Monday, October 31, 2016

Satan’s Biggest Deception

Don’t be na├»ve or deceived, and don’t leave yourself vulnerable without a weapon.

October’s Awakening, Day 31:

Satan exists in the unseen spiritual realm and manifests himself in the physical realm as evil, selfishness, carnality, perversion, destruction, death, sin, sickness, poverty, and a host of other negative entities. The biggest lie he pushes off on people is that he does not exist, when in fact, he is real!

 - Creflo Dollar

The devil is a better theologian than any of us and is a devil still.

 -A. W. Tozer

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Matthew 4:1-11 NIV

            Satan, the accuser, the tempter, the father of lies, the destroyer, and the prince and ruler of this world, came to tempt Jesus, during His forty-day fast in the wilderness, using the Word of God, but in a distorted, incomplete, and out of contextual way. Still, Jesus perfectly resisted and combated Satan’s temptations, by reciting appropriately, God’s Word back. If Jesus, the Son of God, deemed it necessary to effectually combat Satan and his schemes by using the Word of God, how much more essential is that for us? If you don’t know the Word, temptation and Satan will be hard to effectively combat and defeat. You’re leaving yourself fully exposed without any weapon to defend yourself.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Ultimate Influence

Those made in the image of God need to know God, and know what we’re all about and why we’re here.

October’s Awakening, Day 30:

So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it, the more confident my hope that they will prove useful citizens and respectful members of society.

 -John Quincy Adams 
Therefore, the Bible is the best self-help, self-awareness, self-image, self-confidence book ever written because it explains who I really am. Again, who am I? I am a spirit made in the very image of God. 

 -Dr. O. S. Hawkins, “The Jesus Code”

            The best place to find yourself, discover your reason for being, and your destiny, is in the Bible. It was written especially for you. If you’re looking for answers, you will find them there. If you’re wondering what you’re all about and why, God will speak to you from the pages. If you want a deep, serious relationship with your Creator, you must meet Him there. If you want to become the best you can be, you must follow and implement the truth in His Words. If you desperately need hope, help, and happiness, you can cultivate and harvest an abundance from His endless supply between the covers of His Book.

            If you’re searching for all these things from the sources of the world, you will always be disappointed. You see, you were not made by the world in its image, you were made by God in His image. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

God’s Word Timelessly Speaks

The Word of God was, is, and will continue to be. Are you letting it speak to you?

October’s Awakening, Day 29:

Approach the Bible not only as a book which was once spoken, but a book which is now speaking. 

 -A. W. Tozer

He who is but a casual reader of the Bible, does not know the height, the depth, the length and breadth of the mighty meanings contained in its pages.

There are certain times when I discover a new vein of thought, and I put my hand to my head and say in astonishment, "Oh, it is wonderful I never saw this before in the Scriptures."

You will find the Scriptures enlarge as you enter them; the more you study them the less you will appear to know of them, for they widen out as we approach them. Especially will you find this the case with the "typical" parts of God's Word. Most of the historical bools were intended to be types either of dispensations, or experiences, or offices of Jesus Christ.

Study the Bible with this as a key. One of the most interesting points of the Scriptures is their constant tendency to display Christ.

 -C. H. Spurgeon

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Matthew 5:17,18 NIV

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35 NIV

            God’s Word is eternal, written by the finger of God and through chosen human vessels inspired by the Holy Spirit. Regardless of what the world may think, it transcends time and all generations and speaks into the hearts and minds of all who read it, and it will continue to do so into eternity. It will not go away. Don’t you think something as significant as the Bible should be read, studied, and meditated on regularly to learn and follow its immense spiritual truths?

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Word’s Inestimable Value

Are you placing emphasis on what is truly important, essential for your well-being, and of eternal significance? Is God and your knowledge of His Word and your subsequent spiritual growth your priority?

October’s Awakening, Day 28:

Thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.

