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Archive for the ‘Deception’ Category

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“Woe to those who drag iniquity with the cords of falsehood,
And sin as if with cart ropes;”
Isaiah 5:18

The Lord warns that there is pleasure in sin for a season, yet the pleasure is never worth the burden. Woe to those who use falsehood or futility to keep iniquity coming when the Lord wants to set us free. Isaiah 5:19 continues,

“Who say, ‘Let Him make speed, let Him hasten His work, that we may see it;
And let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near
And come to pass, that we may know it!’”

This boastful declaration practically throws down the gauntlet. Though He has made Himself known, they are exalting themselves above Him in their own minds. That is not a duel we want to enter.

“And come to pass” is a Hebrew word meaning abide. We have been invited to abide in Christ to bear fruit that glorifies God. (See John 15.) Rather than abiding in Him, they are practically taunting that He come abide with them – then they would know what He’s about. Frightening.

Are we refusing to let go of anything that is not pleasing to God? Exodus 15, more than once, describes the enemy as sinking like a stone or lead when the Red Sea closed in on them. Yet God’s people were referred to as planted. If we hold fast to sin and futility, bucking at God to rise to our pathetic expectations, we will sink like a rock which has no life. If we remain in reverence to the King and seek His will with humility and thanksgiving, we can be planted to bear fruit for His eternal Kingdom. Let’s choose life, which is found in Jesus Christ alone. Only He can break the cords of sin and death.

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Worldly Direction

“O My people! Their oppressors are children,
And women rule over them.
O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray
And confuse the direction of your paths.”
Isaiah 3:12

When women and children can take the ship, weakness abounds. Look what is happening in their rebellion: Where are their guides leading them? Astray. What are they doing to the direction of their paths? Confusing it. That is horrible leadership.

There is much confusion in our world today. God’s Word gives us truth and stability to light our path and show us the right way to go. We want to be sure we don’t fall for some of the current cultural “wisdom” and find we have led others astray or into confusion.

Try to imagine the next scene as God arises to contend, stands to judge, enters, and speaks. Be still my heart. We can be sure He is right and will prevail. Let’s hear Him, and stand in awe of Him,

“ 13 The Lord arises to contend,
And stands to judge the people.
14 The Lord enters into judgment with the elders and princes of His people,
‘It is you who have devoured the vineyard;
The plunder of the poor is in your houses.
Isaiah 3:13-14

Us? Let’s be sure we are walking humbly with God; not in rebellion to His Word.

“‘ 15 What do you mean by crushing My people
And grinding the face of the poor?’
Declares the Lord God of hosts.”
Isaiah 3:15

Oh, He is good. He will not tolerate leaders harming the sheep. He is making clear that our own ways won’t work, and the result will be harm. But if we will humbly believe His truth, guard and stand in it, then true help and refreshment can come.

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THE LORD SEES

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(This photo was taken by a friend at the Ark Exhibit.)

As we continue our journey through Noah’s time to learn more from the Lord about our own, let’s look at Genesis 6:5-6,

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,
and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth,
and he was grieved in his heart.”

We are only six chapters into Genesis, and already people with freewill are saying good-bye Kind Creator, and hello desires of my deceitful heart. Today we will highlight three obvious, but important points from our text.

First, the Lord saw.
He is not missing a thing going on today. He knows exactly what’s going on and what will transpire in the future. We need to keep our eyes on Him.

Second, wickedness and evil exist.
We would do well to recognize it, by studying God’s Word, and run from it. We would do well to drive it out by proclaiming truth before it further infects our culture.

Third, the Lord was grieved in His heart.
As America and other nations turn further and further from God’s ways, it may be grieving you. That’s a good thing. We should grieve over what grieves God. (See Ezekiel 9.) But as He has taught us, in Christ, we do not grieve as those who have no hope. We have great hope in the wonder and power of the Name above all names, Jesus. He has overcome and will lead us to overcome, as well.

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”  Jeremiah 33:3

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I think we’ve all seen this amazing video by now. (If you haven’t – You Tube it!) A televised surfing competition zoomed in on Mick Fanning and the footage revealed more than anyone bargained for. Suddenly there was a fin behind him, and it appeared for a moment that we might witness a tragedy. But thankfully the surfer did what he knew to do – he punched the shark, and by resisting him was able to be rescued unharmed.

