Tuesday, May 29, 2007

QYST - Day 15 - Go And Make Disciples

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” MATT. 28:19-20
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” JOHN 14:15
Now that you understand the principles, how are you doing practically? It’s been two weeks since you started this journey, you’re almost half-way through this devotional… how many people have you shared your faith with since you began? This is a challenge we all need...

Over the years, I have asked churches, “How many of you can say before God that you have witnessed verbally to more than 12 people over the past 12 months? That is, at least every 30 days or so, somebody who is sitting in the shadow of death has heard the Gospel of everlasting life from your lips?” I have found that only 8-12 percent will raise their hands. Where is the zeal? Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8, italics added). The Holy Spirit wasn’t given without purpose in mind. He was given so that we might have power for the purpose of being witnesses of Christ. So many profess to possess the power, but where is the lifestyle that confirms what the profess to possess?

Are we hot for God? Can we say that we have witnessed to more than 12 people in the last 12 months? Do we have the testimony, “to live means opportunities for Christ?” Is there a zeal to witness burning in our bones? It doesn’t matter how much we pray, tithe, fellowship… Jesus said “Go.” Obedience is better than sacrifice. Sure those things are the basics of the Christian faith, but if we are not sharing the faith we are not fulfilling our commission. We are like survivors of the Titanic singing songs as we polish the brass in the lifeboat, when there is room for many who are drowning around us. There is nothing wrong with polishing brass… but not while people are drowning around us. We are commissioned soldiers. True Christianity is not a pleasurecruiser on its way to Heaven, but a battleship stationed at the very gates of Hell!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Christianity Without Salvation

The legacy of the "Social Gospel"--100 years later.

Read the full article, but basically the "social gospel", (read liberal Christianity) has "...little need of a Savior. It merely displace[s] the problem of evil--the supreme tragedy of the human soul in rebellion against God--with the challenge of social iniquities. The Kingdom of Heaven [will] come soon enough, if only we put our hands to the plow."

I find it interesting that we have a president who claims to be a Christian (in fact we have not had one yet who claimed otherwise) and people who scream out at how what he does shows that he is a hypocrite. And, we have people running for the office who all claim to be Christian, and people who cry out that by what they would vote to legalize, they are hypocrites. Clearly there is a conflict when each side is claiming their candidate for their idea of Christianity. One of the two sides (if not both) must have a faulty definition of what it means to be Christian.

Should our faith drive us to good works? Sure. But, do our good works make us a Christian?

In 1 Corinthians, we read,
"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
Your works will be shown for what they are, being revealed with fire. On this Memorial Day, set aside to remember those who have given their lives, how appropriate to remember the One who gave his life for us. Let's make sure our works are built on His foundation.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Question of Faith

Retyped without permission from Nick Jr. Family Magazine...

(Ask a Mom - A column by Allison Pennell)
My Parents are religious; we're not. Should we let the kids go to church with them on Easter?

As long as you aren't opposed, and your parents respect your religious leanings, I think you should five it a try. My friend Allie and her husband, who are on the "secular humanist" end of their respective faiths, have opted to let her parents take the kids to temple once in a while. Despite her misgivings going in, she's actually found the whole experience very sweet. She realizes that for her parents, it's more about sharing their culture and community (and showing off their grandchildren) than religion itself.

Just be aware that your kids mishgt ask some questions about your own faith - or lack thereof. ("Why don't we go to church?" "Do you believe in God?") Kids have a knack for sniffing out false piety, so try to answer thier questions as honestly as possible, says Bradford Wilcox, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Virginia. Also keep in mind that some kids may want to connect to a tradition larger than themselves, so the stories, rituals, and ceremonies associated with grandma and grandpa's faith may give them a sense of comfort and purpose.

Of course, if you're uncomfortable with this idea, tell your parents no diplomatically bur firmly. You might say, "We appreciate the invitation and know that it's important to you, but organized religion isn't right for us."

