Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Right Way

....There is a way which seemeth right unto a man.....As the way of sin and wickedness does, it promising much carnal pleasure and myrth, there is a great deal of company in it, it is a broad road ( Matthew 7:13-14 ), and is pleasant and seems right, but it leads to destruction, so the way of hypocrite " as Pharisee that trust to his own righteousness and despises others", and even the righteousness of Christ, or however does not submit to it, but tramples upon him, and counts the blood of the covenant and wholy thing, and so is deserving of sorer punishment than the profane sinner, yet on account of his goodworks, as he calls them, fancies himself to be in a fair way for heaven, seem to be a right way.... But the end thereof are the ways of death, which lead unto eternal death, for that is the wages of sin (Rom 6:23).

THERE IS A WAY WHICH SEEMETH RIGHT UNTO A MAN --- This way refer to the blinding effects of passion and self-will, for these make a man think his own way best and most desirable . But it seems better to take as warning against following perverted or uninstructed concience. Concience needs to be informed by God's Word and ruled by God's will to make it safe guide.

BUT, THE END THEREOF ARE THE WAYS OF DEATH (Prov 5:5).--- The man is following a false light, and is led astray, and goes headlong to destruction (Rom 1:28, 1Tim 4:2)

We cannot depend upon what seems rigth to a man. We must place our trust in WHAT IS RIGHT, TO DO. For " there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is destruction.

NOW, what pathway are you following, today? Are you sure that pathway is right??? There is a way that is right, and cannot be wrong. There is a pathway, that leads to all the spiritual blessings you need.... A road that leads to heaven. Jesus said John 14:6 , "I AM the Way"
What ought to do??? we ought to be sure of every steps we take. You may be sincere.... but wrong. So, you need to be sure you are right! if you depend 100% on GOD'S WORD the Bible (Believe in Biblical salvation), then you have nothing to be worried

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Idolatry Starts in the Heart

Dr. Ray Pritchard
Idolatry lies in the worshiper, not in the thing worshiped. A golden calf is not an idol by itself. Left to itself, a golden calf is just a golden calf. It becomes an idol only when we begin to worship it. It is a wrong attitude that turns something good into something bad.
  • Don’t blame your car if you aren’t happy. It’s your fault that you trust in your car to give you satisfaction.
  • Don’t blame your boy friend if you aren’t happy. It’s your fault that you look to him to make you happy.
  • Don’t blame your spouse if you aren’t happy. No husband or wife can make you happy all the time.
  • Don’t blame your boss if you aren’t happy. He’s not responsible for your happiness.
  • Don’t blame your children if you aren’t happy. God never meant for you to look to them as the source of your happiness.
  • Don’t blame your new house if you aren’t happy. No house can provide ultimate happiness.
  • Don’t blame your church if you aren’t happy. No church can make you happy.
Happiness comes from a living relationship with Jesus Christ. He alone can satisfy the deepest needs of your life. Looking anywhere else for ultimate happiness is really just a sophisticated form of idolatry.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Never be Ashamed to Ask for Mercy

Dr. Ray Pritchard
Never be ashamed to ask for God’s mercy. If you deserved it, you wouldn’t need it. That’s why we are saved “according to his mercy” (Titus 3:5). It’s also why his mercies are “new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23). His mercy is greater than your sin. He’s ready to clean up the mess you made in the last 24 hours. Lay hold of God’s mercy. There’s plenty to go around. A fresh supply just arrived from heaven this morning.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The New Immoral Morality

Dr. James Emery White
The opening line of a recent Barna Group research report was direct and to the point:
“Christian morality is being ushered out of American social structures and off the cultural main stage, leaving a vacuum in its place – and the broader culture is attempting to fill the void.”
The essence of this cultural shift is simple, but profound. You either consider truth to be something discovered or something created; something determined or something received. 
If we have been spoken into existence by God, then we know two things: that we have purpose and meaning, and that we have an outside authority.
If we have come about by chance, then there is little purpose and meaning to life except what we self-create, and that includes authority. We are our own gods. 
The cultural verdict is in, whether we say we believe in God or not:  truth is something we create – we determine – for ourselves.
This is why we can speak of things as foundational as our sexual identity as something that we identify for ourselves. Notice the language of recent “bathroom” bill conflicts: it’s about choosing the bathroom reflecting the gender you identify with. I couldn’t help but laugh at an opinion piece that said something to the effect of, “So if I am sixty and white, and decide I’m now forty and black, I am?” It’s absurd, but he was spot-on in terms of the logic.
This new moral code, as spelled out by Barna’s David Kinnaman, will sound familiar:
  • The best way to find yourself is by looking within yourself.
  • People should not criticize someone else’s life choices.
  • To be fulfilled in life, you should pursue the things you desire most.
  • The highest goal of life is to enjoy it as much as possible.
  • People can believe whatever they want, as long as those beliefs don’t affect society.
  • Any kind of sexual expression between two consenting adults is acceptable.
The irony is that the very same research finds that the vast majority of Americans are concerned about the moral condition of the nation (8 in 10 overall). This despite the fact that the vast majority also believe that what is right or wrong is a matter of personal experience (e.g., an idea embraced by 74% of all Millennials), with a whopping 65% believing that “every culture must determine what is acceptable morality for its people.”   
A contradiction?
Of course. It reveals that our new morality is not very moral at all. That the new moral code does not produce a moral society. We have chosen to be independent in terms of truth – to be our own gods – but are quickly finding out that we do not have much in the way of goddish virtue.
In other words, if I am god and you are god,
…then God help us.
James Emery White

