Monday, October 31, 2016

October 30, 2016

MERCY EVEN IN IDOLATRY


Deuteronomy 4:31

for the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not forsake you nor annihilate you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers, which He swore to them.

Encouraging Words

This verse comes after a section of the Bible that describes what will happen to those who choose to practice idolatry. We are told that because we have abandoned God that He will allow us to become consumed by the ways of the land that we are in and further separated from Him. He will allow this to happen to the point where we remember Him, remember how much He loves us and cares for us, and begin to desire to be with Him again. Through this tribulation and separation, we will choose to abandon these fake gods that we have idolized and return to Him. This passage is then ended with this verse reminding us that God is a merciful God who will never forsake us even though we have forsaken Him. He will always remain true to us and receive us, as the prodigal father, with arms wide open. We must all ask ourselves, "What idol am I worshipping in place of God?" Lord, have Mercy! Lord, have Mercy! Lord, have Mercy!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

October 28, 2016

SHEEP OR GOATS...NEITHER


Matthew 9:36-38

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

Encouraging Words

This passage has always encouraged me in my understanding and belief in just how much God loves us and cares for us. This is also a passage that helped to prevent me from ever embracing the doctrines of election and predestination. Jesus looked out over the whole crowd and saw a sea of sheep who were lost and looking for a shepherd. He did not say, "Look at those over there, they are my sheep and I love them, but those over there, they are goats and they don't get any of what I have to offer!" No! He saw His lost sheep throughout the entire crowd. If anything, He was angry with the leaders of the synagog, the teachers, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees for not being shepherds to His lost sheep. It would not surprise me if He is just as angry today at all of the pastors, priests, evangelists, teachers, and other leaders in the church who are selective in who they think should be receiving His salvation. The scriptures show that Christ Himself said over and over again that He came into the world to save all of His creation, all of mankind, from the ravages of spiritual death that entered into His creation through Adam and Eve. If He is claiming all of creation to be redeemed by His grace and mercy, then who am I to say who is His and who is not. I must live my life knowing that I am not worthy to receive His grace, but at the same time hope that all of us that make up the sea of mankind will receive His grace. Glory be to God.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

October 27, 2016

CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, GOD IS NOT DEAD


Psalms 18:46 (17:47 LXX)


The Lord lives, and blessed is my God.
Let the salvation of my God be exalted,

Encouraging Words

The psalmist proclaims here everything that I believe about my God. God is alive, He has not disappeared as so many naysayers would like us to believe. He is both our blessed God but also the God of blessings, pouring them out upon His beloved creation. And most importantly, my salvation, my eternal salvation from death and separation from Him, rests entirely in Him and He has graciously provided that salvation to all of Ho's creation through His Son? Glory be to God!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

October 26, 2016

DUTIES OF PRIESTS AND LEVITES


Numbers 18:1-3
Now the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying, “You and your sons and your father's house with you shall bear the sins of the holy things, and you and your sons with you shall bear the sins of your priesthood. You shall also bring your brethren, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, to yourself, and they shall be joined and added to you, and minister liturgically with you and your sons with you before the tabernacle of testimony. They shall perform your guard duties and the duties of the tabernacle, but they shall not come near the holy vessels and the altar, lest they die—they and you also.

Personal Challenge

In the New Testament, we are told that we are a part of the priesthood of Christ. As we follow in the footsteps of our Lord we begin to step into the role of being one of His priests here on earth. Our church fathers would have been very familiar with this passage and the expectations of those who had been set apart by God to be the priests in the temple. They took this newly found role, as a follower of Christ, of being a priest to the world around them, very seriously, They knew that the holy vessels of the new covenant, given to them, were more important than their own lives. Is it any wonder that Christianity has remained intact for over 2,000 years? As a priest myself, it is imperative that I glorify my Father in all that I do, guarding and protecting the holy things, the gospel, that Jesus passed on to us, His followers. Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 25, 2016

EVEN THE HEALER GOT REJECTED


Matthew 9:24

He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him.