Is it just me or does something seem backwards about this letter? What has the world become that we are worried about people taking our childred to church? I can imagine not letting my kids stay somewhere because the family will NOT be taking them to church. And, if somehow these people survived being raised by these 'churchgoers', then why wouldn't their children be OK for one Easter?

I see more tolerance for making sure our kids read the Koran and learn not to judge terrorists than I see for letting kids go paint Easter eggs. I won't even go into my rant about Easter eggs having nothing to do with the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.

Perhaps the problem is that the parents in this scenario were probably more into the 'culture and community' than the message? My wife was raised in the Catholic church, and the family sure was into the culture of being Catholic. And, boy do the grandparents love to show off their grandkids at their Easter and Christmas functions. That is fine. But, maybe if the gospel were the focus, you know the part about our sinfullness offending a holy and pure God, and the part where even though we deserve hell, He chose to send His Son to die in our place because he was so full of mercy, you know, that gospel, then maybe these people would be less worried about their kids visiting a church, and more worried about running out to a lost and dying world with the only message of hope that we have.

There... I said it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

QYST - Day 14 - Covetous Desires

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 JOHN 2:15

Today we will look at the Tenth Commandment: “You shall not covet ... anything that is your neighbor’s (Exodus 20:17). Covetousness is perhaps the most subtle of sins. It seems minor compared to adultery, theft, or rape. However, before a man steals, he covets. Before he rapes or commits adultery, he covets. Covetousness is the spark that sets off the fuse of sin. It is a sin that lies close to the surface of every human being. Few children are content with ten pieces of candy when the child next to him gets eleven. Covetousness is the bedfellow of jealousy, greed, and lust. It was this quiet sin that found a place in the heart of King David, rich and blessed though he was. His covetous eye roamed toward another man’s wife, and opened the door to a multitude of sins.

Who of us can stand guiltless and say that we have never jealously desired something that belongs to someone else? Whether we long for another’s house, car, income, or lifestyle, our covetousness reveals a lack of gratitude for what God has already given us. That’s why Scripture admonishes us to “be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have” (Hebrews 13:5). Learn to pray along with the psalmist, “Incline my heart unto your testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity. . .” (Psalm 119:36,37).

This devotion was excerpted from The School Of Biblical Evangelism, chapter 14, beginning on page 96.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The High Priest Questions Jesus

19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.

20 "I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied. "I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said."

22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. "Is this the way you answer the high priest?" he demanded.

23 "If I said something wrong," Jesus replied, "testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?" 24 Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.
I've been talking with a lot of people lately, and everyone has their idea of what Jesus taught, or what Christianity is, or even what religion is supposed to do. I'm amazed at when professing Christians even tell me what their religion is supposed to mean. One of the reasons I'm going through the book of John here (and eventually the whole Bible) is to slow down and take a look at what God says Christianity is supposed to do. Let's ask those who heard Jesus. Surely they know what He said.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Last Stages of Life

Here is an outline from an article I just read...

The last stages of life can be very stressful for the dying person and those caring for him/her. You will observe changes that may be upsetting and unfamiliar. Learning about the dying process will help. Many physical changes occur during the process of dying that affect the emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of a person’s life.

There are some signs and symptoms of dying that are observable, although not everyone follows a predictable sequence of events or stages.

Health professionals speak of “dying trajectories” that suggest how persons with specific diseases will die. For example, those with a terminal illness, such as advanced cancer, will show a steady decline toward death. Those with serious chronic illnesses may have peaks and valleys that sometimes give the impression of recovery.

Remember that each person’s death is unique.
It is helpful to understand the common symptoms experienced in people who are dying. You may observe none, some, or all of these symptoms in the dying person’s last days and hours on earth. You will also learn things to do that can help ease physical pain and suffering.