Sunday, June 26, 2016

One and Done

by Ann Spangler
Usain Bolt is the world’s fastest man. In 2008 he broke the world record for the one hundred meter run three months before the Beijing Olympics. Since then he’s dominated every competition. But that didn’t prevent the six-foot-five Jamaican from being disqualified at the 2011 world track and field championships held in Daegu, South Korea. Crouching at the line for the one hundred meter final, Bolt jumped the blocks early, which disqualified him from the race.
Fellow runners were stunned. Bolt was the latest to fall victim to a new rule referred to as “one and done.” One false start, and the favored athlete was erased from the competition. The rule was adopted to accommodate television broadcast schedules and fans who disliked waiting through countless false starts for races to begin. Prior to that, each runner had been allowed a second chance.
Fortunately for us, God doesn’t have a “one and done” rule. If he did, who on the planet would be left to run the race spoken of in Hebrews:
“Since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us” (12:1).
The truth is, God is even more familiar with our failings than we are.
And still he loves us.
That’s the miracle, the good news that’s worth celebrating every single day of our lives. If you’ve fallen prey to the lie that God couldn’t possibly forgive you for what you’ve done or how many times you’ve done it, decide today to reject it. Don’t dignify it by giving it a hearing in your heart. Instead, find a way to show God you are sincerely sorry. Commit to making amends. But rest in this truth and let it shape the race ahead: as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed your sins from you.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Pocketful of Miracles

by Dr. Tony Evans

(Exodus 14, Psalms 3)

A lot of what God wants to do in your life won't be done until you do what He has already revealed to you.

What He asks you to do isn't always all that huge, just like Moses' move at the Red Sea wasn't all that huge. All God was asking Moses to do was to hold out his stick. That's not that huge. If Moses would just hold out his stick, then God said that He would handle the rest. He would do all of the big stuff. He would open the Red Sea, harden Pharaoh's heart, make him go in after them, and close the Red Sea back up.

But to reveal the faith within us, God often asks us to do our little thing first. Hold out our sticks. Take that step. Make the move. Have the conversation. Quit the job to stay at home. Accept the job that He has shown. Stop the habit. Curb the tongue. Go to church. Go overseas. Whatever it is that He is revealing to you, God will often wait to do His big thing until you have done what He has asked you to do.

He does this because He wants us to see Him in a way we've never seen Him before. He wants us to experience Him in a way that we've never experienced Him before. He wants us to see the connection between our act of faith and His deliverance. He wants to be more than just a Cosmic-Santa Claus with a pocketful of miracles to throw down. God wants a relationship with you. He wants you to see Him up close and personal so He puts you in a situation where He is your only solution. Where it can't be fixed if He doesn't fix it. Where it can't be reversed if He doesn't reverse it. Where it can't be solved if He doesn't solve it. Because, God says, I've let you use all of the natural options available to you, and you are still stuck. Well then, when that happens, know that you are stuck with a purpose. Look to God.

Read The StarLight News on line at

Friday, June 24, 2016

Open Arms

He makes the barren woman abide in the house as a joyful mother of children. PSALM 113:9

Recently a young man named Ryan shared with me this very personal story:

When my sister was born, there were problems during my mom's pregnancy that made her unable to have more children. So my parents decided to pray for a miracle. They got down on their knees and prayed at the side of their bed every night for an entire year, but nothing happened. One year turned into two. Two quickly turned into three. Three turned into four.

Four years of praying. Four years of hurting. Still, nothing happened.

Right about that time, there was a young couple in high school. They had been dating for a while, but the girl said, "This isn't the guy I want to marry, and if I'm not going to marry him, I don't want to keep dating him."

So they broke up. But a short time later, she found out she was pregnant with his baby. She didn't know what to do—didn't know if she should tell her parents, didn't want them to be upset or mad or disappointed.

