Daily Devotional (cont.)

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by AmPaTerry, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. AmPaTerry

    AmPaTerry Forum Chaplain Lifetime Supporter

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    At over 150 pages, I thought it was time to close the old thread before it started causing problems due to it's size, and continue the devotionals here in a new thread.

    For today:



    Have you heard the Oriental blessing “May you live in interesting times”? We live in interesting times. We announce to the world that we have answers to the human sickness, then we press for doctrinal orthodoxy with everyone pigeonholed into a stereotype of our own definition that stifles the very ideas we pronounce as divine, AND we push for lifestyle acceptance that is in direct violation of scripture.

    The creative Christian life and thought scares the daylights out of many ministers. Kenneth Scott Latourette says that once Christianity became legal in the Roman Empire the faithful got doctrinal, conformist, and formed creeds that sent the church into 1,000 years of uncertainty. Martin Luther got the movement unstuck when he rediscovered grace. When he nailed his challenges to the door of the church, the church leaders would have loved to nail Martin Luther to that same door! Then conservatives got God all stuffed into a nice tight little box and liberals deified humans and gummed the faith all up again.

    If you come visit Bethany Church, you will NOT find a list of ‘statements of faith’ on the wall. You will NOT find a pledge everyone has to recite before joining. You will NOT find a Catechism written by a board of deacons in Cleveland, nor a doctrine agreed to by a meeting of elders in New York. We have Bibles – and that is sufficient. Someone said that the problem with Man is, he has written three million laws attempting to enforce the ten commandments.

    James 1:26-27 (KJV); “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

    Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV); “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

    Matthew 23:23 (KJV); Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
     
  2. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well said!
     
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  3. AmPaTerry

    AmPaTerry Forum Chaplain Lifetime Supporter

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    In April 1997, residents of Grand Forks, North Dakota abandoned their possessions to the rising river. Record snowfalls had melted into record spring floods. Weeks later, the flood receded and Grand Forks was waterlogged--the air filled with a peculiar, river smell. Homeless and disheartened, the city began the daunting task of cleaning up the mess.
    The flood may have ruined their homes, but it didn't ruin their sense of humor. Homeowners propped up signs in their front yards with comical handwritten messages on them: "BASEMENT APARTMENT, $10 A MONTH, INDOOR POOL...," "REVENGE OF THE NIGHTCRAWLERS," and "WE KNOW WE'RE LUCKY--PLEASE STOP PRAYING FOR MORE GOOD FORTUNE."
    One sign had a very thought-provoking message..."WE ARE NOT WHAT WE OWN." The editor of the local Herald agreed, "If we were what we owned, we'd be far less than we were before the flood." The truth is, we are worth far more than our possessions. Our personal wealth does not indicate our personal worth.

    Luke 12:16-21 (KJV);
    And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

    Today it is said: The one who has the most toys when he dies - WINS! The truth is: The one who has the most toys when he dies – is DEAD!
    We are, indeed, much more than what we possess. What is “us” is not what is in our house, our garage, or our bank account. What is “US” is inside us – it is in our mind, and in our spirit, and in our heart! Make sure that THERE is where you store your greatest treasures!
     
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  4. AmPaTerry

    AmPaTerry Forum Chaplain Lifetime Supporter

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    Today, I want to talk just a minute about the Trinity, the divine triple nature of God. First of all, what scriptural evidence is there for this doctrine? Here are just a few Bible evidences of the reality of the trinity:

    Matthew 28:19 (KJV);
    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    John 14:26 (KJV);
    But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

    2 Corinthians 13:14 (KJV);
    “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”

    1 Peter 1:2 (KJV);
    “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

    Although there is plenty of Bible evidence FOR the trinity, there is very little to help us UNDERSTAND the trinity. Many popular examples have been given – some good, like the fact that I am a husband, a father, and a pastor. Each of these three stations in my life are very different in nature, yet each is filled by the same human being, me. The person that I am is made up of all three; if one were removed, I would no longer be the same person. Some examples are not as good – like the popular egg example, where there is egg shell, egg white, and egg yoke, and they all make up an egg. This breaks down, however, because an egg-shell is not an egg. Explain the Trinity? I can't even begin. I can only accept it as a mystery disclosed in Scripture. It should be no surprise that the triune Being of God baffles our finite minds. Instead, we should be surprised if we could understand the nature of our Creator for then He would be a cheap man-made god, not the fathomless Source of all reality.
     
