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Coffee Shop Chapel

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Dan Todd, Jun 19, 2003.

  1. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    Dan, I found that very re assuring. Thank you.

    Blessings

    Sheila
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    Always a blessing! Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  3. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24 Active Member

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    August 12

    Romans 9:25-26, "As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God."

    There seems to be some difficulty with these verses. Paul quotes from Hosea 1:10 and 2:23, passages that speak about the rejection and eventual restoration of the Jews of the ten northern tribes. But in the Romans passage, Paul's context is the Gentiles. Some would say that Paul is writing about the Jews, which he does in Romans 11 ("And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:" verse 26). Such an application clearly violates the context of Romans 9, where in verse 24 ("Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?") he speaks of a new people, the elect people of God, which is the church of Jesus Christ, composed of Jews and Gentiles.

    The Hosea passage tells the story of Gomer, Hosea's unfaithful wife. Gomer's harlotries picture the unfaithfulness of Israel. Hosea and Gomer's children picture a people scattered, a people not pitied, and a people called "not My people." To show that Israel will not be permanently forsaken, God sends Hosea to find Gomer, and bring her home. As Hosea bought Gomer out of the slave market, naked and full of shame, so God will someday redeem Israel.

    MacArthur writes, "Until that time, God not only will treat Israel as not being His children but will treat Gentiles, who were not His people, as His people. It is that converse truth, found in Hosea 2:23, that Paul paraphrases: ‘I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.'"

    The northern kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. The southern kingdom of Judah was conquered by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The southern kingdom returned to the land after many years in exile, but they were not, and have not yet been redeemed from the slave market of sin.

    Israel rejected her Messiah, Jesus Christ, at His first coming. Rejecting God's own Son was Israel's consummate act of spiritual adultery, a state she still lived in when Paul wrote Romans. In A.D. 70, about ten years after Paul wrote Romans, the city of Jerusalem, including the temple, was destroyed by the Roman General Titus. Most of the surviving Jews fled Israel at that time. In A.D. 132, the remainder of the Jews were forcefully expelled by Rome. Israel remained a scattered people until 1948, when the modern state of Israel was formed, and became recognized by most of the world.

    Still, the great majority of Jews do not now live in Israel, but remain scattered throughout the world. Israel still rejects her Messiah, and they are still not yet again His people. But God has not, and will not, permanently reject His people. One day, when "the fulness of the Gentiles be come in,....all Israel shall be saved" (Romans 11:25-26).

    The Gentiles in the Roman church could safely trust God to keep them, because God had and has kept His word to Israel. Although the return of the State of Israel in 1948 as a nation among nations, only begins in the slightest way to fulfill prophecy regarding Israel's future, it does give us the confidence that God is and will keep His word to Israel. And this should give us the confidence that God will keep His word to us, the Church of Jesus Christ, the blood bought redeemed of this age.

    Adapted from "Romans" by Boice and MacArthur.

    In Christ,
    Dan Todd
     
  4. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24 Active Member

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    August 13

    Romans 9:25-26, "As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God."

    Paul's point in our text, is that God's (temporary) rejection of Israel as His people, and His election of the Gentiles, should have taken no one by surprise, for it was prophesied clearly in the Jewish Scriptures. That point will again be made in Paul's quote from Isaiah, a quote we will look at another day.

    From time to time, we need to be reminded of certain things. One such item we continually need to be reminded of, is our salvation!

    1. Salvation is of grace. How many times do we need to hear and read that statement. Considering that our sinful natures always try to claim some credit with God and thus put Him in our debt, I'd say we need to hear it often. The Jews of Paul's day tried to claim some credit with God. They claimed that they had special status with God, simply because they were Jews, and that this status put God in lasting debt to them.

    Paul used the Hosea text to show that this was not the case. God declared the Jews no longer to be "His people." He no longer had a special relationship to them, and thus no obligation to them. If they were to be saved, it would only be because God has chosen to be gracious to them, the exact same way as He saves Gentiles.

    If you are saved, it is by grace alone. God owes us nothing, but we owe everything to God. If you are not saved, be advised, your salvation can never be found in any achievement on your part, salvation is only by the mercy of God. All you can do is throw yourself and all hope for your salvation on Him.

    2. Salvation is all of God. If salvation is all of grace, then salvation is all of God. For only God is in a position to be gracious, and only God has the power necessary to do what is necessary to save us. God gave life to Adam in the garden when Adam was only a lump of clay. It is God who breathes life into our dead souls, imparting the Holy Spirit by which alone we live spiritually. I cannot, you cannot, we cannot save ourselves. That is the message Paul continues to drive home to us, time and time again.