 -Theodore Roosevelt

The most learned, acute and diligent student cannot, in the longest life, obtain an entire knowledge of this one volume. The more deeply he works the mine, the richer and more abundant he finds the ore; new light continually beams from this source of heavenly knowledge, to direct the conduct, and illustrate the work of God and the ways of men; and he will at last leave the world confessing that the more he studied the Scriptures, the fuller conviction he had of his own ignorance and of their inestimable value.

 -Sir Walter Scott

            Words are powerful and the effects long lasting. With the Word of God, it is even more profound and eternal. The depth and richness of the nuances of every verse continue to enlighten and inspire and new revelations manifest on every reading. These are God’s eternal Words given to us to show us just a glimpse of His glory. He is unfathomable and His Words carry the ultimate power in the universe and all creation.

Nothing cuts to the heart like His Word and nothing is more able to convict us of sin and bring us to Him. God Himself is there within His Word, alive, fresh, and new each time, to show us the way, guide our thoughts and actions, and speak to our hearts to bring us His peace and comfort and joy that can only be found in Him. Let His Word come alive in your life and let His Spirit entwine eternally with yours.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

It’s Time to Read, Time to Change

When was the last time you spent time reading your Bible or Bible App? When was the last time you took a shower? Are you cleansing your mind with the Word as often as you’re cleansing your body of the filth of the world?

October’s Awakening, Day 27:

Isn’t it amazing that almost everyone has an opinion to offer about the Bible, and yet so few have studied it?

 -R. C. Sproul  

We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.

 -John Stott

            Yes, it is amazing! The Bible will always be a subject of discussion and controversy, and sadly, most of us are not students of it. Yet the most important point is to give the Bible an unbiased try. Let God’s Words jump off the page and confront your current thinking, shake up your thoughts and understanding of things, enlighten your ideals, build your character, and transform your patterns of behavior. Replace the deceptions of the world with God’s eternal truth.

That’s what the Word was intended to do. It is powerful and alive, and it will speak to you if you will just listen. Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) tells us: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Read His Word. If you meditate on it, it will come to life and revelations will abound.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Illumination and Cooperation

If we cooperate, He will illuminate, both in our understanding of the Word and in our spiritual transformation.

October’s Awakening, Day 26:

If you do not understand a book by a departed writer you are unable to ask him his meaning, but the Spirit, who inspired Holy Scripture, lives forever, and He delights to open the Word to those who seek His instruction.

 -Charles Spurgeon

A man's readiness and commitment are not enough if he does not enjoy help from above as well; equally help from above is no benefit to us unless there is also commitment and readiness on our part. Thus I entreat you neither to entrust everything to God and then fall asleep, nor to think, when you are striving diligently, that you will achieve everything by your own efforts.

 -John Chrysostom

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13 NIV

            It is fortunate that as believers, we have the Holy Spirit within us to both illuminate the Word of God to better understand its deep meanings, and for the opportunity to allow Him to transform us toward spiritual maturity. Cooperation is the key. The Spirit of God will quicken our spirit and instruct and lead us, but we must actively listen and follow. We cannot do it in our own strength nor will the Holy Spirit forcibly act upon us. Our free-will must surrender to Him, or we will never completely understand His Word nor become spiritually mature. Is your spirit ready to submit and surrender to Him, or are you kicking against the goads?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Spiritual Reality

Annihilation and extinction in God’s creation doesn’t exist, only transformation from one form to another; particles to different particles or to energy, energy to different forms of energy or to particles. Everything created remains.

October’s Awakening, Day 25:

In this modern world of ours many people seem to think that science has somehow made such religious ideas as immortality untimely or old fashioned. I think science has a real surprise for the skeptics. Science, for instance, tells us that nothing in nature, not even the tiniest particle, can disappear without a trace. Nature does not know extinction. All it knows is transformation. If God applies this fundamental principle to the most minute and insignificant parts of His universe, doesn't it make sense to assume that He applies it to the masterpiece of His creation, the human soul?