Personal Challenge

Jesus had been traversing the countryside for a while before this event. He had already performed many miracles, taught many lessons, and clearly given the people many opportunities to recognize that He was someone special. He was obviously not your typical rabbi. And yet, with this preponderance of the evidence, He was not recognized as Lord as He moved into the crowd to raise this young girl from the dead. The crowd ridiculed and mocked Him. Jesus made it very clear that if the world around Him hated Him enough to brutally beat Him and crucify Him, then those of us who claim Him as our Lord and try to follow Him, will also be ridiculed and mocked. As we follow Him, we try to love our neighbor, we try to be merciful to those in need, and we try to not succumb to the ways of the world and submit to sinful thoughts and desires. It grieves us when by doing these things, we get ridiculed and mocked because we are trying to guard our hearts and minds against those images and sounds that defeat our attempts to be like Christ. Our only response is to continue to love those who God has put in our lives and yet still guard our hearts and minds. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner!

Monday, October 24, 2016

October 24, 2016

DON'T TELL ME GOD DOESN'T EXIST!


Psalms 18:32 (17:33 LXX)

It is God who girds me with power,
And He made my way blameless;

Encouraging Words

God is so awesome! As I look back on my I can see how Much He has always been there for me. Given the age that I am at now and the time in my life that I gave my life over to Him and decided to let Him hold the reins, that works out to be half of a century that God has girded me with His power. Even though I more often than not, scramble to grab the reins back and do things my own way, with my own feeble and misdirected power, He has always, always remained there for me. He has been there in the good times when everything has been running along smoothly. But more importantly, He has been there when things were going really rough. I have found that it is usually in these times that I doubt Him and wonder where He is, but as I look back, it is obvious that He was there guiding me, loving me, giving me the power to push through, and most importantly, making my way blameless by forgiving me of my sins and stubbornness, applying His abundance of mercy and grace to me, and showing me His unconditional love. Glory be to God! Thank you, Father!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

October 23, 2016

LONGSUFFERING AND MERCIFUL


Numbers 14:18

‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth, taking away lawlessness, wrongdoings, and sins; but He would not cleanse the guilty by repaying the sins of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’

Encouraging Words

Once again, context is so important when reading the Scriptures. This quote is not coming from Moses or any other human. In this passage, God is so fed up with the nation of Israel for their stubbornness and self-focus that He is ready to walk away from them as His chosen people. They have consistently broken the covenant with Him. Then Moses steps in on their behalf. Here he is quoting what God Himself had said about His relationship with mankind. God, Himself claims that He will be longsuffering with us as we continually reject Him and His love for us. He alone is abundant in mercy and truth, and because of this, He will take away our lawlessness, wrongdoings, and sins. He promises to not punish us for the sins of our fathers but will deal with each of us for our own personal sins. God promises to love us so much that He will provide for us a way to be cleansed of our sins and to have our hearts softened toward Him and our fellow human being. He did this by sending His Son to become one of us, to live a life in the flesh without sin, to die for us, and to be resurrected victorious over death for us. Glory be to God?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

October 21, 2016

ACTIVE FAITH


Matthew 9:2

Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”

Personal Challenge

Once again Jesus shows the people that are following Him, how important their faith is in the working of miracles. In this story, it is the faith of the paralytic's friends that contribute to his healing. We so often get to the state of expecting God to do everything that we want and when we want it. The truth of the teaching is that our faith plays a significant part of the work that He chooses to do in our lives. The challenge is laying aside our own pride and expectations that we have full control of our lives and destinies and put our faith in Him, and Him alone. Glory be to God!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

October 20, 2016

HE IS OUR FOUNDATION


Psalms 18:1-3 (17:2-4 LX)

thus he (David) said:
"I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my foundation, my refuge, my deliverer;
My God is my helper, on Him I will hope,
My champion, the horn of my salvation, and my protector.
I will call upon the Lord and praise Him,
And I shall be saved from my enemies."

