it can make upon your life? You are a child of God – accepted by Him and protected by Him. He desires that you have an attitude of cheerful courage, rejoicing in His love and faithfulness. Satan relishes your retreat to the way of the world, but God will have you stand tall, hold to your principles and respond to His guidance.

Bombarded daily with news of government corruption and human failings, remain firm in your faith. Be encouraged in the Word. Pray for God’s leading…particularly for those in national leadership. May they know His grace and truth and act upon it.

Recommended Reading: I Corinthians 15:50-58 

Greg Laurie – The Stench of Sin

greglaurie

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience. —Ephesians 2:1–2

Years ago I had a German Shepherd named Irlo. One night when Irlo and I were out walking, we saw a cat. Now, I believe that it’s a dog’s right to chase a cat, so I said to Irlo, “Go get it!” As I watched him take off in pursuit, I noticed the cat had suddenly stopped. I thought, That’s a pretty bold cat. But then I heard a loud pssshhh! and saw Irlo racing toward me. I looked at the cat again and realized something: It wasn’t a cat at all.

Irlo had taken a direct hit of skunk spray to the face. I started running, knowing that Irlo was headed for home. I tried to outrun him, but as we got to the door, he pushed right past me into the house. Immediately the entire place reeked of skunk.

It took a long time to get that smell out of the house.

That is what sin is like, too. It seems as though your whole world is infected with the stench of sin, with no remedy in sight. You can try to escape it, but it doesn’t work.

The Bible calls the devil “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). The devil is behind all the wickedness, depravity, and violence in this world. All of the horrible things you hear about are orchestrated by or motivated by Satan himself. He wants to wreak havoc. He wants to bring as much destruction as he can.

Why does the devil want our destruction? Answer: because Jesus Christ is coming back. For the devil, that is bad. But for us, that is good. And it is an incentive for us to share our faith and live a holy life.

Alistair Begg – Exposed to Great Danger

Alistair Begg

He left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house.   Genesis 39:12

In contending with certain sins there remains no mode of victory but by flight. The ancient naturalists wrote much of basilisks, whose eyes fascinated their victims and rendered them easy victims; so the mere gaze of wickedness puts us in solemn danger. He who would be safe from acts of evil must hurry away from occasions of it. A covenant must be made with our eyes not even to look upon the cause of temptation, for such sins only need a spark to begin with and a blaze follows in an instant.

Who would carelessly enter the leper’s prison and sleep amid its horrible corruption? Only he who desires to be leprous himself. If the sailor knew how to avoid a storm, he would do anything rather than run the risk of weathering it. Cautious navigators have no desire to see how near the quicksand they can sail or how often they may touch a rock without springing a leak; their aim is to keep as nearly as possible in the midst of a safe channel.

Today I may be exposed to great peril; let me have the serpent’s wisdom to keep out of it and avoid it. The wings of a dove may be of more use to me today than the jaws of a lion. It is true I may be an apparent loser by declining evil company, but I had better leave my cloak than lose my character; it is not needful that I should be rich, but it is imperative for me to be pure. No ties of friendship, no chains of beauty, no flashings of talent, no shafts of ridicule must turn me from the wise resolve to flee from sin.

I am to resist the devil, and he will flee from me; but the lusts of the flesh I must flee, or they will surely overcome me. O God of holiness, preserve us like Joseph, that we may not be seduced by the subtle, vile suggestions of the temptress. May the horrible trinity of the world, the flesh, and the devil never overcome us!

Charles Stanley – The Fear of the Lord

Charles Stanley

Proverbs 8:13

People are frequently confused by talk that has to do with fearing God. Scripture admonishes us to fear the Lord (2 Tim. 1:7), but at the same time, we are told that God has not given us a spirit of fear. So how are we to understand this phrase?

Fearing God does not mean always looking over your shoulder in anxiety to see what He will do next. The fear of the Lord is something positive and healthy that is clearly defined in several different scriptures. A particularly helpful one is today’s verse, where we are told, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.”

Many people are bothered by the thought of hating anything. Yet God says we are to hate evil because He Himself hates it in all of its forms for a simple reason—namely, the Lord sees the corrupting, destructive influence that wickedness has on us. We often fail to see any corruption at all. In fact, we sometimes look at evil and think that it’s not really too bad.

Satan’s job is to camouflage iniquity until it appears quite innocent or even attractive. In fact, the Enemy is so successful in his deception that we often fall into his snares without any compunction. That is why we must learn to view things as the Lord sees them. We need to develop such a holy hatred for evil that we shun and refuse it at every turn. When we get the Lord’s view of transgression, the Devil will be stymied in his efforts to seduce us. Although it may not be a popular stance, we can choose to love the Lord and to hate evil.