  • Withdrawal from the External World
  • Visions and Hallucinations
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Change in Bowel and Bladder Functions
  • Confusion, Restlessness, and Agitation
  • Changes in Breathing, Congestion in Lungs or Throat
  • Change in Skin Temperature and Color
  • Hospice Death
  • Saying Goodbye
  • Being Present at the Moment of Death

I'm not getting much sleep. I'm not sure how much longer this can go on. Did I mention you should go tell your mom you love her? Or your kids? I'm just realizing how meaningless everything is. No matter how many treasures you store up, they will be taken from you. Even your memories are not safe.

Grab your copy of Ecclesiastes

  • "Meaningless! Meaningless!"
    says the Teacher.
    "Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless."
  • A Common Destiny for All (Chapter 9)
    1 So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God's hands, but no man knows whether love or hate awaits him. 2 All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, [a] the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.
    As it is with the good man,
    so with the sinner;
    as it is with those who take oaths,
    so with those who are afraid to take them.

    3 This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead. 4[b] —even a live dog is better off than a dead lion! Anyone who is among the living has hope

    5 For the living know that they will die,
    but the dead know nothing;
    they have no further reward,
    and even the memory of them is forgotten.

    6 Their love, their hate
    and their jealousy have long since vanished;
    never again will they have a part
    in anything that happens under the sun.

    7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. 8 Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. 9 Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun— all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, [c] where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

    11 I have seen something else under the sun:
    The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong,
    nor does food come to the wise
    or wealth to the brilliant
    or favor to the learned;
    but time and chance happen to them all.

    12 Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come:
    As fish are caught in a cruel net,
    or birds are taken in a snare,
    so men are trapped by evil times
    that fall unexpectedly upon them.

  • The Conclusion of the Matter (Chapter 12)
    9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

    11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
    Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

    13 Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
    Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the whole duty of man.

    14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing,
    whether it is good or evil.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Peter's First Denial

15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest's courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in.

17 "You are not one of his disciples, are you?" the girl at the door asked Peter.
He replied, "I am not."

18 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.

How many of us do this very thing. No sooner do we repent and place our faith in the Savior, then we deny Him to others. Peter, at least, faced certain death for association with Jesus. What oppression or torture do you face?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

QYST - Day 13 - False Witness

“A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaks lies shall not escape.” PROVERBS 19:5

Today we will look at the Ninth Commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). Should a Christian ever tell a lie? There are times when we may find ourselves in the difficult position of realizing that telling the truth may have dire repercussions. For example, you are asked by a Nazi if you are hiding any Jews in your home. Should you tell him there are two under your bed? To do so would result in their sure death. Your choice is to lie and save lives, or tell the truth and be a party to murder. Another example is putting “tourist” rather than “Bible smuggler” on your visa into China, or not telling the police in a persecuted country the names of other members of your underground church. Perhaps the answer is that it is the motive that matters. However, the issue depends on the conscience of each individual.

The dictionary defines a lie as a false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood; something intended to deceive or give a wrong impression. People often claim that they have told only a “white lie.” But there is no difference between a white lie, a half-truth, a fib, or an exaggeration. All are lies in the sight of God.

How many murders does one have to commit to be a murderer? Just one. In the same way, if they have told even one lie, no matter what color or size, that makes them a liar.

The Ninth Commandment requires the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. God is a God of truth and His Law demands absolute honesty from the heart. Yet the human heart is deceitful above all things.
This devotion was excerpted from The School Of Biblical Evangelism, chapter 13, beginning on page 90.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Jesus Taken to Annas

12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mothers Day

All I know is something like a bird
within her sang
All I know she sang a little while
and then flew on

Tell me all that you know
I'll show you
Snow and rain

If you hear that same sweet song again
will you know why?
Anyone who sings a tune so sweet
is passing by

Laugh in the sunshine
cry in the dark
through the night

Don't cry now
Don't you cry
Don't you cry
in the stars
don't you cry
dry your eyes
on the wind
la........ -Robert Hunter