    3. If you are saved, your salvation demands the greatest measure of devotion and love from you to God. Gomer left Hosea, as God has told Hosea that she would. Gomer sank deeper and deeper into the cesspool of sin, until she fell into slavery and was put on the auction block. Hosea was told to go and buy her, and buy her he did. As his property, he could have killed her for the pain she had caused him. But Hosea loved Gomer, and that love is a reflection of the unfailing love of God, which Hosea was illustrating. Hosea promised to be a faithful husband to Gomer, which he had been, while at the same time demanding faithfulness from her in return.

    This is a picture of what Jesus Christ has done for us. He purchased us from the slavery of sin by His own blood. That is what redemption means. Now we belong to Him, and we are called on to give Him the fullest measure of love of which we are capable. Boice writes, "If God did not love us and had not moved to redeem us by the death of Jesus Christ, we might be excused for our failure to love Him. But since He has loved us and has saved us, our only proper response is to give Him our all."

    Isaac Watts wrote, "Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all." Nothing else is an adequate response to Him who died for us.

    Adapted from "Romans" by Boice.

    In Christ,
    Dan Todd
     
  5. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24 Active Member

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    August 14

    Romans 9:27-29, "Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha."

    Has God's purposes regarding Israel failed? It certainly seems as though they have, for very few Jews believe in Christ. But Paul tells us that God's purposes have not failed. Because God never intended to save every individual Jew, any more than He intends to save every Gentile. God has always worked on the principle of election, some out of a great number of Jews and Gentiles will be brought to Christ. Paul then spoke of reprobation, and then the attributes of God displayed in His actions toward the saved and the lost. Paul then quotes Hosea and Isaiah. He quotes Hosea to show that God had announced in advance that he would save Gentiles. He quotes Isaiah, to show that only a remnant of Israel would be converted.

    Isaiah 10:22-23, "For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. For the Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land." Paul says that Isaiah cried out (great emotion) that only a remnant out of many would be saved. That truth had to have torn at the prophet's heart, to know that so few of his brethren would be saved. A number as great as the sand of the sea, and only the remnant, a very small remnant at that will be saved.

    Isaiah prophesied to Judah (southern tribes), Hosea prophesied to Israel (northern tribes). Both nations were scattered. These scatterings were only a preview of Israel's later rejection of Messiah, and her slaughter and the scattering that would follow in A.D. 70.

    Paul quotes Isaiah 10:23 to show the swiftness that God used to punish Judah. The Babylonians were God's instrument of punishment, and justice was fast. Only a few escaped the judgment. Likewise in A.D. 70, when God used the Romans as His instrument of punishment

    Paul next quotes Isaiah 1:9, "Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah." The Jews in Isaiah's day and, even more so the Jews of Christ's day, faced terrible judgment for their unbelief. They not only killed many of God's ancient prophets, but they even killed God's very Son, their Messiah and Savior. God punished them severely for their unbelief and disobedience.

    But Paul and Isaiah tell us that the Lord of Sabaoth has graciously left to a posterity, a remnant, apart from which no one would be saved, but every human being, Jew and Gentile alike, would have become as Sodom and would have resembled Gomorrah, that is, divinely judged and destroyed. Sodom and Gomorrah have become a byword for total destruction. God destroyed those cities so thoroughly, that there is no trace of them remaining. Only God's grace has prevented such ultimate and total destruction of the entire world.

    As God suddenly destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in Abraham's day, as God suddenly destroyed Israel and Judah in Hosea and Isaiah's day, as God suddenly destroyed the Jews in A.D. 70, so will He destroy and execute His judgment on the earth in a day yet to come. And when that time comes, as spoken of in Revelation and other passages, that judgment will be so thorough, that only by God's sovereign mercy, a remnant will be spared.

    Israel's unbelief is not inconsistent with God's revelation through His prophets. They predicted it, from their day of old, all the way to the day of Messiah, and the Apostle Paul.

    "Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha." Praise God, He chose a remnant, a remnant that will praise and glorify His holy name.

    Adapted from "Romans" by MacArthur and Boice.

    In Christ,
    Dan Todd
     
  6. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24 Active Member

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    DAILY DEVOTIONAL FRIDAY AUGUST 15, 2003
    (Luke 10:33,34)

    Killing our wounded.