Finally, she just couldn't take it anymore. She broke down one night and told them. They didn't know what to do either. They already had four kids. One more mouth wasn't going to help things. . . . They started meeting with a counselor, looking at options, shedding a lot of tears, and try ing to decide what to do.

But the Lord took my parents' inability to have more kids, and He took that young couple's high-school indiscretion, and He meshed them together. On August 31, 1970, my parents, Jim and Shirley, brought me home from an adoption center.

That's how I became a Dobson.

That's the power of prayer. That's the power of adoption. And that's the power of a family.


Infertility strikes so close to the heart, but talk about adoption is its redemptive response.


Ask God to increasingly make Christian families like yours available and open—havens of hope to millions of orphans. And if you know an infertile couple, please pray for them.

Read The StarLight News on line at

Thursday, June 23, 2016

You Can be a Hero

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13

Something was different about the little village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in France. Unlike most communities across the country, this town hid their Jews from the Nazis during World War II. A journalist one day wanted to see what kind of heroes would risk everything for the lives of others, so he took a trip to Le Chambon-sur-Lignon.

The journalist was floored when he arrived to find these people weren’t particularly smart or brave. But they were faithful believers in Christ who had learned from their local pastor what it meant to love others. And over time, doing what’s right just became a habit for them. So they did.

When we think about the word “hero” today, images come to mind of people who are exceptional to everyone else. But the truth is that most heroes today are astonishingly ordinary. They’re simply people who see a need and do what God would have them do to respond.

If you’ll allow God to take control in your life, determining who to help and how, He can use you just like He used the people of that humble French village. Make yourself available to Him. Love others as Jesus loves you. When you simply respond according to the Spirit of God, there’s no limit to what God can do for others through you!

Prayer Challenge

Pray and surrender yourself to God as a vehicle of His radical, heroic love for others.

Questions for Thought

Think of a time when someone showed love for you in a very big way. How did it make you feel?

What might change in your life today if you completely surrendered to God by letting His love for others impact everything you do?

Read The StarLight News on line at

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Oldest Lie of Satan

by Neil Anderson

Deuteronomy 32:17-18

They sacrificed to demons who were not God, to gods whom they have not known, new gods who came lately, whom your fathers did not dread. You neglected the Rock who begot you, and forgot the God who gave you birth.

The New Age Movement cloaks the occult in the description of New Age enlightenment: "You don't need God; you are God. You don't need to repent of your sins and depend on God to save you. Sin isn't a problem; you just need to turn off your mind and tune in to the great cosmic oneness through harmonic convergence." The New Age pitch is the oldest lie of Satan: "You will be like God" (Genesis 3:5).

This thirst for knowledge and power has lured a fallen humanity to seek guidance from mediums and spiritists, and from such occultic practices as fortune-telling, tarot cards, palm-reading, Ouija boards, astrology, magic charming and automatic writing. People all around us are ignoring the God who loves them and wants to guide their lives and are instead seeking light and peace in the kingdom of darkness. Peace can only be found in the Prince of Peace, not in the prince of darkness.

Don't be carried away by the prospect of knowledge and power which is luring so many people in our culture today away from God. People such as the devotees of Simon in Acts 8:9, 10, will continue to be astonished by those who practice New Age sorcery. Others, such as the customers of the demon-possessed slave girl in Acts 16:16-18, will contribute to the profit of those who exercise a spirit of divination. As in these examples from the early church, those who seek knowledge and power from the dark side will greatly interfere with the work of God, deceiving many by the counterfeit forces they employ. Other people will thirst after power to such an extent that they will sacrifice to the "goat demons" (Leviticus 17:7) and even sacrifice their own children to demons (Psalm 106:36-38).

Let the words of Deuteronomy 32:17, 18, sober us to the reality that even believers are vulnerable to being lured away from the knowledge and power of God by our enemy.

Prayer: Lord, I refuse to participate with the powers of darkness. You are my life and the light of my world.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

You are Rude and Inconsiderate!