Presidential Prayer Team; J.K. – Positional and Practical Relationship

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Blameless…how is that possible? If you are honest with yourself, you can see where you go amiss in so many ways. But don’t let this condition dishearten you. Old Testament believers like David wrote of his own blamelessness: “I have kept the ways of the Lord…I was blameless before him.” (Psalm 18:21, 23) He based this thought on his motives for his actions. He sought to live God’s way and reject wickedness…but if he did not, he confessed and sacrificed to have restoration.

You shall be blameless before the Lord your God.  Deuteronomy 18:13

Sacrifices are not required today because Jesus was your sacrifice on the cross. He suffered the punishment for all the times you have fallen – and will fall short – of God’s commands for you. Christ has positioned Himself between you and the Father; His view of you is through the spotless, blameless Savior. The practical part of this relationship is that you live with ethical and moral uprightness. The Lord desires it of you.

Today’s cultural climate in government, and maybe even at your workplace, abounds in wickedness and selfish desires. Pray that you would not be drawn into it. Trust God. Then intercede for those who lead…that they may seek the Lord and walk blameless before Him.

Recommended Reading: Philippians 2:3-15

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Befriending Wisdom

Ravi Z

I remember vividly a warm childhood day with my family at a park on Lake Michigan. My youngest sister and I had each been given a granola bar to snack on as we wandered about the grassy park. Most likely I ate mine quickly, with the hope that someone would give me another. My little sister, on the other hand, who has always walked through life with an unhurried way about her, was savoring each crumb as she walked along, charmed by the ducks who were marching along with her. In a manner of minutes, however, her charming procession shifted parade leaders. The next thing I remember was the angry cry of a four year-old who found herself backed up against a wall by a flock of granola bar-stealing ducks.

The book of Proverbs depicts a similarly inescapable scene throughout its pages. One gets the clear sense that we are to live watchfully, that wisdom is something to be guarded carefully, lest it be snatched out of our hands before we have time to object. “The one who guards their way guards their life,” reads one verse. “Do not forsake wisdom,” advises another. Like an animal stalking its prey, folly and wickedness are personified as luring and lurking enemies, often disguised, always vying for our attention, meeting with anyone who will hear, ready to seize all that is not guarded. “Folly is loud,” notes the writer of Proverbs, “she is seductiveand knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town, calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, “‘Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!’” (9:13-16).

In a world where we are saturated with information and ideas, overwhelmed by voices vying for our attention, and bombarded with distractions contending for our allegiance, it is not hard to see why folly and wickedness are voices the writer chooses to personify. It is not a truth preached abstractly, but a reality we know all too well. Foolishness is like a person we can befriend.

But the book of Proverbs also personifies wisdom. Chapter eight asks, “Does not Wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: ‘To you, I call’” (8:1-4). In a sea of well-marketed persuasion, it is a comforting truth that is easily forgotten. Just as voices that tempt and fool cry aloud for our attention, so wisdom calls out to us and understanding raises its voice. But who is the voice of wisdom? And do we find it as tangibly as we seem to find the tempting voices of folly?

Scripture makes it clear that God not only speaks and moves the world with words, but that all wisdom and understanding come from the mouth of God. Sadly, however, the voice of God is one voice many are uninterested in hearing. “The tragedy,” writes A.W. Tozer “is that we have trained our ears not to hear.” Through many voices, God has communicated this truth. “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.”(1)

As the writer of Proverbs admonishes, we can be as those who make our ears attentive to wisdom, inclining our hearts to understanding. Let us cry out for insight and raise our voices for understanding, guarding our minds lest they be snatched away like the treat in a young child’s hand. Let us seek the source of wisdom as we would hidden treasure. It is God after all, at whose word chaos became order and darkness became light, and who cries out repeatedly for our complete attention: The one who has ears to hear, let them hear!(2)

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) Matthew 13:15, Isaiah 6:9,10.

(2) Matthew 11:15, Mark 4:9, Luke 8:8.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Finished with Sin

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“He personally carried the load of our sins in His own body when He died on the cross, so that we can be finished with sin and live a good life from now on. For his wounds have healed ours!” (1 Peter 2:24).

Following one of my messages a young woman in her early 20’s asked for counsel. She was weighted down with her guilt and sin. In fact, she was so distraught that she would not look me in the eye. All the while I was counseling her she was under such deep conviction that all I could see was the top of her head.

