Daily Archives: August 24, 2019

August 24 Demonstrating Peace

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 13:5–11

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 13:11

Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Here is a scene that you could witness on almost any playground in the world. Two boys are playing together in a sandbox or at the base of a slide. Suddenly, a fight breaks out and the two young children are embroiled in a heated exchange with fists flying. Their peaceful playtime has come to a violent end.

Where did these children learn to act like this? Apparently, human beings are not programmed for peace. Too often, a person’s initial response to displeasure or stress is to strike out violently against the source of his frustration. The base nature of sinful man is to protect oneself first and foremost. However, one’s disposition toward anarchy is certainly no excuse for failing to strive toward peaceful living.

The New Testament contains no less than eight direct commands for peace among believers. This clearly reveals that God’s will is for men and women to live in peace with one another. Knowing that God demands His people to live in peace may seem too much to ask when countered by mankind’s sinful, selfish desires. Yet, if peace is God’s will—and it is—then He must have made it possible to achieve. Sometimes peace may not be one’s natural reaction, but according to God’s Word, it is possible.

Pray today for the Holy Spirit to reveal ways in which you can demonstrate the peace of God.

Dear heavenly Father, reveal ways in which I can demonstrate Your peace to those with whom I come in contact today.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 247). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 24 Free to Live God’s Way

Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:1–15

Key Verse: Galatians 5:1

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

When approving an inmate for parole, prison officials are supposed to consider the likelihood of recidivism, or repetition of the offense. People who have committed certain crimes, especially the more violent ones, have a higher rate of recidivism than others. The sad fact is that some prisoners are never able to escape their pattern of criminal behavior.

Why? Until their thinking changes, the resulting actions stay the same, no matter how good rehabilitation efforts might be. The same is true for a sinful habit in your life. Before you can shake off its negative influence, you must alter your mind-set.

Romans 12:2 (nasb) explains the bondage-breaking process: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

As you read God’s Word and study His principles carefully, they gradually become a natural part of your thought process. When the new comes in, the old is tossed out. The Lord is then able to work His truth into your innermost being, establishing new, Christlike habits.

You don’t have to be confined by the restrictions of an old sin problem. Whether you are in a jail that is real or one of your own making, Jesus wants to set you free to live in His ways.

Almighty God, set me free to live Your way. Remove the restrictions of sin. Toss out the old. Make room for the new.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 247). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 24 – Wholly following the Lord

“Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the LORD my God.” – Joshua 6:8

Scripture reading: Joshua 14:6-15

Today we focus on Caleb, one of only two faithful spies who gave a good report to Moses. Ten spies reported that the land was filled with fortified cities and that giants lived there, so Israel would never be able to conquer it. The people believed this bad report, rebelled against Moses and rejected the Lord. As a result, they never set foot in the Promised Land. In direct contrast to this unbelief, Caleb, “wholly follows the Lord” and is blessed by God.

Notice the repetition in this passage. Five times Caleb speaks of what God said or promised (vs. 6, twice in vs. 10, and twice in vs. 12). Because Caleb based his faith on the sure promises of God, he was able to “wholly follow the Lord” (repeated three times, vs. 8, 9, and 14).

In this whole-hearted following of God, Caleb is more than just a good moral example for us. He is an Old Testament picture of Christ! Caleb had a strong faith and followed the Lord with all his heart, but he still sinned. Caleb needed to look, as we all do, to the Lord. Jesus came and fully accomplished and perfectly completed every command of Almighty God with His righteous life. He laid down his life, paying for all our sins with His sacrificial death on the Cross. Caleb’s obedience foreshadows Christ’s. God’s plan for the history of redemption is carried out fully and completely in Jesus Christ alone. Look to Jesus and whole-heartedly follow Him.

Suggestions for prayer

Give thanks to God for the whole-hearted obedience of Christ, lived out for us. Thank God for the sacrificial death of our Lord in our place. Pray that this message of the Gospel would go forth powerfully from faithful churches tomorrow.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Ed Marcusse is the pastor of the Oak Glen United Reformed Church of Lansing, Illinois.

Source: August 24 – Wholly following the Lord

August 24 Sin Does Not Fit

Scripture reading: Psalm 33:1–22

Key verse: Romans 8:6

To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Paul cautioned us not to be ignorant of Satan’s schemes. Peter issued a similar warning when he wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Both men understood the nature of temptation and its effects on the believer. However, many, like spiritual lambs being led to slaughter, ignore God’s warning concerning temptation and later end up wishing they had heeded His commands.

You have a choice. And as a believer, you are not overcome by the darkness of temptation. Jesus is your strong arm of protection. Proverbs tells us:

These six things the Lord hates,

Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

A proud look,

A lying tongue,

Hands that shed innocent blood,

A heart that devises wicked plans,

Feet that are swift in running to evil,

A false witness who speaks lies,

And one who sows discord among brethren. (Prov. 6:16–19)

One sure way to deal with temptation is keep the focus of your heart on His Word. The Word of God that Paul wrote about in Ephesians 6 is your greatest defense. It works only when you are willing to walk in the light of obedience and in Christ. Because you are a child of God, sin does not fit who you are in Christ.