by Tim Challies
You are not “running late.” You are rude. You are inconsiderate. You need to change. Greg Savage’s frustration with other people’s tardiness boiled over into an amusing rant that he posted online, and that was subsequently read by hundreds of thousands.
"10 people kept waiting in a meeting for 20 minutes, while some selfish pratt who idles his way via the coffee shop, is actually 20 minutes times 10, which is 200 minutes wasted – while you keep us waiting because you did not catch the earlier bus. That is over 3 hours wasted. By you! How much has that cost the business? Shall I send you an invoice?"
"And an arrangement to meet someone for a business meeting at a coffee shop at 3 pm, more often than not means at 3.10 you get a text saying ‘I am five minutes away’ which inevitably means 10 minutes, and so you wait for 15 or 20 minutes, kicking your heels in frustration."
Like most epic and enjoyable rants, we can all identify with the heart of the issue. Most of us feel some of his angst, because most of us have been kept waiting by someone who pulls in late too often and who apologizes too seldom. Somehow lateness has become culturally acceptable, excused away by busyness or traffic or the other trappings of our frantic lives. Savage says, “I consider serial lateness a character flaw which I take into account when working out who to promote, who to hire and who to count amongst my real friends.” In his view it is that important.
In many ways I am inclined to agree with Savage. I can very easily see a link between promptness and character, where people of mature character tend to be the ones who show up on time, or even a few minutes early. Here in North America we could probably lobby to make it the missing fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, promptness, kindness, gentleness… But there is always one nagging little thought in the back of my mind: Jesus was late. Or was he just on time? He certainly looked late. In John 11 he is summoned to rush to the side of his friend Lazarus. But he dawdled and arrived not 20 minutes late, but 2 whole days late. By that time Lazarus was not only in the grave, but getting pretty ripe in there. His friends were disappointed in him, assuming that he didn’t properly understand the situation, or that he didn’t properly prioritize it. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
But Jesus had been waylaid for the best of reasons—he was deeply in touch with God’s will and knew that God had something he meant to do and something he meant to prove in this situation. Where a human perspective made Jesus look like a failure, from a divine perspective he was the greatest success. We can see the same in the Psalms where David seems to assume that God is late or too busy with other things, too busy or too distracted to reply to David in his agony. We can see it in the cries of God’s people under oppression, as God seems so slow to turn his face toward them. Sometimes even the Divine looks late when we look at Him from our so-human and so-limited perspective.
And this is just my fear when we demand promptness and assume that tardiness indicates a character flaw. There is so much we don’t see. There are many people who love to do good to others, and they allow that doing good to others to take precedence over their schedules. My temptation is just the opposite, to refuse to do good because I don’t want to be late. In fact, just last night I dreamed about witnessing an accident but driving away so I wouldn’t be late for an elders’ meeting.
This issue has been an important one in my church. Toronto is the most culturally diverse city in the world, which makes the churches multi-racial, multi-cultural, and multi-everything else. I would say that nearly half of our church is from a West African or South American background, and both continents regard time differently from the way we do. I might be tempted to regard this only as weakness, but there are strengths as well. While I arrive on time but alone, my African friends might arrive thirty minutes late, but in a socially-engaged crowd. While I might be tempted to rush right back out of church to get home, to get lunch, to get a nap, to get geared up for the evening service, my African friends might dawdle at the church and socialize for hours until the next service begins. The issue that may frustrate us also masks genuine strengths. Will those strengths diminish as promptness increases? Is it worth the cost? Some of the most thoughtful people I know, are also the most consistently late people I know. They show their thoughtfulness in other ways—ways that sometimes make them late.
I do not mean to defend lateness. I still believe promptness is an application of Jesus’ simple command that we are to let our yes be yes and our no be no. If you say you will arrive at 10, arrive at 10, not 11. Like Savage, I believe the deeper issue is with people who plan to be late, who think so highly of themselves that they don’t even attempt to get there on time anymore, and who don’t care a bit for how this inconveniences others.
So by all means, let’s plan to be on time, and let’s live orderly lives. But let’s be slow to stand in judgment of those who show up at a time we deem inappropriate. If nothing else, let’s know people for their many strengths and not only that one weakeness that most frustrates us.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sinful Leaders

by Dr. James Emery White

There is only one kind of leader.


I’ve often told folks at Meck that a sinner has to lead the church, so I might as well be honest about it, and to make sure they know that’s what they’ve got. To fail to do so would only add “deceit” to my list of sins.

Now, by “sinful” I don’t mean disqualifying patterns of public sin. Yet non-disqualifying sin abounds.

Don’t get me wrong.

The vast majority of pastors are good people.

Very good people.

They have deep consciences and wrestle with their sins and inadequacies more than anyone needs to point out for their benefit.

But yes, they are sinful.

Which means sinful people have to lead the church. Not formerly sinful, but currently sinful.

So what does that mean for the health and well-being of the church?

Four things come to mind:

1 – You need to be a sinful leader who is continually seeking forgiveness and striving for repentance. The Bible is full of habitual sinners, often in the same areas over and over again, but what marked God’s ability to use them tended to be their equally habitual contrition.

2 – You need to be a sinful leader who does not boast about things you have neither achieved nor maintained. Notice my language. Every leader will have to teach biblical truth about virtues they do not maintain. What is key is that there is not the heartbeat of hypocrisy which boasts as if you are above the fray.