I asked, “Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?” She nodded in the affirmative. “Do you believe that He died on the cross for your sins?” Again she responded affirmatively. “Would you like to invite Him into your life and ask Him to cleanse you with His precious blood, which He shed on the cross for your sins, and make you a new creature in Christ?” Again, she nodded. Together we knelt in prayer and through her sobs she surrendered to Christ, acknowledging the wickedness and filth of a life of gross immorality. She confessed to God her disobedience of her father and mother whose hearts had been broken by her prodigal ways.

After some time on our knees it was obvious that God had touched her, had forgiven and cleansed her. The sobbing had passed and now she was at peace. The Spirit within me bore witness that she had become a new creature in Christ. As we stood to our feet, she looked at me with her eyes still glistening with tears and her face radiant with joy. She now knew the reality of our promise for today. Jesus had taken the load of her sins on His own body and she was cleansed. With His wounds He had healed her and now she could live a life for the glory of God.

Who, but Jesus, could work such a miracle? Is it any wonder that those who know Him in this way want, like apostle Paul, to tell everyone who will listen about Him? He alone can forgive our sin and liberate us from the darkness and gloom of Satan’s kingdom.

Bible Reading: I Peter 2:21-25

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: With great joy and deep gratitude I will praise the Lord that He has taken upon Himself the load of my sin and through His death on the cross has paid the penalty which I could never have paid through my own effort. As an expression of my gratitude and through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, I commit myself to live a good life, a supernatural life that will glorify my God and Savior.

 

Greg Laurie – Written on Our Hearts

greglaurie

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. —Romans 1:18

We are all born with a sense of right and wrong. Before children can even speak, they have a sense of it. You can tell by watching them. They check to see if they can get away with something, and when you tell them no, they do it anyway.

Right and wrong are in our human nature. There is a human conscience. Romans 1:18 says, “God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.”

Some say they live by their own standards, but I would argue they don’t. They know what is right, and they know what is wrong. And they have broken their own human standards. We are told in Romans 2:12, “When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it.”

Down in our hearts, we know right from wrong. God’s laws are written within them. Our own conscience either accuses or excuses us. And God will judge us according to the light we have received.

Know this: God wants to save us even more than we want to be saved. Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost” (Luke 19:10).

David told his son Solomon, “Learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever” (1 Chronicles 28:9).

If you are a true seeker, then you will find your way to Jesus Christ.

Greg Laurie – We Don’t Fool God

greglaurie

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. —1 John 1:8

I think the word “hypocrite” is misused a lot. For example, if you happen to be hammering away on something and suddenly miss the nail and hit your thumb, you might scream a word that you should not have. And if a nonbeliever overhears you, he or she might call you a hypocrite. But are you really a hypocrite?

I don’t think so. I think you are a human.

I am not excusing sin; I am just explaining it. We are all sinners. And Christians do still sin, unfortunately. The Bible says, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:8–9).

It is only a matter of time until we will fall short in some way, shape, or form. We will say the wrong thing. We won’t do the right thing. But that doesn’t make us hypocrites; that just makes us flawed.

A hypocrite is different. Originally, the word “hypocrite” simply meant “actor.” In the dramas of early Greece, an actor would hold a mask in front of his face as he was portraying a character. When the mask was in front of his face, he was the hypocrite. It wasn’t a negative word.

To call someone a hypocrite today, however, is a criticism—even an insult.

Judas was a hypocrite. He pretended to be something he was not. So it is when we act as though we are Christians and we are not. We may fool a few people. We may even fool some of the people all of the time. But we never will fool God any of the time.

Presidential Prayer Team; H.M.R. – A Penetrating Light

 

Scandals on Capitol Hill. Decisions that endanger religious freedoms. Legislation against the value of life and the sanctity of marriage.

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34

A recent report finds that 77 percent of Americans believe morals are declining in the United States. While 66 percent believe the primary cause is a lack of Bible reading, 58 percent said they do not personally seek wisdom from Scripture. In fact, 57 percent said they actually read it less than five times per year. While the Bible remains a highly-valued influence in America, there is a significant disconnect in belief versus behavior.

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” The Bible shines penetrating light into the deepest part of a person to reveal wickedness. However, God’s Word provides the ultimate hope, peace and joy through the powerful plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Ask God to reveal His love and truth to you in His Word every day. Pray also that Americans would pursue the Bible as the road map for their lives.

Recommended Reading: Psalm 119:97-105