Encouraging Words

Even though this passage uses the words "I" and "my" a lot, the psalmist, king David, is not spouting off about all of the things that he is going to do, or has already done. He is proclaiming how much his God, our God, has been there for him. Our God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is our strength in every situation. He is our foundation, our refuge, and our deliver. What was true for David can be true for us. God is a helper in whom we can put all of our hope and trust. And as we put more of our hope and trust in Him, We will clearly see how He is our champion, the horn of our salvation, and our protector. We can go through this temporal life without any fears, whatsoever, of what is going on around us. We will not concern ourselves with conspiracy theories of this world, but relish in the truth that we are no longer of this would. Glory be to God!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October 19, 2016

WANTED! A MEEK LEADER!


Numbers 12:3

(Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all men on the face of the earth.)

Personal challenge

It is absolutely amazing, how much is packed to this one, little parenthetical verse. You must know the rest of the story however to get the full power of this statement about Moses being more meek, or humble than all the men on the face of the earth. Moses was selected by God to see Him and hear His voice in the burning bush. He was chosen to confront Pharoah, one of the most powerful men of his time in order to lead God's chosen people out of Egypt. He was chosen to go to the mountain top and receive the ten Commandments from the hand of God, not once, but twice. And this list goes on and on. God did not choose him because be was some bold, in your face, type A personality. He chose him because he was meek. For 40 years Moses lead a stubborn, stiff-necked group of people, millions of them, through the dessert. He was not boastful about it. He did not do it pridefully. At one time he even offered up his life on behalf of these sinful and obnoxious people when they kept defying God. This meek and humble man would not be recognized today as the most important leader of the world. Maybe we need to start asking God to help us to see things His way and to think like Him. Lord, have Mercy! Lord, have money! Lord, have mercy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October 18, 2016

TAKING A NAP


Matthew 8:23-27

Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”

But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

Personal Challenge

What a perfect example of how our lives get so easily out of alignment with our Lord. The disciples have been following Christ for some time now. They have seen Him perform miracles. They know that He is the Son of God and that He was always taken care of them, then as the storm around them begins to rear its ugly head, they immediately abandon all that they know and believe about their Lord and begin to worry. Jesus is right there on the same boat, sleeping like a baby. If the boat sinks, He goes down with it too. And yet they ignore this truth and begin to worry for their lives. God loves us and cares for us. He sent His Son to show us that love and to provide for us a path to Him. We must put our trust in Him and not the things of this world. When the world tries to upset that trust we can rest assured that no storm is too big for our God and follow Jesus' example...take a nap and let the storm pass. Jesus is our resting place.

Monday, October 17, 2016

October 17, 2016

THE APPLE OF HIS EYE


Psalms 17:1-9 (16:1-9. LXX)


Listen, O Lord of my righteousness;
Attend to my supplication;
Give ear to my prayer that is not with deceitful lips.
From Your face let my judgment come;
Let my eyes behold uprightness.
You tested my heart, when You visited me in the night;
You tried me in the fire, and found nothing unjust in me.
That my mouth might not speak of the works of men,
I held to hard ways because of the words of Your lips.
Restore my steps in Your paths,
That my footsteps may not slip.
I cried out, because You listened to me, O God;
Incline Your ear to me, and hear my words.
Magnify Your mercies,
O You who save those who hope in You
From those who rise up against Your right hand.
Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
In the shelter of Your wings, You will shelter me
From the face of the ungodly who trouble me.
My enemies surrounded my soul;

Encouraging Words

I love how the psalmist walks through so many of the ways that we can reach out to our Lord to guide us through our journey of life. Our Lord is always there for us, even when we choose to ignore Him and do things our own way. He does this because He loves us so much, and in that love, He also does not remove the consequences of our poor decisions. He will continue to walk with us through these consequences so that we can continue to grow and mature. In the end, we are still the apple of His eye and under His shelter. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

October 16, 2016

GREETING ANOTHER IN LOVE


Numbers 6:24-26

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be merciful to you;
the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” ’ ”

Personal Challenge

There used to be a day when the greeting and the salutation that was given to another was very important as a part of the relationship. We have lost that in our day of busy-ness and instant gratification. I know that I am guilty of this. I often give the very brief and often times disinterested, "Hello!" hoping that the other person will do the same so that we can both get on with our lives. However, if I am expected to love my neighbor and put their needs above my own, then maybe what God wants me to do is to take the time to truly engage with the other person and show them that they are important. This means that I have to set my own agenda aside. It means that I most be sincerely interested in them and their lives. It means that I will have to slow down and give time to those around me. Wow! Am I ready to do this? Am I willing to? Only by the grace of God and with His help. What a difference there would be in our world if those of us who profess Jesus as our Lord would begin to live our lives this way. Lord, help me to show your love this way.