3 – You need to be a sinful leader who works diligently to protect your life from the kinds of public sins that would shame the church and hurt her witness. Ask the family of any pastor to name that pastor’s sins, and they could. And no pastor would ask that such sins be excused. But what is essential is that the sins of that pastor are not the kind that will find their way into the news. I’m not talking about a cover-up, I’m talking about a wise-up. To be “above reproach” does not mean to be “above sin.” It means to live in such a way that you fight the hardest, and are disciplined the most, against the sins that are most prone for public display. And you do it not for the sake of your reputation, but for the sake of the church.

4 – You need to be a sinful leader who knows that it is only by the grace of God you are able to sustain another day of leadership. So you lean on God, depend on God, drink deeply from God. You know you are a sin-stained, sin-soaked person, so you pray like a drowning man to God for rescue. In other words, your sin leaves a deep mark of humility.

So let’s recap:

You have a sinful leader.

Pray they are the kind of sinful leader God wants.

James Emery White

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Why is Church So Boring?

by David Murray
Why is Church So Boring?
"A recent survey of people who used to be church members revealed that the main reason they stopped going to church was that they found it boring. It is difficult for many people to find worship a thrilling and moving experience." - R C Sproul
“'How awesome is this place!' This was Jacob’s response to being in the house of God. People do not normally feel that way in church. There is no sense of awe, no sense of being in the presence of One who makes us tremble. People in awe never complain that church is boring." - R C Sproul
The two quotes are from The Holiness of God by R C Sproul. The first identifies boredom as the main reason people stop going to church, and the second identifyies awe as the antidote to boredom.
Summary: More awe in church services = less boredom in church = less people leave church.
If Sproul is right, and I believe he is, how do we create more awe in our church services. Is this something only God can give, so we have to just wait for it to happen? Or is it something for which we are also responsible? 
Obviously, it’s God’s presence alone that can create awe, and therefore, ultimately, we are entirely dependent upon Him to choose to honor our worship services with His presence. However, there are important elements of human responsibility here too. God usually works through human means, and that puts obligations on the worship leader and the worshipping people.
The Worship Leader
In my own tradition, the preaching pastor is also the worship leader, and it’s that worship model I have primarily in mind here. However, most of this can also apply where the role is divided between two or more people.
1. Preparation. The worship leader should be prayerfully preparing for worship just as he prayerfully prepares his sermons. Far too often the pastor gives 15 hours to his sermon, 15 minutes to choosing songs, and 15 seconds to thinking about public prayer. He may pray for hours about his sermon and not at all for the singing, praying, and scripture reading. I’ve often found it helpful preparation to sing or listen to some Psalms in my office in the last few minutes before going to church.
2. Integration. The worship leader must ensure that the songs he chooses, the scripture reading, the prayer, and the spirit in which he conducts all this, fit the sermon theme. For example, there’s no point in having all praise songs if the sermon is about confession of sin. The prayer should also reflect at least some of the sermon content.
3. Organization. There should be a regular and recognized order to the worship so that the worshippers know what’s happening rather than just a haphazard free-for all, jumping from one thing to another without any rhyme nor reason. The Apostle Paul said that one of the ways to ensure that visiting worshippers are awed and stunned by the church’s worship is by orderliness and regularity (1 Cor. 14:23-32), not by novelty and unpredictability.
4. Conviction. No one is awed without conviction of sin. Look from Genesis to Revelation – from Jacob to Job to Isaiah to Ezekiel to Daniel to Peter to Thomas to Paul to John in Patmos – and you won’t find one example of any awed worshipper apart from them being first convicted of their sin. We’d love to go straight to doxology but there’s no shortcut past the valley of humiliation. Through song, prayer, and Scripture readings, worship leaders must remind people of their sin and sinfulness and lead them in confession.
5. Passion. Although some worship leaders sometimes take this way too far and the whole worship experience ends up in artificial emotionalism, which is more fleshly than spiritual, many in my more Reformed world take this to the other extreme and lead worship like a robot. If we look and sound bored, little surprise if those we are leading look and sound the same. If we’re not enthused, excited, and expectant, no one else is going to be.
6. Education. Perhaps the greatest need today is re-educating people about worship. We assume far too much. Do most people really know what worship is? Who’s it to? Who’s it for? Who is the God we are worshipping? A great start would be to give every worshipper Sproul’s book, The Holiness of God.
Next time, we’ll look at the responsibility of worshippers for creating awesome worship services. Meanwhile, what else do you think we can do to make our services more awe-full?

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Dependence on God—A Witness of His Power

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” - 2 Corinthians 4:7 

If you’re like most people, you don’t realize your dependency on God until you’re burned out from stress—either self-induced or caused by circumstances beyond your control.

Why is that?

Paul says it’s because we are fragile. But he doesn’t stop there. He says that God made us this way so that His power may be known through us!