Devvy Davenport is about to go home. Please pray for her. My mother is 80 years old and I got to tell her I love her. We are not promised tomorrow, but we are promised eternity. Make sure to tell your mom you love her today. And, if you haven't shared the gospel yet with her, don't wait till tomorrow.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Rocky Balboa

I just finished watching the sixth (and final?) installment in the Rocky movie series. This movie is being billed as a Christian movie, and even their website offers ways to use this as an evangelism tool. While I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt to Stallone in that he has come full circle to his christian (Catholic) roots, I'm not sure that the movie exactly portrays the biblical gospel.

I don't think the movie is bad. In fact, I really enjoyed it. But, the gospel message that I think Stallone has for himself, and for moviegoers, is that faith is where your true strength comes from. While not technically wrong, I don't think that is the gospel.

It reminds me of conversations I've had with my mother in law who cites the fact that they had eight children even though work was not steady as an example of the amount of "faith" they have. While I agree that stepping out and committing to having children takes a lot of faith, is that the saving faith that the Bible is talking about? Do we get into heaven simply because we muster up enough faith to do so?

I suggest you watch the movie, as it is actually one that you can watch with your kids. But, before you do, make sure you know what the gospel is. It is not the amount or intensity of our faith that saves us. It is the object of our faith, Jesus Christ. We must first realize our own iniquities, our willful disobedience to God's Law. Then we must realize that a just and holy God will not let sin go unpunished. Jesus is a visible example of God's wrath against sin. Then we realize that a merciful and gracious God doesn't want to see us punished. So, he offered His own Son up as payment to satisfy that wrath on our behalf. Jesus is a visible example of that grace.

Saving faith is one that recognizes our own inability to save ourselves from the wrath of a just God for our sins, and the willingness to repent and trust in Jesus Christ as a ransom for complete remission of those very same sins.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Christians vs. Atheists

Why are Kirk Cameron, a preacher, and two self-proclaimed atheists coming together in a church this weekend? Because Cameron and preacher Ray Comfort claim that they "can prove the existence of God."

They'll take on the atheists in the first "Nightline Face-Off," a debate to be moderated by "Nightline" anchor Martin Bashir.

Watch the Face-Off Wednesday May 9 at 2 p.m. on ABC News Now, and on Nightline at 11:35 p.m.

Following the Way of the Master

As Mike Seaver, the oldest son in the smash hit sitcom "Growing Pains," actor Kirk Cameron could make audiences roll with laughter. But now he wants to bring them to the Lord. And he's deadly serious.

In March 2006, "Nightline" profiled the Way of the Master, a Christian ministry headed by Cameron and itinerant preacher Ray Comfort. Operating as a charitable trust, its intention is to educate and equip the church to preach the message of Christianity to nonbelievers. Cameron says he is motivated by a literal fear of hell.

"I believe the Scriptures teach that there's a literal heaven and a literal hell, just like Jesus said," he explained. "And without forgiveness of sins that, yeah, the place of punishment is called hell."

The Way of the Master has a weekly television show for which Comfort and Cameron literally hit the streets in the name of Jesus, challenging nonbelievers that their sins against God will lead directly to hell.

"On the Day of Judgment," Comfort tells one man on the streets of New York, "God will see you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. You have sinned against God. You need his forgiveness."

On occasions, things go badly wrong and the pair are attacked by members of the public. Comfort recalled one incident, saying, "While I was preaching the Gospel a gentleman came up and he started spitting on me. And he spat quite a few times." Comfort says he simply remained calm and moved on.

Neither Comfort nor Cameron has theological degrees nor any kind of formal training. But Cameron says he's convinced his new career is vitally important.

"I have no authority. I am simply trying to be faithful to the God who saved me, who changed me and who has commissioned me to tell you and those who are watching this interview … about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that it has the power to change people's hearts."