Here’s our spiritual analogy. Sometimes sin is obvious and sometimes a bit more subtle. Sometimes others see the “fin” before we do and sound the alarm. Either way, James 4:7 tells us what to do,

“Therefore submit to God.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

There’s not a one of us that would consider befriending a great white from a surf board. Sin is just that dangerous; yet we sometimes decide not to punch it, resist it, and flee for good, safe, high, joyful ground. When we’re tempted to think sin is less harmful than the jaws of a great white, let’s remember that Jesus came and died to set us free from it. That’s how horrific it is. When the world says a little gossip or any other thing the Bible calls sin is no big deal, picture a fin, punch with truth, and run.

1 Peter 5:8 says,
“Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour.”

I’m so thankful this surfer gave us a picture in the physical of what we better be doing spiritually in regard to the enemy of our souls today. Lord, help us to walk in truth, so that we will be that quick to resist the enemy.

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Don’t Move The Bobber

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“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;
and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
James 1:14-15

Different things entice different people.  Some may be tempted by gossip, while others are lured by sexual sin.  Some may struggle with needing to be the one who is always “right,” while another desires to share in God’s glory.  The Holy Spirit can help us fill in our own blanks.  So a visual came to mind to help us avoid being snared.

When we’re fishing with a bobber and it moves, we know something is at least interested in the bait.  So we keep fishing and doing what we can to make it even more enticing.  Spiritually, Satan has his own perverted form of fishing for men.  He throws out a well dressed lie.  If we don’t heed the warning of the Lord, we may move toward it – knocking it around in consideration – rather than resisting him which causes him to flee.  (See James 4:7.)   If we move toward it, Satan sees action from the bobber.  Rather than flee, he’ll keep fishing until we’re hooked and taken captive.

“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and comes down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
James 1:16-17

Lord, keep us swimming always toward the light and wonder of You where there is freedom.  Help us to avoid giving attention to those things that promise pleasure, but would land us in darkness, garbage, disappointment, and pain.  Thank You for Your Holy Spirit who reveals the truth we need to overcome.

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When I hear a news report today, I have no idea if it’s true.  It might be.  It might be retracted later.  The fluidity of 24 hour news reporting along with purposeful twisting of truth make for less reliable news.  We have more knowledge with less certainty.  So I’m very thankful for the reliability of God’s Word.  Psalm 12:6 says,

“The words of the Lord are pure words,
Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,
Purified seven times.”

Titus 1:2 tells us that God cannot lie.  A human can purposefully or accidentally be wrong, but God never can.  What security we have in Him!  Let’s watch where we are feeding for information.  If we start with God’s Word, we will know what truth tastes like, and be more apt to detect a lie.

In Matthew 14:1-2, Herod heard the report about Jesus.  Herod had beheaded John the Baptist in prison, so he told his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.”

I hope his servants didn’t listen.  If Herod had filtered what He heard through God’s Word, he would have known he had just found the source of eternal life.  Instead, he reported through himself, his own experiences and opinions.  That kind of self absorption provides many a blind spot in seeing how things really are.  Lord, help us to be absorbed with You, so that everything we believe is filtered through the light of You.

I’m thankful for the heart of God.
I’m thankful that Christ restores.
I’m thankful that God can take evil and turn it for good.
I’m thankful for the true family of God.
I’m thankful that God cannot lie.

A worker places gold jewellery into a melting furnace at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna

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Flood Warning!

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Flood warnings can save lives and alert people to batten down the hatches.  The Lord has warned us of a dangerous spiritual flood, and I believe the waters are beginning to rise.

By Genesis 6, God sent a flood of water to cleanse the earth and keep His kingdom plan of redemption on track.  Genesis 6:8 says, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”  Not only was Noah warned about the coming flood, he was given specific instruction on how to remain victorious over the prevailing waters.  And so are we.

The coming flood is not of water.

Revelation 12:15 says, “So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.”  We know what flows from Satan’s mouth:  deception.  Like a rip tide, dabbling in his lies will cause one to be snagged and dragged away into delusion.

We’re seeing even those who claim to be Christian enjoying the flavor of worldly proclamations that are at odds with God’s holy and saving Word.  We must be humble and intentional about rejoicing in the truth of the Bible.  We have found grace in the eyes of the Lord through Christ; we have been told about the coming flood; and we have been given specific instruction on how to remain victorious.

“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion…”
2 Thessalonians 2:9-11a

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