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  5. RedRiverII

    RedRiverII Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Thank you Lord for this day.
     
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  6. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is the day that the Lord has made.
     
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  7. AmPaTerry

    AmPaTerry Forum Chaplain Lifetime Supporter

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    Tom Friends of The New York Times asked coach Jimmy Johnson what he told his players before leading the Dallas Cowboys onto the field for the 1993 Super Bowl.
    "I told them that if I laid a two-by-four across the floor, everybody there would walk across it and not fall, because our focus would be on walking the length of that board. But if I put that same board 10 stories high between two buildings, only a few would make it, because the focus would be on falling." Johnson told his players not to focus on the crowd, the media, or the possibility of falling, but to focus on each play of the game as if it were a good practice session. The Cowboys won the game 52-7.
    A Christian must not focus on what people think, but only on what is "excellent or praiseworthy"

    Philippians 4:8 (KJV);
    “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

    Matthew 14:25-31 (KJV);
    “And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

    We could ALL win souls for the Kingdom if we only thought about the joy we are offering them, rather than being concerned over their possible rejection of the good news. What wonders we could do - What waters we could walk on, if we would just concentrate on Jesus rather than worrying about the possibility of sinking!
     
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  8. RedRiverII

    RedRiverII Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Thank you Lord for this day.
     
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  9. AmPaTerry

    AmPaTerry Forum Chaplain Lifetime Supporter

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    Carl F. H. Henry gave a speech on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. One point he made was:

    “Unless Christian scholars affirm the truth of Christianity in the context of public reason, rival religions will not respect its claim to universal truth or consider it worthy of a universal hearing. It is not enough that biblical theists mount a soapbox in a pluralistic society to declare that evangelicals offer their own unique perspective on life, that the Christian outlook has as much right to representation as do the multiple modern alternatives, and that we shall blow our trumpet as loudly as others, because no one any longer can be sure of the right tune.”

    John 14:6 (KJV);
    “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Acts 4:12 (KJV);
    “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

    We MUST proclaim that we are the TRUTH! We can NOT join with some politically correct movement which proclaims that all religions are equally correct, that none has pre-eminance, that all are ‘different paths to the same God’, for they are NOT! If we follow this broad way that so many are walking:

    Romans 2:24 (KJV);
    “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.”

    We do NO favors to ANYONE by saying the Muslim faith is equally good as a belief system. We blaspheme the name of God by saying that the followers of Shinto are as correct as the followers of Jesus Christ. I understand the requirements to tread lightly in diplomatic circles, BUT – you and I, brothers and sisters, do not need to follow the lead of the diplomats. You and I need to follow the lead of Jesus Christ! We are to proclaim the TRUTH, not the politically correct. This nation, the United States of America, was founded on Judeo-CHRISTIAN principles. If we continue to soft pedal Jesus Christ while smiling and nodding at the presentation of other faiths within our borders, we Christians will loose.
     
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  10. RedRiverII

    RedRiverII Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Correct.

    Thank you Lord for this day.
     
