Did You Know?

Thirteen men and no women have been

executed in the United States in 2017.

 

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of November 16-22, 2014, is Deuteronomy 18:14-22.  Moses knows that the end of his life is near.  Israel will enter the Promised Land without him.  The ones who will enter the Promised Land were not yet born when he was given the Law by God.  In the book of Deuteronomy, before entering the Promised Land, Moses reminds Israel of all that the Lord has done for them and their obligations to Him, as their forefathers had promised.

 

for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this.

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.  (Deuteronomy 18:14-22, ESV)

 

One of Moses warnings was about the practices of other nations.  Moses knew the Israelites were susceptible to abandoning the worship of the Lord for false gods, as they had done it before.  Moses was not only warning against these false gods, but also provided instructions on how the Israelites would be able to tell if a prophet was truly from the Lord.  As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this weeks verse, consider the instructions for determining prophets, how Israel failed to follow these instructions, and the results.  Is there a place in your own life where you are not following the instructions of the Lord?

 

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of November 23-29, 2014, is 1 John 1:8-10.  John, an apostle, writes to a group of believers Ephesus, a wealthy and pagan city.  They are under attack from false teachers and John seeks to reassure them of the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts].

 

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

 

If we say (claim) we have not sinned, we contradict His Word and make Him out to be false and a liar, and His Word is not in us [the divine message of the Gospel is not in our hearts].  (1 John 1:8-10, AMP)

 

This week’s passage demands an honest and unbiased examination of our life.  We have all sinned against the Lord.  No one, save Jesus Christ, has walked this earth without sin.  No one!  Anyone who claims otherwise is a false teacher.  As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this weeks verse, examine your life and lay it before the Lord.  Seek forgiveness from the Lord for your sins.

 

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of  November 30 - December 6, 2014, is Psalm 141:3-4.  This psalm was written by David during a difficult time in his life.  In this psalm, David is praying for deliverance from evil.

 

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;

    keep watch over the door of my lips!

Do not let my heart incline to any evil,

    to busy myself with wicked deeds

in company with men who work iniquity,

    and let me not eat of their delicacies!  (Psalm 141:3-4, ESV)

 

We have all said something we immediately regret.  We have all done things that we knew we wrong.  This a prayer that we all need in our life.  Meditate on this verse.  Use these verses as a prayer in your life.  Reflect upon the actions in your life in which you needed this prayer.

 

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of December 7-13, 2014, is 2 John 1:5-8.  Although we do not to know to whom John is writing, his message is clear.  It is a much needed message today, as the world abounds in false teachers.

And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.  (2 John 1:5-8, ESV)

  

Following Christ was not easy for the disciples in His day.  It is just as difficult today.  There are those who claim they have proved Jesus Christ never existed and that the resurrection never occurred.  There are those who ridicule anyone who believes in the Lord and His works.  There are those who acknowledge Jesus Christ, who say they believe He died and rose again, yet do not teach from the Bible and teach contrary to the Bible.  They are all false teachers.  We must always be aware.  We must always remain alert and remain strong in our faith in the Lord.  Meditation, pray, and reflect on these verses.  Pray that Lord gives you strength.

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of December 14-20, 2014, is 3 John 1:11.  John is writing a simple letter to friends.  Included within the letter are these timeless instructions.

 

Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.  (3 John 1:11, ESV)

  

Meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this verse this week.  Who are you imitating?

 

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of December 21-27, 2014, is Jude 1:17-23.  Jude was writing to a group of believers, encouraging them against false teachers and to stay strong in the Lord.

 

But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.  (Jude 1:17-23, ESV)

 

In Sunday school one day, Shawn’s teacher was speaking to the children about sin and Satan.  Often sin and Satan are imagined as ugly and black, easily recognizable.  The teacher challenged the class to imagine sin and Satan in a new way.  Instead of black, think of your favorite color.  Instead of an ugly being or deformed monster, think of a well-dressed, perfectly behaved gentleman, with a wonderful laugh.  Satan’s goal is to entice us into sin.  He makes it look attractive and twists the truth so that it is difficult to recognize the lie and see the sin.  That is why it is so important to study the word of God and to know it!

 

As we conclude this year’s Bible study, we ask that you reflect back on all that you have learned this year.  Whether it was your first time through the Bible, or your hundredth, there is always something more to learn and discover.  Next week we, once again, begin our year-long Bible study.  As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, consider what you have learned this year that has helped you become better prepared to defend yourself against false teachers.  Pray also that the Lord prepares you and opens your mind for another year of learning.

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