 -Dr. Warner von Braun, founder of U.S. space exploration program

Since the Holy Spirit did not intend to teach us whether heaven moves or stands still, nor whether the earth is located at its center or off to one side, then so much the less was it intended to settle for us any other conclusion of the same kind. Now if the Holy Spirit has purposely neglected to teach us propositions of this sort as irrelevant to the highest goal (that is, to our salvation), how can anyone affirm that it is obligatory to take sides on them? I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree: "The intention of the Holy Spirit is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how heaven goes."

 -Galileo Galilei 

            In all God’s creation, conservation and economy is His key. Existence in some form is eternal. As Einstein’s special theory of relativity states, E=mc², matter and energy are interchangeable and nothing is lost. God chooses to conserve every particle and every minutia of energy in some manner, shape, or form. As we are the epitome of His creation, in His very image, we are uniquely retained in our pristine created state. Every human being exists forever, and ultimately will reside in the place of their own choosing. Annihilation is not an option, there is only existence. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Spiritual Prosperity

Prosperity in the natural and the spiritual is all about connecting and staying connected with God.

October’s Awakening, Day 24:

God knows our hearts. He will always make sure that we prosper to the degree we prosper spiritually.

 -Brian L Summy, “It's Not About Me, It's About God”

Be careful. . . the times in your life when you feel like giving up and forgetting about the consequences are the times when you most need spiritual accountability and a true relationship with God that will give you strength in the midst of your weakness or frustration.

 -Chrystal Armstrong, “God's Divine Design for Dating and Marriage” 

            Prospering in the natural is best when we are prospering in the spiritual most. But the converse is not true. Times of prosperity in the natural may do absolutely nothing to enhance our spiritual lives. In fact, sometimes prosperity can leave us spiritually dry and dead. The reason is simple: when we are prospering, we tend to believe that we’re doing it all on our own and God takes the back seat. It is when times are tough and we are struggling that we typically reach out more to God. Of course, that should not be the case, since all that we are and all that we have is from Him. Spiritual dependence on God is a wonderful thing, but spiritual dependence on Self will always result in failure.

            Alternately, we must never get to the extreme of despair such that we lose all hope in Him and give up. It is precisely then that we need Him most, and He will be the strength in our weakness and the serenity amidst our turmoil. We would do best to get connected and stay connected, whether we’re on top of the mountain or in the dry, desert valley below.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

God Is a Spiritual Builder

Do not neglect the progression of your spirituality to maturity, for that is what God is most interested in.

October’s Awakening, Day 23:

Much confusion in the Christian life comes from ignoring the simple truth that God is far more interested in building your character than he is anything else.

 -Rick Warren

Improving your personal life will greatly depend on spiritual improvement and through Holy Scripture.

 -Clement Getate, “Your Cross to Happiness”

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3,4 NIV

            Everything in our spiritual nature filters down into our character, attributes, thoughts, and behavior. That’s why it’s imperative for God to build us up into spiritual maturity, for if our spirituality is lacking, so too, everything else in our lives. He created us as tripartite beings, body, soul, and spirit, and if any of those natures are in disarray, our entire essence will suffer. The spiritual nature can be difficult to cultivate, because it requires consistently being in His presence, praying, and studying His Word, gleaning feedback from the Holy Spirit and our constant, associated modification thereof.  

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Shaped in Affliction

God uses life to get our attention and guide us in the way we should go. Sometimes it just takes a light touch, sometimes it takes a branding iron.

October’s Awakening, Day 22:

Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them.

 -Charles Spurgeon

We are either in the process of resisting God's truth or in the process of being shaped and molded by his truth.

 -Charles Stanley
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:11,12 NIV

            We are creatures of habit, the status quo, and resistant to change. In fact, until the pain of change is gain, we remain the same. That’s why, unfortunately, adversity and affliction are necessary components in our lives to force us into moving forward to a better place mentally and spiritually. Knowing this should give us some consolation, but it doesn’t make it easier. In each situation, try to envision and understand what God is showing you and try to do better the next time. We needlessly bring about much strife in our own lives by simply making poor choices. Seek Him first and oftentimes the road will be just a little less rocky.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Adversity with Dependence on God

Overcoming adversity with increasing dependence on God creates an environment that propels us into spiritual maturity.