    It has been said many times that the Christian army is the only army that kills its wounded. How true. In these verses from the famous Good Samaritan story, it is interesting the religious men who saw the wounded traveler passed by on the other side. How that is like religious
    people today. Rather than unconditionally helping someone who is down, hurting, they sit back and talk about how the person got that way.

    They talk about the sins in their life that put them in that wounded state. They talk with spiritual pride about how they could never do the things the wounded person did. They almost take joy in seeing their brother or sister hurting.

    Trust me, I know that the mail is going to start pouring in from this devotional before it is even 5 minutes old. People will be outraged that I
    had the audacity to say such things. The trouble is, they are true!

    How easy would it have been for Jesus to condemn the adulterous woman at the well. Instead he talked to her and rather than condemn her, tried to show her another way. Each day in these devotionals, I sometimes point out words,
    God's, not mine, to try and warn you from behavior that could lead to great heartache and pain.

    God loved you so much that He put these warnings in His Word to try and save you from going through the tragedies so many are going through every day because they chose to ignore God and do it their way. But what is our response to be
    to the one who has rebelled, the one who has fallen, the one who is hurting? Condemn them? Tell them how stupid they are? Ignore their pain and keep on going with our own life?

    I want you to think hard today about how you respond to people who have fallen. Those who are hurting. God still loves them, He didn't stop loving Adam and Eve even though He punished them. God doesn't stop loving us even though we have failed Him. I pray today that you will allow God to use you as an instrument of healing in the life of someone who is hurting today.

    Right now, this very second, you know someone who needs love, support, and kindness. You know someone who is "laying wounded by the side of the road" that God has placed in your path to minister to. Will you respond to that
    opportunity the way those religious men did on that dusty Jericho Road?

    The way so many "religious" people respond today? Or will you be like the Good
    Samaritan and help that person recover. God is challenging you through these very words to be like the Good Samaritan and help those who are fallen, hurting, needing His love.

    In His love and service,
    Bill Keller

    [ August 15, 2003, 08:58 AM: Message edited by: dianetavegia ]
     
  7. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    Been preaching that for 20 years . . and we're still reloading and shooting. Thanks for the good message!

    Do you remember the 80's song "Don't let a wounded soldier die?"
     
  8. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24 Active Member

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    DAILY DEVOTIONAL SATURDAY AUGUST 16, 2003
    ( Proverbs 13:7, 10:22, Hebrews 11:26, James 2:5 )

    The REAL prosperity message.

    One of the most perverted messages to come out
    of the church in the last 50 years is the "prosperity gospel." This is the message that has turned God into a cosmic stock broker and teaches that if you will just have enough "faith" and give a ministry or church enough money, you will get back your gift PLUS a handsome return of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times the amount of your gift.

    One popular author and teacher of this perversion wrote a book about how to get this thirty, sixty,
    or hundredfold return. He received so many letters from people that bought the book, followed his principles, and never saw their "harvest," that he had to write a follow-up book to explain what in their life was blocking God's blessings.

    This perverted message is seen mostly on Christian television during their telethons. Having been part of that world for many years in the early 90's, I have seen every trick in the book that has been used to manipulate the
    scriptures to induce people to give, with the understanding that they will get back many times what they gave.

    One of the saddest things I have ever witnessed, was on the largest Christian television network, a famous man of God telling people that if they will send in a gift of $2,000 they will be debt free. They even had a '"debt burning" ceremony! I have read the entire Bible cover to cover over 30 times. I have several theological degrees. I have still not found the passage of scripture that says if I give a ministry $2,000 that my debts will disappear.

    Can God work financial miracles in people's lives? YES! Will God honor our faithfulness when we give to His work? YES! Can God bless us financially? ABSOLUTELY! I pray for people
    EVERY DAY here at Liveprayer in this area. In the miracle center on the www.liveprayer.com website, I actually have a special prayer message for those who need a financial miracle in their life.

    Of the over 1 million praise reports that we have archived, I can assure you, over 1/4 are
    FINANCIAL MIRACLES. The Bible tells us that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. The Bible tells us that all the silver and gold belong to
    Him. All, 100% of what we have, comes from God and belongs to God. He is our source. He is our provider. God is still in the financial miracle
    business!!!

    What I am talking about today is this perverted prosperity message that if we give God so much, we will get that back plus a nice monetary return on our "investment in God." God knows our heart, never forget that. God knows our motives, never forget that. When we give to God with an impure heart, or with impure motives, we have missed our opportunity to be blessed. God is not going to honor a gift that is given out of greed, or from a heart that is simply looking for a "return on investment." You don't give to God like you buy a stock, looking to double or triple your investment.