Friday, October 14, 2016

October 15, 2016

Saint of the Week
St. Silouan the Athonite


October 14, 2016

LIVING FAITH


Matthew 8:13

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.

Personal Challenge

Talk about practical, living faith. The centurion knew that Jesus would be able to exercise His power of healing from anywhere and at any time. He knew that Jesus was not bound by time on distance. He believed this so deeply that He did not want to infringe upon Jesus and the work that He was doing by asking Him to come to His home to heal his servant. This centurion was not any different than all of the rest of us except for the amount of his faith. As I look at my own life I must ask myself whether or not I have this kind of faith. This is the kind of faith that can truly move mountains. And as we can see from the behavior of the centurion it is possible for every one of us to exercise this kind of faith. Glory be to God.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

October 13, 2016

LIVING IN GOD'S PRESENCE


Psalms 16:11 (15:11)
You made known to me the ways of life;
You will fill me with gladness in Your presence;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Encouraging Words

Yesterday, the verse from Leviticus reminded me of the promise that God made to live amongst us and how encouraging that is as I walk through the journey of life. Today, the psalmist makes it clear that God not only lives amongst us, but that He also teaches us what we need to know while we are on this journey, and that He will also fill us with joy and gladness as we dwell in His presence. What another wonderful promise from our loving, merciful Father. But it doesn't stop there. This promise continues on through eternity as we are told that we will be spending the remainder of eternity at His right hand experiencing and participating in His pleasures. I am so thankful that my faith practice, the Eastern Orthodox Church, teaches that this Kingdom of God, the eternal Heaven, began the day that Jesus became incarnate. I do not have to wait until I die to see the new heaven and new earth that Jesus referred to. He brought it into existence and my journey through this physical life includes the journey through my spiritual life as well. Glory be to God!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October 12, 2016

ABBA! FATHER!


Leviticus 26:12

I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.

Encouraging Words

I am never alone on my journey through life. God has promised that He will walk amongst His people and be our God. And He never breaks His promises. He even went so far as to become human Himself and physically walked amongst us showing us how we could live our lives so that we could be even closer to Him. So, why is it that at times it feels like He is nowhere around? Is He playing some kind of cosmic, mystical game of hide-and-seek? No! if I take the time to truly search my heart and my life in these times I will find that is me that is playing hide-and-seek. God's presence here amongst us is spiritual and even mystical. The more that I let the physical world occupy and control my life, my mind, and my heart, then the farther I am away from that spiritual connection. with God. He is always there. He is always present. He never changes. So it is up to me to keep putting to death the things of this earth so that there is room in my life for the spiritual, It is when I do this that I can run and jump into the arms of my heavenly Father and joyfully say, "Abba!" Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner and the one doing the hiding!

Monday, October 10, 2016

October 10, 2016

BUILDING ON THE ROCK


Matthew 7:24-25


"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock."