October’s Awakening, Day 21:

Adversity is not simply a tool. It is God's most effective tool for the advancement of our spiritual lives. The circumstances and events that we see as setbacks are oftentimes the very things that launch us into periods of intense spiritual growth. Once we begin to understand this, and accept it as a spiritual fact of life, adversity becomes easier to bear.

 -Charles Stanley

As a potter must bake his jars in a very hot furnace in order to create a wonderful masterpiece, God will also allow you to face trials and challenges that will strengthen your faith and help you become more spiritually mature and dependent on Him.

 -Janet Fuller, “The Bible: The Key Bible Chapters”

because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:3,4 NIV

            Adversity is the part of life we like least, yet it is the part of life that propels us onward towards the greatest potential spiritual growth and maturity. Faith, trust, and love untested are nothing at all. It takes introspective focus to solidify what we know and believe in our heart and to stand firm in it. Our character and spiritual nature are strengthened when we overcome obstacles that seemed insurmountable at the time. Our faith, trust, and dependence on God blossoms and each new impasse we face becomes easier. That’s why patience, persistence, and perseverance are key character elements seen throughout the Bible. Embrace adversity, knowing that God is working through you to make you into a most wonderful masterpiece.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

True Spirituality

How are you progressing spiritually? How many attributes of true spirituality do you possess?

October’s Awakening, Day 20:

True spirituality manifests itself in certain dominant desires.

1.     First is the desire to be holy rather than happy.

2.     A man may be considered spiritual when he wants to see the honor of God advanced through his life even if it means that he himself must suffer temporary dishonor or loss.

3.     The spiritual man wants to carry his cross.

4.     Again, a Christian is spiritual when he sees everything from God’s viewpoint.

5.      Another desire of the spiritual man is to die right rather than to live wrong.

6.     The desire to see others advance at his expense.

7.     The spiritual man habitually makes eternity-judgments instead of time-judgments.

  -A. W. Tozer

You no more need a day off from spiritual concentration in matters of your life than your heart needs a day off from beating. As you cannot take a day off morally and remain moral, you cannot take a day off spiritually and remain spiritual.

 -Oswald Chambers

            We are spiritual beings and we should strive to keep that aspect of our being always at the forefront, as that is the way we have been created. Just like physical strength and mental ability, we must continue to exercise, strengthen, and feed our spiritual nature appropriately to gain increasing ability and stability. Likewise, just as improper exercise and consuming inappropriate food can make us unhealthy, so too, it is with our spiritual nature.

            What we read, study, meditate on, and who we pray to and what we pray for, all infiltrates into our spiritual nature and becomes a part of it. We should take great pride in keeping every aspect of our being in a healthy balance, for if one part is amiss it will assuredly affect the others. Strive to become whole and complete, mature and not lacking anything good, and continue to always be becoming – it is a life process and a life journey. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Progressing to Spiritual Maturity

Is your focus on the person of God, or just His promises to you?

October’s Awakening, Day 19:

Spiritual maturity is neither instant nor automatic; it is gradual, progressive development that will take the rest of your life.       

 -Rick Warren

God's vision for you and me is maturity. Spiritual maturity is measured by how readily we respond to the person of God rather than the promises of God. It involves coming to the place where who is asking is more important than what we are being asked to do.

 - Andy Stanley, “Visioneering”

            As we become more spiritually mature, we begin to trust Him more and seek to serve Him more. It becomes a matter of not what we can get from Him, but how much we can give back to Him. It is dedication and commitment from our heart, and we know the more we serve and give, the more He will continue to bless us with everything we need. When we mature spiritually, we understand His principles and realize that everything we are and everything we have ultimately comes from Him. Unselfishly serve the Person, and all His promises and blessings will flow naturally back to you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Spirituality Is Not Superficial

God designed your spirit nature to govern and rule over your physical nature and your soul nature (mind and emotions). What nature is ruling over you?
October’s Awakening, Day 18:

It is the unseen and the spiritual in people that determines the outward and the actual.

