Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Discernment for Our Day

                           Discernment Development Begins with Knowing God's Word

2 Timothy 3:1-5, 8-9, 13-14, 16-17 NIV

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Now, Follow These Steps and Then Read Those Passages of Scripture Again

  • Quiet yourself. Quiet your body. Quiet your mind of clutter, chaos, and confusion. But quicken your spirit for clarity and understanding.

  • Pray for the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to open your spiritual eyes and ears and illuminate those passages to impart His truth to you.

  • Slowly re-read the passages, methodically contemplating each word or phrase, while listening for the still small voice of the Holy Spirt.

  • The Divine Whisper speaks softly, almost imperceptibly, and usually just a few words that seem to just "pop" into your mind from out of nowhere. That's His voice speaking within you!

  • Heed His Words! Be obedient to His revealed truth and act on anything that He has quickened in your spirit to do! The more you listen, the more you will hear. The more obedient you are to His voice, the more He will tell you.

  • Close your session with prayer, thanking the Lord for His wisdom and enabling your transformation to become like Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Woe to the Hypocrisy of American Christianity

 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Matthew 23:23-28 NIV

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5 NIV

~And as to all the great "conspiracies" in America today~

How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? Jeremiah 23:26 NIV

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! John 8:42-45 NIV

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 NIV

The lies, deceptions, counterfeit truths, and conspiracy subversions of Satan and the world have been alive and well since God's creation of humanity. Even the Bible records Satan's attempt to discredit Christ's resurrection with a conspiracy theory:

While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” Matthew 28:11-14 NIV

Christ-followers and Bible-studiers should be the last to be swayed by the deceptions, corruptions, and subversions of the truth and the first to expose them as such. Yet, as history has shown, beginning in the Garden of Eden, humankind has been easily swayed from the truth, even when directly in Truth's presence. Gullibility has been our downfall.

And when did justifying the means for the sake of the desired results become part of our Christian doctrine? I always thought we lived by the adage expressed by Grantland Rice, “It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.” I like to extend that to the game of life and rephrase it as, "To bring about noble causes through ignoble means is futile." If a drug cartel gives blood money to the poor, has a noble cause been fulfilled? You can only "win" one way -- by the biblical measuring rod of God's Word.

I don't recall that Jesus used deception, coercion, psychological manipulation, exploitation, or forceful and disruptive means as methodologies to bring His message of salvation to the world. Why would we believe those tactics to be acceptable to promote His kingdom now? We have compromised our character, our integrity, and our ethical and moral standards to promote America and supposedly Christian ideals--all in the name of Jesus. I don't think these actions will receive His blessing of "Well done, good and faithful servant." We have painfully lost our way.

We should be Christ-followers and living-Bibles -- God's imagers on earth. We should certainly be proud to be Americans, honor and respect our Constitution, Amendments, and laws, and honor and respect our flag and national anthem. As a young man, I still remember proudly and respectfully stating the words of my Boy Scout Oath:

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

This is the patriotism that I know. Not the appalling militant nationalism that we've seen on display. I do not personally consider myself a Democrat or a Republican, but I strongly adhere to the democracy of America. And as Americans, we should also know what "Freedom of Speech" really means. Here is an excerpt and an internet link to clarify this frequently confused freedom:

The First Amendment gives citizens the right to peaceably assemble and petition, but you do not have the right by word or deed to potentially harm a person or property. That's breaking the law, not exercising your freedom!

Freedom of speech does not include the right:

  • To incite actions that would harm others (e.g., “Shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.”). Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919).

(Does "Storm the Capitol" ring a bell?)

Finally, here are two more articles online that every serious Christ-follower must read:

It’s time we evangelicals have a talk about Christian nationalism

Christian nationalism is not patriotism, which can be a moral good, nor is it Christianity.

By Ed Stetzer and Andrew MacDonald

The Dallas Morning News 1:31 AM on Jan 31, 2021


Trump-supporting evangelicals must repent after turning blind eye to his evil



Martin Griffith cites the following Scriptures:

Proverbs 6:16-19

There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Proverbs 6:12-15

A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, who plots evil with deceit in his heart—he always stirs up conflict. Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

[email me for a clean document copy of the articles if you'd prefer]

Now is the time for much prayer, introspection, deep contemplation, and meditation on God's Word and obedience to the still small voice of the Divine Whisper, the Holy Spirit, as He guides us back to the right path of peace, love, and righteousness.