Maybe someone told you, “Oh, just tie a knot and hang on!” Sometimes God wants us to let go of the rope because it is keeping us tied down to our destructive habits. We are totally dependent on God so that the love of His Son may be made known to the world.

Get a piece of rope and tie a knot in it. Let it sit on your desk this week as a reminder that God is more than just a knot at the end of the rope. He is the Savior of the World!
For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Knowledge You’re Working

With Colin Smith

We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world.” 1 Corinthians 8:4 NIV

Remember, conscience functions according to knowledge, so what we know is important: “We know that ‘An idol is nothing at all… There is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live” (8:4,6).

John goes to church in Corinth. He’s a Christian and he knows that an idol is nothing more than a creation and projection of man’s vain imagination; so he goes to the butcher, buys his meat, and eats it with a clear conscience. “We know that an idol is nothing at all… but not everyone knows this.” (1 Cor.8:7).

Conscience is the ability to act with knowledge. That means the way your conscience functions will depend on the knowledge it is working with. Some Christians are still so accustomed to idols that their conscience tells them it’s wrong to eat this meat.

Mary was brought up in a world of idols. She has horrible memories of idolatrous festivals and the things that happened there. Now she has become a Christian, she feels that it would be wrong for her to eat meat that was slaughtered after one of these idolatrous festivals. And so just to be sure, she has decided that she won’t eat any meat at all.

One evening Mary meets John and they go out to a restaurant. John orders a T-bone steak and Mary orders a salad. John says to Mary, “Why are you ordering a salad? I’m buying. Have a steak!” Mary says, “I don’t feel right about that.”

How do you think Mary and John ought to resolve this?

[Based on the sermon series "Regeneration: How Christ Changes Your Soul"]

For more resources by Colin Smith visit Unlocking the Bible, where you can request a free sample of LifeKEYS Daily devotional, listen to the radio program, or browse other gospel-centered, Christ-exalting resources. You can also follow Colin on Twitter.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

When God Doesn't Zap Away Our Sin

Tim Challies
God promises grace to battle sin and to overcome sin. We believe that God gives that kind of grace to his people. This is not something we deserve; it is not something he owes us, but he gives it anyway. It is undeserved, the overflow of his love for us.
And we long for that grace—the grace to put sin to death, the grace to bring righteousness to life, the grace to be who and what God calls us to be.
God gives that grace, but for some reason—his good reasons—it rarely comes in the form we would prefer. God gives it not in the form we want but in the form we need. We want God to zap away our sin, to instantly and permanently remove it. Those desires, those addictions, those idolatries—we want them to be lifted and to be gone that very moment. 
God could do this. He has the strength and the power. And occasionally he does do this, he removes the sin and the temptation to sin in an instant, and it never comes back with the same strength and the same force.
But more commonly God’s grace is not manifested in the instant obliteration of a sin. Instead, his grace is manifested in a newfound desire to destroy that sin. God does not zap away our sin, but gives us a new hatred for it and a new desire to do the hard work of battling it. He does not sovereignly remove it in a moment, but extends grace so we can battle it for a lifetime. He extends grace so we can see continuous, incremental success, knowing our weakness and crying out for his strength. He gives what we need, even if it isn’t quite what we want.
And this, too, is grace. This, too, is undeserved favor from a loving God. This, somehow, must be far better for us than the alternative. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Genesis 33:14

I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure (Genesis 33:14).

What a beautiful picture of Jacob's thoughtfulness for the cattle and the children! He would not allow them to be overdriven even for one day. He would not lead on according to what a strong man like Esau could do and expected them to do, but only according to what they were able to endure. He knew exactly how far they could go in a day; and he made that his only consideration in arranging the marches. He had gone the same wilderness journey years before, and knew all about its roughness and heat and length, by personal experience. And so he said, "I will lead on softly." "For ye have not passed this way heretofore" (Josh.3:4.).

We have not passed this way heretofore, but the Lord Jesus has. It is all untrodden and unknown ground to us, but He knows it all by personal experience. The steep bits that take away our breath, the stony bits that make our feet ache so, the hot shadeless stretches that make us feel so exhausted, the rushing rivers that we have to pass through -- Jesus has gone through it all before us. "He was wearied with his journey." Not some, but all the many waters went over Him, and yet did not quench His love. He was made a perfect Leader by the things which He suffered. "He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust." Think of that when you are tempted to question the gentleness of His leading. He is remembering all the time; and not one step will He make you take beyond what your foot is able to endure. Never mind if you think it will not be able for the step that seems to come next; either He will so strengthen it that it shall be able, or He will call a sudden halt, and you shall not have to take it at all.
--Frances Ridley Havergal

In "pastures green"? Not always; sometimes He
Who knowest best, in kindness leadeth me
In weary ways, where heavy shadows be.
So, whether on the hill-tops high and fair
I dwell, or in the sunless valleys, where
The shadows lie, what matter? He is there.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Daniel 6:20