The Rational Response Squad

"There isn't any good reason to believe in God," so says Brian Sapient, a member of the Rational Response Squad, a group of atheists "Nightline" profiled in January.

What's wrong with God? "What's wrong with the tooth fairy?" asks Brian. "There's nothing wrong with something that most likely doesn't exist."

"Atheists are completely vilified. And it's OK," says Kelly, an atheist who works alongside Brian and also asks that her last name not be used.

"It's actually OK to hate atheists," Kelly says. "We are like the last group that people overwhelmingly agree it's OK to hate, because there's an absurd caricature of atheism out there."

While their theological views differ from the Way of the Master, their approaches are similar -- brash and in-your-face. The Rational Response Squad challenges people to take the Blasphemy Challenge in which they make videos of themselves denouncing or blaspheming the Holy Spirit, and then post them on YouTube.

One of the posts is by a young-looking man named Chandler. He says, "I've come to the conclusion that alongside the fact that there is no Santa Claus and there is no Easter bunny, there is also no God. So, without further ado, my name is Chandler and I deny the existence of the Holy Spirit."

Taking risks with your own soul is one thing, but the Rational Response Squad advertises for the Blasphemy Challenge on Web sites for teens, such as Tiger Beat (tigerbeatmag.com).

"They have already been targeted," Brian says. "So hopefully, they are at a point where they are not so indoctrinated and set in their ways that they can overcome this religious superstition that has been put into their brain unfairly."

At the end of the "Nightline" segment, Brian Sapient says, "If they [the Christians] want to come to the table and present their evidence, I will present my evidence. And we will see how much of theirs is based on faith, and how much of mine is based on fact."

The Face-Off

Ray Comfort saw the piece on the Blasphemy Challenge and he immediately e-mailed "Nightline" to say that "We would like to challenge them to a public debate. … Let's hear their best evidence as to why God doesn't exist, and let the audience decide whose evidence is based on faith and whose is based on fact. We cannot only prove that God exists, but we can prove that the atheist doesn't."

The two sides have agreed to debate in the first "Nightline" Face-Off. Here's what they have to say about the debate:

Perhaps you think that anyone who says that he can prove the existence of God is a dreamer. Maybe, like most people, you believe that the issue is a matter of "faith." Then we must be dreamers, because we can prove that God exists, scientifically, absolutely, without mentioning faith or even the Bible. Do you find that hard to believe? Then watch the debate. - Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron

We are dedicated to responding to irrational claims -- such as the ones being put forth by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron that they can prove the existence of God scientifically. We are here to prove that not only can they not do that, but that it cannot be done using the scientific method and the knowledge available to us today.
- The Rational Response Squad

You can watch the debate on ABC News Now on May 9 at 2 p.m., and it will also be available on the "Nightline" page at ABCNews.com.
"Nightline" will air a segment that same night at 11:35 p.m ET.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

QYST - Day 12 - Thou Shalt Not Steal

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” MARK 8:36,37

Today we will look at the Eighth Commandment: “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15). Most people don’t think that God considers theft to be theft until the value of what is taken impresses Him. However, if I open your wallet and take just one dollar, I’m a thief, and the Bible says that thieves will not enter the kingdom of God. What would be worth stealing for the loss of your soul? Jesus asked, “What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26).

A sinner will often admit to stealing but say that it was just a bar of candy when he was young. Or he will say that he has stolen once, but has since reformed. He must be told that time doesn’t forgive sin, and that God still sees the sins of yesterday as if they were committed today. Stop his mouth using the Law (Romans 3:19).

Show him that the only way to escape the terrible consequences of his sin is the Door of the Savior. Let the hurricane of the wrath of the Law of God blow far from him the scanty leaves of self-righteousness. Have him admit his transgression by name—that he is a thief. Then point to (and have him read) 1 Corinthians 6:9,10.

