He who has an ear!

August 28, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my brothers and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
I will seek your prosperity.
(Psalms 122:6-9 (NIV))

I just saw something that made my heart sink.

Actually, I saw two things within just a few minutes that made me start to pray.

The first thing I saw was that a Catholic bishop was denied the ability to hold a prayer gathering while a two hour Muslim prayer gathering was approved for the same event. I don’t want to say what event for I know that I will be accused of being political and/or racist.

The second thing almost brought me to tears. The leaders of a major North American Christian denomination are calling for a boycott of Israel until they stop “occupying” the land that God gave them.

Abraham was given a promise by God.

I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
(Genesis 12:3 (NIV))

That promise was fulfilled through the nation of Israel. I realize that Ishmael was also a decedent of Abraham, but the promise was through the first born of Sarah. Sarah interfered with the promise and gave her maid servant to bear a child. The promise was not through Ishmael. It was through Israel. Jerusalem is the capital. The lands that were given were part of the promise of God. Israel is not occupying lands.

I find it sad that more and more are turning from Israel and from the God of Jacob. The God of Jacob is the same God that Christians call Father. He promised the land and He promised to send a Savior. I do not see how someone who claims one promise can deny or completely ignore another?

What does that mean with respect to whoever curses you I will curse?

Think about that.

Pray about that.

Hold fast to the truth.

Do not let someone tell you otherwise.

I honestly think that we will see more things like the two episodes that I saw tonight. The battle lines are being drawn. The victory belongs to the Lord. Do not allow the rapidly changing world to change your mind or to change your faith.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
(Revelation 2:7 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Reprehensible

August 15, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
(Romans 8:1-2 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to think about what condemnation means?

The definitions mean to blame or the state of being condemned.

Don’t you just love when a definition of a word uses the root of that word to define it. I thought that I would go ahead and look up the dictionary definition of the word “condemn” and the language is stronger than I realized. According to Merriam-Webster, “condemn” means

to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation; to pronounce guilty

To be honest with you, using the word condemn to mean being found guilty is what I think of when I hear the word. This in and of itself is wonderful news, for we are not found guilty through our faith in Jesus. However, the first part of the definition caught me off guard!

Reprehensible

Wrong

Evil

We all like to think of ourselves as minimal sinners in that we have not murdered or stolen, yet, we are all guilty of sin. In the eyes of God, we were reprehensible. We were wrong. We were evil. The evidence weighed heavily against us and there was no hope.

What do you think of when you hear the word “reprehensible?”

Is it the most vile and foul thing that you have ever imagined?

Through our sin, that is what we were. We had no hope. Still, God loved us even in our reprehensible sin.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Jesus did not come into this world to find us guilty of the reprehensible sins that we commit. He came, because of God’s love for us, to offer us grace and mercy. He came out of love.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:13 (NIV))

Think about this. Think about your understanding of something that is reprehensible in your eyes. Would you do what Jesus did in order to save the reprehensible?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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