    We give to God out of a grateful and thankful heart. We give to God as an act of worship and obedience. We give to God cheerfully, NOT to get anything back, but to show God how much we love Him. Again, ALL we have already belongs to God so we can't BUY God's blessings. God doesn't need our money, He is looking for our faithfulness. Giving to God is not something we should do for any other reason but to tell Him how much we love Him.

    Let me share with you the REAL PROSPERITY
    MESSAGE. Our prosperity is not measured in how much money we have, but in our relationship with Jesus Christ! Some of the richest people in the world have NOTHING in the way of material possessions, yet they are more prosperous
    than someone with a billion dollars in the bank who is without Christ in their life.

    As for giving, while God can and does bless people financially as they are faithful
    and obedient, the majority of our blessings are NOT monetary. They come in the form of things that there is no price tag on. How much is good health worth? How much is a happy marriage worth? How much is a quality relationship with
    your children worth?

    There is an unlimited number of ways God can bless us in this life that is worth far more than money. As you are faithful in giving to God's
    work, God WILL bless you, but it may not always be in the form of a monetary blessing.

    The REAL prosperity message has nothing to do with money. It is about having an intimate, vibrant, daily relationship with Jesus Christ. You can't buy that, you can't give a "love offering" to get that, it is something that we can only receive by our faith and God's grace. As the popular television commercial states, "it is priceless." THAT my friend, is the real prosperity message.

    In His love and service,
    Bill Keller
     
  9. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24 Active Member

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    DAILY DEVOTIONAL FRIDAY AUGUST 15, 2003
    ( 1 Kings 18:21 )

    Our freedom to choose. One of the greatest responsibilities God has given each one of us, is our ability to make our own choices. We often take for granted the fact that God has given us this free will ability to choose.

    Even though you do it subconsciously, each day you make hundreds, often thousands of choices. From what time you get up, to what you eat, to what you wear, to the roads you drive on, to what you say, and on, and on, and on. The choices you make, ultimately determine the direction that your life takes. Because we make so many choices instinctively, we lose sight of how important each choice can be to how we live our life.

    When you start the day, even if it is only 20
    minutes, praying, reading the Word of God, it helps to give you a Godly focus to your thoughts and a Godly foundation from which you will be making all of those choices during the course of the day. Church is critical to the life of a believer since again, it helps you build that spiritual foundation in your life from which you make your day to day decisions.

    Paul said to "pray without ceasing." Literally, it means to "stay connected" with God at all times. You see, when you are "connected," it
    makes it difficult to make the choice to rebel against God. We make our bad choices, we make our rebellious choices when we are "unplugged" from God.

    This is obviously a very deep, and intense issue that people have spent their entire life studying. The point I want you to understand today is that God has given us this incredible ability to make our own choices during
    this life. Many have questioned why, since it is our freedom to choose that destroys peoples lives. The alternative though would leave us a little more than robots.

    God gave us free will, so that we could freely, on our own, choose to love Him, serve Him, and glorify Him. We say with our mouths how much we love God, how important Jesus is in our life. The way we prove that, is in our daily decisions, the choices we make day in and day out. That is how we ultimately tell God we love Him. The old saying, actions speak louder than words is very true.

    The good news I want to share with you today is
    that God is in the restoration business. He can help you overcome the bad choices. He can strengthen you to make wise, Godly choices in the future.

    Be aware, that as you make each and every choice in the course of a day, it is a responsibility God has given to us. Take a second and ask yourself if the choice you are making, is the choice God would want you to make. After all, when you know Christ, it is not your life any longer, it belongs to Him.

    ***Pray!!!! If we prayed as much BEFORE we make our choices, we wouldn't have to pray so much AFTER we make the wrong choice. It only takes
    a moment to ask God for guidance.

    ***Lastly, the most important choice you will ever make in this life, is the freedom that God has given you to choose your eternal destination. The greatest choice of this life is to choose to accept, or reject Jesus Christ
    as your personal Savior. God has given us the freedom to make choices in this life, I will be praying today that you will make, wise, Godly choices.


    In His love and service,
    Bill Keller
     
  10. computerjunkie

    computerjunkie New Member

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    This is so true! Thanks for this devotional today, Sue. I needed the reminder.
     
  11. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd Active Member

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    Please accept my apologies - time has gotten away from me this week, and I have not had time to write any devotionals for the coming week.

    Lord willing, I'll be able to post some next week.

    Sue, thanks for helping out, I appreciate it very much.