Lord, I realize that sin does not fit who I am in You. Cleanse me from sin. Let me walk in the light of obedience to You and Your Word.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 247). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 08/24/2019

‘Whatever,’ Woman Says After Church Revokes Her Membership for Unrepentant Lesbianism   Aug 20, 2019 09:19 am

Mary Trollinger Glenwood Baptist ChurchSOUTHAVEN, Miss. — Two women who are involved in a lesbian relationship recently contacted the media after receiving a letter from their now-former pastor who advised that their church membership had been revoked as they remained unrepentant. “Hmmmmm, ok whatever. Going to a better church now. Love my wife and Christ! ‘Nough said,” Mary Catherine Trollinger also…

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Parents Boo as Christian Street Preacher Confronts Drag Queen at Story Time   Aug 22, 2019 08:56 am

(LifeSite News) — The Drag Queen Story Time’s question-and-answer session didn’t go as planned. After this event at Westcliffe Community Centre in Ottawa on Saturday afternoon, evangelical street preacher Dorre Love responded to an invitation for questions. “I have a question,” Love said. “What are you going to do when you stand before God…

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‘I Will Not Leave My Faith’: Pastor in India Left for Dead but God Shocks Persecutors   Aug 18, 2019 03:17 pm

(Open Doors USA) — The Church in India is growing at an unprecedented rate, with village church pastors forging a burgeoning movement. Increasingly, the leaders of these churches are bearing the brunt of persecution in India, often finding themselves the first target of Hindu extremists, especially when extremists begin to see the impact of these leaders and their…

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Back in Pulpit After Scandal, Tullian Tchividjian Insists Sex With Former Congregants Was Not Abuse   Aug 21, 2019 09:27 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — (The Christian Post) — As he gets ready for the fall launch of his unaffiliated The Sanctuary church in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Billy Graham’s grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, who was stripped of his preaching credentials in 2015 due to extramarital relationships with former congregants, says they were all “consensual” and not an…

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Dept. of Justice Tells Supreme Court: Federal Law Prohibiting Sex Discrimination Does Not Include ‘Gender Identity’   Aug 17, 2019 05:26 pm

WASHINGTON — In a crucial Supreme Court case that could determine whether or not Christian organizations and businesses must accommodate the wishes of an employee who decides to begin identifying as the opposite sex, and whether or not the hiring and dismissal practices of religious organizations are protected in such situations, the U.S. Department of Justice has…

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Bullied Teen, 14, Killed After Lying in Front of Train While 50 Classmates Helplessly Watched   Aug 20, 2019 03:27 pm

(Heavy) — Investigators are searching for answers after a 14-year-old boy was killed by an oncoming train. Sam Connor of Ashford, Surrey in the UK, was at the Chertsey railway station with classmates when he suddenly slid off the platform and laid on the tracks. Authorities are trying to determine if the boy killed himself in front of approximately 50 classmates…

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Mexican Pastor Shot to Death in His Car After Church Service   Aug 23, 2019 05:54 pm

(Christian Solidarity Worldwide) — A pastor from the Fraternidad Cristiana church was shot and killed in Oaxaca, south-west Mexico, on Aug. 18. Alfrery Líctor Cruz Canseco was waiting in his car after a church service at the Fraternidad Cristiana church in the municipality of Tlalixtac de Cabrera when he was shot and killed. His attacker attempted to escape, but…

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BBC’s ‘Songs of Praise’ Decried After Featuring Same-Sex Ceremony in Program   Aug 19, 2019 03:22 pm

(The Christian Institute) — BBC’s “Songs of Praise” has alienated its viewers after it featured a same-sex “wedding” in this week’s program. Jamie Wallace and Ian McDowell married at Rutherglen United Reformed Church near Glasgow – one of the few denominations to have accepted the redefinition of marriage. While presenter Kate Bottley described the URC…

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Archaeologists Find Artifacts From Babylonian Conquest of Jerusalem Chronicled in Bible   Aug 21, 2019 01:39 pm

Photo Credit: UNC Charlotte JERUSALEM — Archaeologists conducting a dig in Israel have uncovered artifacts and evidence confirming the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem as chronicled in the Old Testament of the Bible. “It is very exciting to be able to excavate the material signature of any given historical event, and even more so regarding an important…

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Man Who Says He’s Possessed by Demons Arrested After Threatening to Commit Mass Murder at Tenn. Church   Aug 21, 2019 09:16 pm

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A man who allegedly has told family members that he hears voices and that he believes he’s possessed by demons has been arrested for threatening to commit mass murder at a Tennessee church. According to reports, Thomas McVicker of Punta Gorda, Florida planned this week to attack the church and then kill himself. “I’m thinking about…

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