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  11. AmPaTerry

    AmPaTerry Forum Chaplain Lifetime Supporter

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    I once subscribed to a great tape series named “preaching today” in which Calvin Miller told this story:

    I will never forget a woman who came to the food pantry at our church. She also needed a little money to pay her next month's rent. When she came into my office, it was obvious her front teeth had been broken out. When I asked what happened, she said her boyfriend, Freddy, had knocked her teeth out.
    I said, "He must not be a very nice man."
    She said, "Oh yes, Freddy is a nice man. He loves me and cares for me." Then she asked me for half-a-month's rent. Our church happened to have enough money to help her out, so I gave her the money. This surprised her.
    She said, "So often when I ask churches for money, they don't give me much help." Then she added something I will never forget. She said, "You know, it's interesting to me how it's mostly poor people who help poor people. The rich people really don't."
    The statement indicted me a bit because I thought of all the times we had spent vast amounts of money to put on huge choir programs and then said we didn't have enough money to feed the poor. I wonder if God was very impressed with our disclaimers.

    Hosea 6:6 (KJV);
    “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”

    Romans 13:10 (KJV);
    “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

    James 1:27 (KJV);
    “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

    I wonder what God thinks of the crystal cathedral, when people in the West Virginia coal country are living in squalor? What does He think of the beautiful churches with lofty spires when there are native Americans in the Southwest who have nothing. Is God impressed with the televangelists eloquence when some people are in need of food, clothing or shelter?

    And yet, we must balance this against the fact that there are many free-loaders out there who are simply faking it, lazy people who somehow feel the world owes them a living. We must also consider this passage in those cases:

    2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 (KJV);
    For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

    Grant us wisdom, Lord, to rightly divide the word of truth -
     
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  12. RedRiverII

    RedRiverII Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Thank you Lord for this day.

    What would the Lord think of majestic spires? I don't know. Our Lord Jesus did well preaching from atop a rock. I understand where you are coming from, I don't understand how, when someone is aware of another's plight, they can turn their back on them.
     
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  13. formerCav

    formerCav Well-Known Member

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    Glad to see you are back. I could not get into this thread for a few days.

    I love this ...below..
    Especially the part about 3 million laws. so true.
    May God Bless you!
     
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  14. AmPaTerry

    AmPaTerry Forum Chaplain Lifetime Supporter

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    I cannot understand that either, Red.
    formerCav, GLAD you made it!

    For today:



    "Great Sermon, Pastor, I Didn't Understand a Word!" I’ve heard it said that most folks enjoy a sermon that goes right over their head – and hits the person in the pew behind them!
    J. Scott Armstrong, associate professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania, has demonstrated in a series of tests that both for written and spoken communication, "an unintelligible communication from a legitimate source in the recipient's area of expertise will increase the recipient's rating of the author's competence." Armstrong calls this the "Dr. Fox Hypothesis", based on an experiment in which an actor posed as Dr. Myron R. Fox and delivered a lecture of "double talk," patching raw material from a Scientific American article into non-sequiturs and contradictory statements interspersed with jokes and meaningless references to unrelated topics. "The audience of professionals on anonymous questionnaires reported that they 'found the lecture clear and stimulating.'"
    The results of Armstrong’s research were reported in Psychology Today. I wondered if perhaps there was an open bar at this meeting, or the audience was distracted. But considering some of the professionals I have dealt with in my career, perhaps neither of these is the case at all.

    Isaiah 2:22 (KJV);
    “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?”

    Ecclesiastes 5:3 (KJV);
    “For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.”

    Ecclesiastes 10:3 (KJV);
    “Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.”

    Another wise man once said “it is better to keep quiet, and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
    In Engineering, the saying is “If you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, then at least baffle them with bull.” There is a HUGE amount of this going on in the world today. Practice critical thinking; whenever you are listening to something, really LISTEN to it. Does it make sense? Does it form a coherent truth? Or – is someone unable to dazzle you, so they are trying to baffle you?
     
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  15. RedRiverII

    RedRiverII Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Thank you Lord for this day.
     