    God bless,
    Dan
     
  12. Wedge Former

    Wedge Former New Member

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    Pastor Dan Loves the book of Romans.


    Shawn (Wedge Former) [​IMG]
     
  13. tgarnsey

    tgarnsey New Member

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    IN MY DAILY READING I AM IN THE BOOK OF ROMANS, DOES ANYONE FIND IT AS CONVICTING AS I DO?????
     
  14. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    Convicting? Yes. It is a hard pill to swallow that those spoken of in the latter part of chapter one includes me. But this is the state of my natural man left to himself. As Pogo put it:
    "We have met the enemy and he is us."
    Romans is reasurring also, that, thanks to The Lord Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross, Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (chapter 8).
     
  15. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24 Active Member

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    (Dan, I will try to post a devotional each day until you are ready to come back...please let me know when you are able to start posting them again)

    DAILY DEVOTIONAL MONDAY AUGUST 18, 2003
    ( 1 Corinthians 10:21 )

    "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons." 1
    Corinthians 10:21

    The battle lines are being drawn. As the prophet Elijah said on Mt. Carmel in 1 Kings 18, "If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him." It is time to decide whose side you are on. The days of trying to play both sides are over. It is time to decide whose side you are on. The days of living with one foot in the church, and one foot in the world are over. It is time to decide whose side you are on. The battle lines are being drawn my friend.

    Most people don't want to think of this life as a war, but that is exactly what it is. On one side we have God, the Creator of the heavens and earth,
    our Creator that loves us. The Bible says that it is God's desire that all come to repentance and none be lost. It was God's plan from the beginning that man spend eternity with Him. On the other side, we have satan, a fallen angel that for this brief season we call human history, is working to drag as many souls as possible with him into an eternity of torment in hell. This war is for the eternal souls of every man and woman that is born.

    From the garden of Eden until today, this war has raged on. God created us perfect, with the free will to love Him. However, that free will also gave us the ability to rebel against God, otherwise, we would be little more than robots. Sadly, man made the choice to disobey God, and now sin would be part of the human condition and destroy the perfect world God had created
    for us to live in. The war for the human soul had begun.

    Satan has come up with every plan imaginable to keep us lost in our sin and separated from God for eternity. He has used our desire for God to help us create the false religions of the world to lead us away from God's saving grace. He has worked hard to undermine God's holy institution of marriage started in Genesis 2:24 and destroy God's plan for the family. Satan uses our sin nature to help put is in bondage to things like drugs, alcohol, money, sex outside of marriage, and anything else that can destroy our life. Whatever satan can do to separate us from God, he
    will do. After all, in John 10 Jesus clearly tells us that satan's desire is to "steal, kill, and destroy."

    As the last days of human history are fast approaching, satan is now in full, all out war against the church. Make no mistake, the church has ALWAYS been a major target of satan. From the tabernacles and temples in the Old Testament, to the dawn of the church age in the book of Acts,
    through today, satan has corrupted men and women of God in leadership and used division of every kind to keep the church from being all God intends it to be.

    You see, the church has been, and still is, God's primary instrument in this world today. It is through the church that billions of souls
    throughout the years have found an everlasting relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the church that is still responsible for taking God's message of hope in Christ to this lost, hurting, and dying world.

    So do not be surprised that satan is working hard to destroy the church. Destroy the church through false teachings like "all good people will go to
    Heaven." Destroy the church by allowing blatant and unrepentant sin to be accepted and embraced. Destroy the church by denying the Bible to be God's inspired, inerrant Word, representing absolute truth, and our final authority in all matters. Destroy the church by doing everything possible to divide the Body of Christ. But NEVER forget that Jesus said the "gates of hell" will not overcome the church!

    The battle lines are drawn. This is NOT a game. It is an all out war and the eternal souls of people are at stake. People are dying and going to hell for eternity every day. For the last 40 years, the church has been sitting back and playing defense and satan has been scoring lots of points. It is time for the church to start
    playing offense. We have the power of the Holy Spirit with us. NOTHING can stop us. We already know the final score. GOD WINS!!!

    Like Elijah, I am challenging you today. If you are a Christian, then follow Christ. The battle lines are clearly drawn. Jesus said that you
    can't serve two masters. It is time to choose. Who are you going to follow?

    In His love and service,
    Bill Keller
     
  16. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24 Active Member

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    DAILY DEVOTIONAL TUESDAY AUGUST 19 2003
    ( Genesis 39:12, 1 Peter 2:11 )

    Running from sin.

    This may seem like an easy question, but think carefully before you answer.

    Do you run away from sin, or do you run TO sin?