O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee? (Daniel 6:20).
How many times we find this expression in the Scriptures, and yet it is just this very thing that we are so prone to lose sight of. We know it is written "the living God"; but in our daily life there is scarcely anything we practically so much lose sight of as the fact that God is the living God; that He is now whatever He was three or four thousand years since; that He has the same sovereign power, the same saving love towards those who love and serve Him as ever He had and that He will do for them now what He did for others two, three, four thousand years ago, simply because He is the living God, the unchanging One. Oh, how therefore we should confide in Him, and in our darkest moments never lose sight of the fact that He is still and ever will be the living God!
Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to Him and expect help from Him, He will never fail you. An older brother who has known the Lord for forty-four years, who writes this, says to you for your encouragement that He has never failed him. In the greatest difficulties, in the heaviest trials, in the deepest poverty and necessities, He has never failed me; but because I was enabled by His grace to trust Him He has always appeared for my help. I delight in speaking well of His name.
--George Mueller

Luther was once found at a moment of peril and fear, when he had need to grasp unseen strength, sitting in an abstracted mood tracing on the table with his finger the words, "Vivit! vivit!" ("He lives! He lives!"). It is our hope for ourselves, and for His truth, and for mankind. Men come and go; leaders, teachers, thinkers speak and work for a season, and then fall silent and impotent. He abides. They die, but He lives. They are lights kindled, and, therefore, sooner or later quenched; but He is the true light from which they draw all their brightness, and He shines for evermore.
--Alexander Maclaren
"One day I came to know Dr. John Douglas Adam," writes C. G. Trumbull. "I learned from him that what he counted his greatest spiritual asset was his unvarying consciousness of the actual presence of Jesus. Nothing bore him up so, he said, as the realization that Jesus was always with him in actual presence; and that this was so independent of his own feelings, dependent of his deserts, and independent of his own notions as to how Jesus would manifest His presence.
"Moreover, he said that Christ was the home of his thoughts. Whenever his mind was free from other matters it would turn to Christ; and he would talk aloud to Christ when he was alone -- on the street, anywhere -- as easily and naturally as to a human friend. So real to him was Jesus' actual presence.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Extreme Love

Amos 4:9 "I blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, Your vineyards, Your fig trees, And your olive trees, The locust devoured them; Yet you have not returned to Me," Says the LORD." NKJV

Often in the Hebrew Scriptures, we read of the judgments of God and gasp as we see Israel and other nations suffering under the Lord's power. While the judgments of God are difficult, we must understand that all through the Old Testament God is showing grace and mercy. In the prophets, He calls for people to turn from their wicked ways and He will forgive them. You see friend, while God's discipline can often seem extreme, His love is just as potent.

    Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." NKJV

Extreme love - that is what the God of all creation has shown towards us. While we were steeped in sin and suffering under the weight of condemnation, He stepped out of heaven and gave His life for ours. The punishment that we deserved was placed upon Jesus on the cross. Each strike of the nails that pierced His hands was done so that we could know forgiveness. Each cruel word and slash of the whip on Jesus' body happened so that we could spend eternity with Him. All we have to do is come to Jesus seeking forgiveness and trusting in Him for salvation. As we do, we take part in the greatest love anyone could ever know.

Life Lesson: God goes to extreme measures to reveal His love for us.

Dear God,
I know that I have done wrong. Today, I come to You and ask that You would forgive me of all my sins. I confess that Jesus is Lord and I believe that He died for my sins and was raised from the grave three days later. Lord, make me a new creation and fill me with Your Spirit so that I can live for You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Receiving Joy and Strength

There is still another vital aspect to the "why" of Jesus' departure. He said, "If I do not go away, the Helper (Paraclete) will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you." Jesus' departure was tied to Pentecost. There is no Pentecost without ascension. As the invested King of kings, Jesus had the authority together with the Father to send His Holy Spirit in a new and powerful way upon the church. Jesus spoke of a certain necessity of His leaving in order for the Spirit to come. Herein was another great advantage. He declared, "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you" (Acts 1:8, KJV).

Two remarkable things happened to the disciples after Jesus departed. The first is that they "returned to Jerusalem with great joy" (Luke 24:52). They were not despondent over the departure of Jesus. Obviously they finally understood why He was leaving. They understood what, for the most part, the church since then has failed to understand. We live as if it would not have been better for Jesus to leave.

The second obvious change in the lives of the disciples was in their spiritual strength. After Pentecost, they were different people. No longer did they flee like sheep without a shepherd. Instead, they turned the world upside down. They turned the world upside down because they fully understood two simple things: the "where" and the "why" of Jesus' departure.