 - Oswald Chambers

A real spiritual life is never dominated by, nor lived in, feeling. Rather does it regulate feeling. Nowadays Christians mistake a life of feeling for spiritual experience. This is because many have never entered into genuine spirituality and hence interpret happy sensation to be spiritual experience.

 - Watchman Nee
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Romans 8:6,7 NIV

            Connecting to the Holy Spirit allows your spirit to take back its rightful place in your life in the hierarchy of control. Without that connection you are out of balance spiritually, and you will be living a life that is always lacking. You can re-connect to Him by reading, studying, and meditating on His Word, and praying and listening for His voice. The more in tune spiritually you become, the more content your spirit will be.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Spiritual Illumination

Since God is spirit, the things of God, including His written Word, must be spiritually discerned to fully comprehend the deeper truths.

October’s Awakening, Day 17:

God must open the eyes of our understanding before we can truly know and rightly interpret His truth. His truth is available only to those with a regenerate spirit and in whom His Spirit dwells, for only the Spirit can illumine Scripture. Just as the physically blind cannot see the sun, the spiritually blind cannot see the Son. Both lack proper illumination.

 -John MacArthur

As we begin to focus, developing more and more hunger for his Word and being in His presence, the Holy Spirit will refresh, revive, and rekindle the zeal of the Lord in our lives.

 -Archbishop Gloria Grace, “The Heartbeat of God: Salvation of Lost Souls”

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26 NIV

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV

            The spiritual nature and truths of God and His Word can only be fully understood and discerned by our spirit entwining with the Holy Spirit. When we become believers, the Holy Spirit indwells us and is there to guide us in all truth and to transform us into His image. It is a cooperative and never-ending endeavor. We will never fully understand Him nor experience any degree of spiritual maturity without the leading of the Holy Spirit and following Him in obedience.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Your Perception of God Is Critical

Your perception and understanding of the true God of the Bible determines everything.

October’s Awakening, Day 16:

In life, behavior follows belief. Everything we do is directly connected to what we believe is true.

 -John Stange, “Overcoming Negative Self-Talk: with the truth of the Gospel”  

Doctrine matters. What you believe about God, the gospel, the nature of man, and every major truth addressed in Scripture filters down to every area of your life. You and I will never rise above our view of God and our understanding of His Word.

 -John MacArthur

There's a God we want and there's a God who is and they are not the same God. The turning point comes when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is.

 -Patrick Morley

            The bottom line question is this: “Who is the God in your mind?” Is He the God whose character and attributes are clearly delineated in the Scriptures from Genesis through Revelation? Or is your God the god of your own choosing, one who fits well into your nice, tidy box of characteristics and attributes that are most conducive to you and your personal ideology? There is nothing more critical and essential as that complete and perfect knowledge of God in your mind; everything filters down from that perception, knowledge, and understanding.

            So how does one come to know the One, True God? There is only one perfect way; reading, studying, and meditating on the entire Word of God from Genesis through Revelation, allowing all the way to be illuminated and instructed by the Holy Spirit. Knowledge from human teachers and other reliable sources can be extremely valuable, but yet, in the end, it is up to you to test all information against the Word of God. Humans are fallible, God is not.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Have You Learned the Truth?

Do you really know the truth, or is your conscience telling you something else?

October’s Awakening, Day 15:

Both tradition and truth inform the conscience, so the standards it holds you to are not necessarily biblical ones. The conscience can be needlessly condemning in areas where there is no biblical issue. In fact, it can try to hold you to the very thing the Lord is trying to release you from!

 -John MacArthur

Start believing the Word of God over our feelings. The truth always overrides our feelings. Find the truth in the scriptures.

 -Joyce Meyer

            Is your conscience constantly condemning you with guilt and shame, or a negative self-image, such that you feel unworthy and that you’ll never amount to anything? That’s not truth, and that’s not from the Word of God. That is an erroneous mindset placed within you by those who don’t know the truth themselves. That’s what MacArthur calls “tradition.” Tradition is anything you’ve learned from any source outside of the Bible. Tradition may be very true and beneficial, or it may wreak of error, inconsistency, and distortion that chain and bind your mind to lies.