    If you answer honestly, you will have to admit that there have been times in your life when you were guilty of running towards sin, or at least NOT running away when you saw sin coming. I have spoke in past Devotionals about the path of escape that God not only always provides, but promises!

    There is that instant, when your spiritual instincts are telling you exactly what to do. That my friend becomes YOUR moment of truth. Will you obey God and run away from sin? Or, do you ignore God and run to it, like the moth goes
    directly for the fire!

    In today's scripture, Joseph saw sin coming. Realizing his own human weakness, he literally ran from it. THERE IS NOTHING COWARDLY ABOUT RUNNING FROM SIN! Let me say this again.

    THERE IS NOTHING COWARDLY ABOUT RUNNING FROM SIN!

    As a matter of fact, it is an act of weakness and rebellion to God to NOT run from sin. It is like saying, "OK sin, here I am, powerless to stand up to you..just run me over." Anyone can do that.

    It takes spiritual maturity to see sin coming and flee from it. The Bible even tells us to "flee from sin." It is an admonition that we need to take more seriously.

    The question becomes, why don't we run from sin?

    There are two answers to this. It is because we either, a) don't trust our spiritual instincts
    enough to "see" sin coming, or, b) we simply love the sin more than the Lord at that moment. That may sound harsh, but it is very true.

    Jesus told His disciples that if they loved Him, they would obey His commandments. As His
    disciples, we ultimately get the opportunity to show our love for Him often. It is usually in those cases when we have the opportunity to run from sin, or stay and indulge in it.

    Remember the next time that you want to tell Jesus you love Him. Show Him by following His commandments. Show Him by RUNNING FROM SIN!

    I realize that many of you are in difficult situations today because you have succumbed to sin's temptations, you stayed instead of running. Running is hard. It actually requires a
    supernatural strength that we only possess through Christ.

    Again, that is why that intimate daily relationship with Him is so critical to our daily
    walk. It not only strengthens us, but sharpens our spiritual instincts so we can see sin coming and run from it. I will be praying for you to really let these words today sink in.

    For many, these are very difficult words, but necessary. They are said in love, to help you avoid falling into the traps the enemy sets for you. Let me leave you with this encouragement. God BLESSES obedience. Not only is it our most effective way of proving our love for the Lord, but a side benefit is God blesses our obedience.

    I am convinced that Joseph reaped the
    blessings of God for His obedience. What God did for Joseph, He will do for you. He gave Joseph the spiritual instincts to see sin coming, the strength to run from sin, and than blessed him for his obedience! Remember that the next time you see sin coming...and RUN!!!

    In His love and service,
    Bill Keller
     
  17. Barnabas H.

    Barnabas H. <b>Oldtimer</b>

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    Running away from sin is a great advice... we all need that! Thanks for posting it Sue. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  18. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24 Active Member

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    DAILY DEVOTIONAL WEDNESDAY AUGUST 20, 2003
    (Jonah 2:1,2)

    Running from God.

    Just 13 years ago today, I found myself in the belly of the fish. It was August 20th of the year 1990. I had been in Federal custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago for 8 months, awaiting trial on insider trading charges. It was on that night, that I finally stopped running from God.

    Saved at 12, I knew almost immediately God had called me into the ministry. Growing up during my teen years, there was never any doubt what I was
    supposed to do with my life. After my junior year at Ohio State, I ran out of money and had to take a year off to work full time so that I could finish college and have enough to start seminary. I started working as a rep for a
    mail order company selling computers, and started to make so much money that going back to college, going into the ministry were not in the plans any
    longer. I decided I wanted to build my kingdom, not God's.

    For the next 10 years I ran from God. I made millions of dollars operating a network of marketing companies selling computers, office equipment, office supplies, and about anything else that could be sold on the phone. I cashed
    out of that business and rolled all of my money into the stock market, day trading options, commodities, and futures before there was such a name for it. Life on the surface was good, I had everything you could want in life, but deep inside I knew that I was running from God.

    The amazing thing was, I never got too far away from God during those years. EVERY Sunday during this 10 year period, I was in church. It was not out of my commitment to Christ, and probably more out of habit than anything else, but deep down, I knew what God wanted me to do with my life. He spoke to me numerous times over the years to make sure I knew what He wanted, but like the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:22, I always "went away sorrowful." I wasn't willing to give God what He wanted, my life, unconditionally surrendered to Him.