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  16. AmPaTerry

    AmPaTerry Forum Chaplain Lifetime Supporter

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    I grew up in Pekin, IL, which was a town where almost everyone worked for Caterpillar. Everyone in the area could always tell when there had been a wage increase at Cat, because all the prices would go up by the same percentage as their wages; everything from rent charges to the food items at the A&P would instantly jump. Cat workers had life insurance, health insurance, un-employment insurance, disability insurance, lay-off pay, strike benefits, you name it. A child could be born in a hospital where the bill was paid by Cat, get educated on money from Cat, go through an apprenticeship at Cat, work their lifetime at Cat, retire from Cat, and live in the Cat retirement apartments. When they die, the Cat life insurance will bury them and care for their spouse. Cradle to grave care.
    The trend of government is toward the same end. The desire is to undergird us with material securities, providing all kinds of insurances--health, old-age, education, unemployment and so on. In addition, we insure ourselves against fire, earthquake, hurricane, accident and old age. These safeguards are not wrong, but they can very easily become a serious hindrance to our complete trust in God. Unfortunately, if our debts are paid and our refrigerator full, if we have money in the bank, we have a tendency to feel secure in ourselves and to sense our need of God less. Herein lies the danger. Our greatest need is to feel and know our need of God every hour.

    Proverbs 28:26 (KJV);
    “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”

    Job 31:24-28 (KJV);
    “If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.”

    Building security for ourselves in this physical life is not WRONG, but we must guard ourselves that we do not gain such a sense of security in ourselves that we cease to rely on God for our daily bread!
     
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  17. RedRiverII

    RedRiverII Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Thank you Lord for this day.

    I write "Thank you Lord for this day .", just to keep it simple. This is your board and I like it like that just fine. My friends think I went from zero to hero and tell me I am the American dream come true. All I've done and all I have has been because of the Lord. He giveth and he taketh away. I am not emotionally tied to gathering, it is a pastime. I am emotionally tied to the Lord and thank him daily, multiple times. My greatest fear is buying into me, or the great I am. Not the Lord's I AM, but my meager I am. I am going to cut this short, but I became like that cowering mongrel stuck in a corner waiting for the final crushing blow. I called upon the Lord, " Oh well it's me and you Lord, just me and you." I've been standing erect and walking tall ever since my call out to the Lord. Thank you Lord for this day.
     
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  18. AmPaTerry

    AmPaTerry Forum Chaplain Lifetime Supporter

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    I could have written that about my salvation as well, Red! Drowning man clutching at straws discovers he has been firmly gripped and lifted out by the one who walks on water.
     
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  19. schnuffleupagus

    schnuffleupagus Well-Known Member

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  20. AmPaTerry

    AmPaTerry Forum Chaplain Lifetime Supporter

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    Florence Littauer, in a book titled “After Every Wedding Comes a Marriage” wrote: “I used to gather up [my husband] Fred's faults with the fervor of a child picking berries. I had a whole shelf of overflowing baskets before the concept of forgiveness fell heavily upon me. To be spiritual I plucked out a few of Fred's faults and forgave them, but I didn't want to clear the whole shelf. Where would I go for future reference material?”
    Does that sound like anyone you know? Perhaps someone you are married to? But I want you to look a little deeper than that; instead of saying “Yes, that’s the way MY spouse acts!” I want you to carefully judge your wife’s husband – or take a REAL good look at your husband’s wife. It is sure harder to find fault with THAT person, isn’t it? Look HARD at them – look deep inside yourself. Do you harbor deep seated hurts for wrongs which you are unwilling to forgive your life mate for? Do you keep them on the ‘shelf’ for reference material, so that when YOU do something wrong you can drag them down and beat your spouse up with them to cover your own failings? Let’s go to the Word of God:

    Mark 11:25 (KJV);
    And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

    Luke 17:4 (KJV);
    And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

    Colossians 3:13 (KJV);
    “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

    There are MANY reasons for forgiveness. The greatest and most obvious from the above is because we are COMMANDED to forgive those who wrong us. Beyond that, it is good for our mental well being to free ourselves of these grudges. And even beyond that, there are links between our mental state and our physical health – forgiving those that wrong you will make YOU healthier! Don’t sleep another night without relieving yourself of these burdens; forgive that person right now, because you love yourself, because you love them, and because you love the Lord!
     
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