Coram Deo: Living in the Presence of God
Great joy and spiritual strength are two of the benefits of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Let Him release these benefits in your life today.

For Further Study
Acts 4:31: "And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness."
Acts 4:33: "And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all."
Acts 4:29: "Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word."
The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries and Dr. R.C. Sproul is to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


By Pastor Robert Roosendaal

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:7

The love scene takes on a total transformation as we examine God's love as given in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. From the heart of God flows the riches of His love, expressed by the Greek word "agape"----shining forth with eternal splendor and glory. Think of its surpassing beauty, purity and holiness. Our wonderful Lord who never changes is also constant in exercising this divine quality of love. It is expressed in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son ... " This love is the basis for Paul's declaration: "Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it" (Eph. 5:25). This fabulous love overwhelms God's family as told in Romans 8:35--- Who shall separate us from the love of Chris!...?" There is only one answer---Absolutely nothing! What marvelous details of assurance: In verse one there is "no more condemnation" and verse 29 guarantees "no more separation" and through it all the promise that "all things work together for good". Yes, Romans 8 is a gold mine of riches. What kindness and comfort for God's child. This wonderful story of love goes on and on as told in God's Word. How thankful we should be for God's boundless provisions, praising God for all that has been done for us in the Person of Christ His Son at Calvary where we behold the greatest exhibition of love ever displayed.

John's lovely Gospel closes with the re-commissioning of Peter. As the Lord tenderly probes the nature of Peter's love we detect Peter's honesty, confessing that his love for the Christ was limited--- a "phileo" love, a tender affection. It was Christ's amazing love and compassion that reached out to a troubled and faltering Peter, restoring him into fellowship and service. The Holy Spirit here draws our attention to the wondrous love of God---man's love is a different story. Let us be honest about it as Peter was! When David sinned by numbering the children of Israel, God gave him three choices, and you will recall that he very wisely chose to fall into the hands of God, for His mercy is far greater than men. Christ was better at restoring preachers than we would ever be.

Without a doubt there is no greater, or more valuable possession that we can hold in our hands than the word of God - The Holy Bible. And while we hold, and read, and study God's word, we have no greater need than to know how to handle it as God has intended that we handle it. For only then will we handle the Bible properly. and only then will it be able to effectually and fully function for us as "the word of truth' that it is, and thereby be able to accomplish what God has designed it to accomplish in our minds, and hearts, and lives.
_K. Blades

Friday, June 10, 2016


By the late Pastor R. Hanna

Scripture Reading: Revelation 2l:11; 2 Corinthians 5:10

Many people - saved people - live in dread of death because they do not understand the kind of judgment that they will face before God. There is indeed a final judgment to come which is awesome and should strike fear in the heart of those who will face it. The Apostle John wrote, describing what was revealed to him in a vision on the Isle of Patmos: "I saw a great white throne, and Him (Christ) that sat on it...and I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life ... and whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20: 11-15) Those described here are the lost - those who did not accept God's proffered salvation before they died. The lost from all generations are raised from the dead to face this sentence of eternal separation from God.
But you and I, if we have been saved by the grace of God by faith, are not destined to confront the Great White Throne. Our apostle has revealed that "We must all appear before the judgment seat (BEMA) of Christ (not the great white throne); that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10) The works for which we will be judged are those accomplished in service to God during our lives after we have been saved. "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss (of reward), but he himself shall be saved ... " (I Corinthians 3:15)

Just A Thought:
"There are many dangerous trends pulling folks away from true Bible Christianity. Many of the newer philosophies of ministry employ methods that are wholly carnal. Some have adopted objectives that have not one line of Scripture to support them, and some employ conduct that differs little from the world. "

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent – Revelation 2:4-5

Do you remember when your eyes were first opened to see the beauty and the grace and the power of Jesus Christ? Perhaps it was at a young age, or after many wrong and painful choices, or as a result of a long and arduous search for truth — but when Christ revealed himself to you, you had eyes only for Him.

But since then, things have changed. Life has gotten busy, work has been stressful, the hunt for an escape has replaced your search for truth. Maybe you still go through the religious motions of church attendance or Bible studies, but your heart is not in it any more. You have left your first love.

If this describes you, then Jesus says to you "Remember." Remember the peace and the joy and the satisfaction that is only found in a close relationship with Christ. Remember the worthiness and glory and humility of Christ on the cross. Remember what it's all about. It's all about Jesus.

And after you remember, then repent. Repentance necessarily involves admitting that you have been wrong…but it means even more than that. It means changing your ways and doing what is right. Repent of the fact that you have let other things come between you and Christ; admit that you have not nurtured your love for Him as you ought; confess your need of His renewing and reviving work in your life.

Remember. Repent. Return to your first love.