    So, God sent a big fish after Bill Keller. That fish was called the United States Government! Over several months in 1988, I got involved in trading stocks in several companies based on inside information. I knew that it was
    illegal, but when you are running from God, you do things that you normally never would. When you are running from God, you are not reading your Bible, you are not praying. When you are running from God, you become an easy target for the enemy that is out to "steal, kill, and destroy."

    The Securities and Exchange Commission brought a civil action against me that was then referred to the US Attorney's Office for criminal prosecution.
    I was denied bond because they were afraid I would leave the country, and was taken into custody on December 18, 1989. It would take 8 months in Federal custody as I was waiting to go to trial before I would finally stop running from God.

    I don't know how long Jonah was in the belly of the fish before he finally cried out to God, but Bill Keller was there for 8 months. On that August night, after the lights went out, I was lying in my bed. As I lied there, I began to think about my wife. We had been married for 7 years, and I had put here through so much the last several years. I was potentially facing a
    significant amount of time in Federal Prison. NOBODY, least of all myself, would have blamed her for leaving. But she had told me that afternoon when she came to visit, that no matter
    what the outcome was, she would stand by me.

    As I lied in my bed that night, I was thinking of my wife. I was thinking of how a person of flesh and blood could love someone so unconditionally.
    All of a sudden, God began to speak to me. God said that if a person of flesh and blood could love me so unconditionally, how much more must He love me.

    It was at that moment, I finally broke. I spent the night on my knees, asking God to forgive me, confessing my sins, and finally giving God the one
    and only thing He had ever wanted from me..my life unconditionally surrendered to Him! I finally stopped running!

    Many of you are running from God today. It is NO ACCIDENT that you are reading this message. God is speaking to you as loud and clear as if He was standing next to you and shouting in your ear. Like Jonah, like Bill Keller, you can keep running
    and pay the price, or, you can stop running and surrender your life to the Lord. By the way, when you accepted Christ as your Savior, the Bible states that it is no longer your life, that it now belongs to Him. That is something many people forget.

    God has done more incredible things in my life
    since that night 13 years ago than I could have ever dreamed of. If someone had told me 13 years ago what I would be doing today, I would have told them they were crazy. But you see, when God is in control, He can do "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." God is no respecter of person.

    What God did in the life of Jonah when he finally surrendered to Him, what God has done in my life once I finally surrendered to Him, God can and will do in your life when you finally surrender to Him. God is calling you today, it is time to stop running from Him and answer.

    In his love and service,
    Bill Keller
     
  19. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd Active Member

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    August 21

    Romans 9:30-32, “What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works ...”

    Occasionally I make the following remark, “Theoretically it’s possible for one to earn their own salvation, if they could live an entire life without sinning. Of course, if you could live without sinning, then you wouldn’t die, because sin causes death.” Last Sunday, I told the young people in my Sunday School Class that they had a better chance of successfully pole vaulting (in a single jump) from the corner in front of our church to the center of Africa than they do of working their way to heaven!

    Boice tells the following story about Martin Luther. “If anyone could ever have achieved salvation by his own efforts, it was Martin Luther. In 1505, when he was twenty-one years old, Luther abandoned a promising career in law and entered the monastery of the Augustine hermits at Erfurt. As he later said, this was not to study academic theology but to save his soul.

    “In those days the monastic orders prescribed ways by which the seeking soul could find God, and Luther, with the determination and strength that characterized his entire life, gave himself rigorously to these tasks. He fasted and prayed. He devoted himself to menial work. Above all, he practiced penance, confessing his sins, even the most trivial, for hours on end until his superiors wearied of his exercise and ordered him to stop until he had committed some sin worth confessing. Luther’s piety gained him a reputation for being the most exemplary of monks.

    “Later he wrote to the Duke of Saxony, ‘I was indeed a pious monk and followed the rules of my order more strictly than I can express. If ever a monk could obtain heaven by his monkish works, I should certainly have been entitled to it. Of this all the friars who have known me can testify. If it had continued much longer, I should have carried my mortification even to death, by means of my watchings, prayers, reading and other labors.’

    “Yet Luther found no peace through these exercises.

    “The monkish wisdom of the day instructed him to satisfy God’s demand for righteousness by doing good works. ‘But what works?’ thought Luther. ‘What works can come from a heart like mine? How can I stand before the holiness of my Judge with works polluted in their very source?’

    “It was not until John Staupitz, the Vicar-General of the Congregation and Luther’s wise spiritual father, set him to studying the Bible that Luther realized what the difficulty was. He was trying to earn salvation by works of human righteousness, when the righteousness we need is not human righteousness at all. It is divine righteousness, and this can become ours only if God gives it to us, which He does in the gospel.