This devotion was excerpted from The School of Biblical Evangelism, chapter 12, beginning on page 84.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

QYST - Day 11 - Adultery of the Heart

“You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: But I say to you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” MATTHEW 5:27,28
Today we will look at the Seventh Commandment and what it means in light of New Testament revelation: “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
The Bible said that the Messiah would magnify the Law and make it honorable (Isaiah 42:21).

The Pharisees had dishonored the Law by teaching that God required only an outward show of piety. However, Jesus explained that God judges even the thought-life. He said, “You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: But I say to you, that whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:27,28). In doing so He touched the apple of the eye of humanity. Men live for and will die because of lust. For them it is life’s greatest pleasure, and they would rather be damned than let it go. If salvation were the work of man, no one would be saved. The evangelistic endeavor would be hopeless. But thank God it is He who gives us repentance leading us to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 2:25). It is God who brings us to our senses and shows us the end of our transgressions. This Commandment is perhaps the most powerful of the mighty cannons of God and therefore must be used often to awaken sinners to their plight. Realize that when you give yourself to lust, you are committing adultery (Matthew 5:27,28). Grasp the serious nature of your sin. Jesus said that it would be better for you to be blind and go to heaven than for your eye to cause you to sin and end up in hell (Matthew 5:29). Those who profess to be Christians yet drool over pornographic material evidently lack the fear of God (Proverbs 16:6). Cultivate the fear of the Lord by reading Proverbs 2:1–5. Think of where lust led King David. He opened himself to many other sins, including murder, and brought misery and shame to his family name. Read Psalm 51 and make it your own prayer.

Memorize James 1:14,15 and 1 Corinthians 10:13. Follow Jesus’ example (Matthew 4:3–11) and quote the Word of God when you are tempted (see Ephesians 6:12–20). Make no provision for your flesh (Romans 13:14; 1 Peter 2:11). Get rid of every access to pornographic material—the Internet, printed literature, TV, videos, and movies. Stop feeding the fire. Instead, guard your heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23). Don’t let the demonic realm have access to your thought-life. If you give yourself to it, you will become its slave (Romans 6:16).
This devotion was excerpted from The School of Biblical Evangelism, chapter 11, beginning on page 76.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

QYST - Day 10 - You Shall Not Kill

“Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” 1 JOHN 3:15

Today we will look at the Sixth Commandment, and what it means in light of New Testament revelation: “You shall not kill” (Exodus 20:13).

In the dim light of their ignorance, the world looks at the Sixth Commandment and proclaims itself “not guilty.” However, God requires truth in the inward parts (Psalm 51:6). In other words, He sees the thought life — the intent, the innermost motive of every human being. If civil law can prove that you are planning to assassinate the President, you can be prosecuted and severely punished. That law, however, is limited in its search for evidence— it can’t see what a man thinks. Not so with the all seeing eye of our Creator. His Law searches the heart, and He sees “evil thoughts.” To even think hatred is to transgress the Sixth Commandment.

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say to you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment” (Matthew 5:21,22).

The Bible further adds that if we hate someone, we are murderers (1 John 3:15). There are many who would like to kill, but refrain because of fear of punishment. God counts them guilty of murder.

This devotion was excerpted from The School Of Biblical Evangelism, chapter 10, beginning on page 70.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Jesus Arrested

1 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it.

2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, "Who is it you want?"

5 "Jesus of Nazareth," they replied.

"I am he," Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground.

7 Again he asked them, "Who is it you want?"
And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth."

8 "I told you that I am he," Jesus answered. "If you are looking for me, then let these men go." 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: "I have not lost one of those you gave me."

10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.)

11 Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"

This shows even more that nobody killed Jesus, or did anything to Him, without the Father's approval. He foretold events in the Old Testament that He was to fulfill in the New. Ultimately, He even laid down His life as a ransom for you and me. The Jews didn't kill Jesus. The Romans didn't kill Jesus. Judas didn't kill Jesus. The Father killed Him to justly satisfy His wrath against sin.