            You must reconnect to Truth and stay connected with Him. You must begin to see yourself as He sees you and walk in that every day. You were divinely created and you are infinitely valuable to Him, and He wants you to live in His truth.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Virtuous Truth

What we believe not only manifests in our thoughts, but in our words and actions as well.

October’s Awakening, Day 14:

Nothing makes a man so virtuous as belief of the truth. A lying doctrine will soon beget a lying practice. A man cannot have an erroneous belief without by-and-by having an erroneous life. I believe the one thing naturally begets the other.

 -Charles Spurgeon
Breakthrough comes when we deliberately continue in that truth by renewing our minds with it over and over again, and acting on it. In other words, that truth must become a lifestyle before it will produce the results we desire.

 -Creflo Dollar

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1,2 NIV

            It is impossible to separate our system of beliefs from our daily thoughts, and from filtering into every aspect of our words and actions. Once those belief thought-patterns have become established, they are very difficult to change. That is why it is so important to learn the truth first, rather than try to substitute new-found truth for the errors that reside in your mind and have engrained themselves.

            Learning the truth, believing it, embracing it, and implementing it into your daily life is essential to removing the resident errors in your mind. Renewing your mind takes reading and studying God’s Word, illumination by the Holy Spirit, researching additional pertinent information, and sometimes seeking professional help and guidance, as well. The truth is invaluable and you should strive to implement it into your mind at all cost.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A World Without Truth

Can we just pick and choose what we fancy, believe that everything is relative, and that there are no absolutes?

October’s Awakening, Day 13:

There is no such thing as truth either in the moral or the scientific sense.

 -Adolf Hitler

At the core of evil is the process of dehumanization by which certain other people or collectives of them, are depicted as less than human.

 -Philip Zimbardo, Stanford University social psychologist, author of “The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil”

            Hitler’s Nazi regime and the extermination of six million Jews, along with all the atrocities of the concentration camps and inhumane abuse in all sorts of scientific testing, should be a reminder of what happens when there are no boundaries and no absolutes. It is evil running rampant and free without restraint. We should also add to that, the evil of slavery past and present, the horrors of war and oppression, and the evil lurking underground in the black markets.

            This is why God has given us specific boundaries and absolutes, and truth that is divinely delivered and self-evident, for without that, this fallen world would self-destruct. The Holy Spirit is our Restrainer, our conscience, our moral values, and our awareness that all men are created equal and in the very likeness of God Himself. Our belief system is at the very core of our essence, character, and actions. How important is truth to you?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Defend the Truth

Do you know the truth well enough to stand firm in it and defend it?

October’s Awakening, Day 12:

Not to oppose error, is to approve of it, and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them.

 -Pope Felix III

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Luke 6:45 NIV

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Romans 2:7-10 NIV

            Standing up for the truth and defending it in our day and age can be quite daunting, especially if we are unsure of what the truth really is. We must know in our heart and know in our mind what the undiluted truth is and be prepared to stand firm in it. We don’t have to be aggressive, nor do we need to be belligerently dogmatic, and we should be understanding and compassionate, but we need not be overly compromising or permissive. After all, truth is something every one of us should know and live by. As we will shortly see, a world without truth is a troubled and evil world indeed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Search Deep for the Truth

Don’t fall for the bait. Insist on the real truth.

October’s Awakening, Day 11:

Falsehood is never so successful as when she baits her hook with truth, and no opinions so fatally mislead us, as those that are not wholly wrong; as no watches so effectually deceive the wearer as those that are sometimes right.

 -C. C. Colton

It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it.

 -Johann Wolfgang Goethe

            Satan is the “father of lies” and the ultimate deceiver and counterfeiter, and unfortunately, he is currently the ruler of this world. In fact, it is probably impossible for him to speak any truth as he is the epitome of pure evil. But he is also crafty and shrewd, using partial truths to convince us that he is right. Just read the story in Genesis, Chapter 3, how Satan twisted what God had said to tempt Adam and Eve in the Garden – and it worked. Partial truths are most absolutely dangerous, as they seem correct and are partially correct, but in reality, a half-truth is still a full lie.