    “Luther had been seeking righteousness by means of human works, when what he needed was to accept God’s righteousness by simple faith and therefore stop trying to work for it.”

    In the days to come, we will be discussing the difference between our righteousness and God’s righteousness. Men devise/invent religions because they want a god who will accept them based on their own standard (perhaps I should say substandard) of righteousness, which in no way comes close to God’s holiness and His standard of righteousness, which is absolute perfection.

    The last phrase in our text says all we need to know about man’s standard, “Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works ...” Man’s “righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). This was brought home to me, very graphically, as a young man. A missionary’s slide presentation included a picture of a pile of discarded bandages from a leper colony in Africa. 45 years ago, to be a leper, meant to have no hope. The rags that covered the running and infected wounds of the lepers were nauseating and sickening. But that was a picture that has never left my mind, all my self-righteousness is as that pile of putrid rags in God’s sight. There is nothing, absolutely nothing in my good works that can merit my salvation. If Martin Luther could not merit salvation by his good works, and I’m no Martin Luther, then I need “the righteousness which is of faith,” that is God’s righteousness provided for me by His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

    Adapted from “Romans” by Boice.

    In Christ,
    Dan Todd
     
  20. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd Active Member

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    August 22

    Romans 9:30-32, “What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works ...”

    In Romans 9-11, Paul deals with how God deals with His chosen people, the Jews. One of the reasons why the purposes of God have not failed in regard to the Jews is that the failure of the Jews to believe the gospel was their fault and not God’s. Paul’s premise in these chapters often elicits the criticism that he was unfairly attacking the Jewish people. Paul did state in Romans 11:7-10 that it is God Himself who hardened Israel’s heart, “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.” One of the truths we must understand, is that the unbelief of Israel is typical of all human unbelief. Jews and Gentiles are all equal before God, and all must be saved in precisely the same way, that is, faith in Jesus Christ, because God does not show favoritism, Acts 10:34, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.”

    The subject of election and human responsibility also elicits many complaints. One of the more substantial complaints is that if God hardens hearts, then those He hardens must be excused of the sin of unbelief. The argument is that the unbelief is not their fault. When this argument is put in the larger categories of election and reprobation, it goes something like this, “If God elects some to salvation and passes by others, then those who have been passed by cannot be blamed for failing to have responded to the gospel (Boice).”

    The extreme case of this argument is Pharaoh. Moses tells us in Exodus that God hardened his heart, in fact Moses tells us this several times. But Moses also tells us the Pharaoh hardened his own heart, and Moses also tells us this several times. Boice writes, “In any case, the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart by God was a proper judicial hardening because of Pharaoh’s many other sins.”

    Of election and reprobation Boice writes, “When I discussed this same matter in terms of election and reprobation, I pointed out that the two are alike in some respects but dissimilar in others. They are alike in that both flow from the eternal counsels or will of God and are designed to make the attributes of God known. But they are also different, and one of the ways they are different is that election is due to the special and gracious intervention of God in an individual’s life to save that person, while reprobation is merely God’s passing by a person, thereby allowing him to continue in his own way and eventually be judged for his sin. That is a very important point.”

    Boice continues, “God never condemns innocent people. Therefore, regardless of what we may or may not understand about the process of election, we can know that if we are judged by God, it must be for the sake of our own sin. And that means that unbelief must be our own fault.”

    The purpose of the Book of Romans is to give us an understandable look at the gospel, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). The Gentiles had an objection to the doctrine of eternal security, and that objection was, if God didn’t keep His promises to Israel, how can we be sure that He will keep His promises to us. Romans 9-11 is the answer to the Gentiles objection. Far from being a parentheses, these chapters explain that God has kept His promises to Israel, and by inference, that God will keep His promises to the Gentiles. The unbelief of Israel is not God’s fault, it cannot be blamed on God. And likewise, the unbelief of the Gentiles cannot be blamed on God either. All human beings want to blame God. They also do not like the doctrine of election, “because it throws us upon the mercy of God (Boice).” But assuming that these unbelievers (in election) accept the truth of the doctrine, “their next evasion is to try to deny our own responsibility (Boice).”

    Romans 9:30-32 has a simple outline. Verse 30 says that the Gentiles as a whole are being saved. Verse 31 says that the Jews as a whole were not being saved. Verse 32 explains why. May God bless us with understanding as we look at these verses another day (days, perhaps).

    Adapted from “Romans” by Boice.

    In Christ,
    Dan Todd
     
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