            That is why we must have discernment and know Him and His Truth and know His Word. That true knowledge is our weapon to combat the lies of the enemy. If we do not know Him and if we do not know His Word, then we are easy targets for the enemy. Don’t be an easy target and don’t let down your guard. Lies are everywhere. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Live in the Truth

Pure truth or diluted half-truths that are really lies – which do you choose?

October’s Awakening, Day 10:

Our society finds truth too strong a medicine to digest undiluted. In its purest form, truth is not a polite tap on the shoulder; it is a howling reproach. What Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai were not suggestions but ten commandments.

 -Ted Koppel

Man has always sacrificed truth to his vanity, comfort and advantage. He lives by make believe.

 -W. Somerset Maugham

Truth is often eclipsed but never extinguished.


            It is disheartening that mankind from the beginning of time has had difficulty in accepting truth in its pure form and has chosen to adapt truth to make it more palatable and fit the mentality of self. Rather than embrace truth and live in its fullest sense and allow it to transform and propel us ever onward and upward, we choose the easier way by making truth conform to our wayward selves. Unfortunately, one day we will all fully know pure truth. Many of us will be in pure bliss, but many more will be shockingly horrified, “with weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12;13:42;13:50;22:13;24:51;25:30 and Luke 13:28)

              God has set specific boundaries and absolutes. He is perfect and so is His truth. He is not wishy-washy nor does He ever waver or change His truth - just as in mathematical equations there is but one answer that correctly fits. The square peg will never perfectly fit into the triangular hole no matter how hard we try, no matter how we attempt to explain the inconsistency away, and no matter how we covertly cover it up; square is not triangular. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Trusted with Truth

The essence of your nature reveals itself in the little things of truth.

October’s Awakening, Day 9:

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.

 -Albert Einstein

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

 -Arthur Schopenhauer

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:23 NIV

            The little things do matter, as our diligence and integrity concerning those little things will most certainly flow into how we relate to the bigger and more important things. A little white lie is still a lie. Trust takes time to strengthen and build, but only an instant to lose. The essence of our nature needs to be solid, consistent, trustworthy, and true, concerning all things. Remember the story of young Abraham Lincoln’s extraordinary effort in returning the overcharged pennies to a store customer – that’s honesty and integrity.

            It should also be no surprise that when confronted with truth, we often reject and ridicule it, and science is replete with examples. Furthermore, when we just can’t come to grips with the truth, we often attack it vehemently to protect our own ideas. Finally, as proof begins to substantiate the truth, we ultimately learn to embrace it. As fallen humans, we are continually trying to discover the real truth, but there are traps of deception at every turn. Truth is best ascertained by receiving it from the Source.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Christ Is Truth

The highest attainable understanding of truth and spirituality resides in the presence of the One who is pure truth and spirituality.

October’s Awakening, Day 8:

The highest conceivable state of spirituality is produced by a concentration of all the powers and passions of the soul upon the person of Christ.

 -C. H. Spurgeon

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.

 -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everyone may be entitled to his own opinion but everyone is not entitled to his own truth. Truth is but one.

 -Doug Groothius

            There is no higher level or state of spirituality that we can attain than that which entails our spirit entwining with the Spirit of our Creator. Thankfully, Christ our Savior, has torn the veil in two, allowing us to freely enter into His presence directly and learn the mysteries of life as we experience Him. That door to Him is always open, but to fully realize that state of supreme spirituality requires that we enter into His presence frequently, if not continually. That’s how we become the ultimate in spiritual maturity.

            When we’re in His presence we are also in the Truth. We can think what we may and we may have “learned” it from reputable sources, but those qualities do not always define the truth. God has certainly set boundaries and standards and absolute truths, both for us and all creation. If the “laws of physics” were whimsical we would live in a very troubled world, indeed, if we could even exist at all. Embrace Him, embrace the Truth.