Personal Challenge

So, given the current situation that we are in across our country with two political candidates who are both obviously antithetical to what Christianity tells us to look for in a leader, what are we to do as we exercise our right, privilege, and responsibility to vote. First of all, none of the candidates (all four of them) are the Rock that we are to build our house on. Only Jesus can fill that role. Second, none of the candidates (all four of them) are perfect candidates, for they, just like all of the rest of us, are humans and therefore have sin in their lives. So, what are we to do? The first thing is to do our research to understand who of the four candidates will best represent us in the role of president. This research must go past the mainstream media for they have their own agenda. Secondly, we should spend time assessing our own hearts and seek to understand where we are in our relationship with our Lord as we move into the next step. At this point we can and must spend time in prayer, seeking our Father's guidance on who He would have us cast our vote for. Who has demonstrated integrity and can be measured by the fruit of their labors throughout their lives? If the preponderance of the fruit looks rotten, smells rotten, and feels rotten, then it is rotten. This is not an easy election season, but we have never been told that living a Christian life is going to be easy. We must remember though that casting a vote is more than doing it to prevent someone else from getting into office we should cast a vote for the person that God has shown us to be the best candidate. Exercising this responsibility in a thoughtful, prayerful, and godly way is part of hearing the words of Christ, doing them, and building our house on the Rock.

Oh, and by the way...if you do not profess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and strive to live your life for Him, then you can forget this whole line of thinking...it doesn't apply to you. Lord, have mercy! Lord, have merey! Lord, have Mercy!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

October 9, 2016

WHO HOLDS THE REINS


Psalms 16:7-9 (15:7-9 LXX)

I will bless the Lord who caused me to understand;
Moreover, until night my reins also instructed me.
I saw the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
Therefore my heart was glad,
And my tongue rejoiced exceedingly;
My flesh also shall dwell in hope.

Encouraging Words

There is a very interesting phrase is this text "until night my reins also instructed me." Any form of training or instruction comes in the form of having the student constrained by reins so that the teacher can direct them to that place where the teaching can have its full effect. What a powerful image of seeing how God uses everything in our lives, both good and bad, both praise and correction, to guide us through our lives as a horseman would guide his steed by pulling on the reins. God does this in a gentle and loving way if we listen to Him. If we resist, then He must pull all that much harder to get us where He wants us to go. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have Mercy on me, the sinner!

October 8, 2016

Saint of the Week
St. Porphyrios



Friday, October 7, 2016

October 7, 2016

GIVING BEYOND THE NEED


Exodus 36:3-5

They received from Moses all the offerings the children of Israel brought for all the works for making the holy place, and they continued bringing him freewill offerings every morning. Then all the wise men who were doing all the work of the holy place came, each according to the work he was doing, and they spoke to Moses, saying, “The people bring much more than enough for the work the Lord commanded us to do.”

Personal Challenge

It amazes me how much can be accomplished in this world when God's people act in alignment with His will. In the day of Moses, he was asked to build a tabernacle for God so that God could dwell amongst His people. Moses put the call out for the materials needed to the people of God and set aside the craftsmen to do the construction. In short time the craftsmen had to ask Moses to tell the people to stop because they had much more than the could ever use. Today's modern church has yielded so much to letting the governments of this world take care of those in need that we no longer understand the principles of God about giving to Him so that His work can be completed. Missionaries go unfunded or have to operate on shoestring budgets. Churches must go into major debt to build their facilities. People impacted by major disasters go untaken care of while we, the members of the body of Christ see to our own wants. Lord, have Mercy! Lord, have Mercy! Lord, have Mercy!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

October 6, 2016

ENTERING THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN


Matthew 7:21

"Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."

Personal Challenge

Once again, Jesus reminds us that Christianity is not a "name it and claim it" religion or philosophy. I am not necessarily a true follower of Christ just because I know the right vocabulary and proclaim that I am a Christian. Is there true evidence in my life, what is often called fruit, that shows that I am doing the will of God. Am I showing love to my neighbor as well as my enemy? Am I actively reaching out to the hungry, the poor, the widow, and the orphan and giving of myself and of my possessions so that they can be lifted up. God does not want all of us to be martyrs and go to our physical death, but He does want us to be willing to do that for Him and for those whom He has lovingly created in His image. This becomes so much more than just calling out "Lord, Lord?" and expecting God to grant us everything that we want in this life and the life to come. God Wants me to be an active participate and distributor of His love for mankind. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have Mercy on me, the sinner!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October 5, 2016

TRUSTED BY GOD


Psalms 16:3 (15:3 LXX)

To the saints on His earth,
In them He magnified all His will.
Encouraging Words

It is so powerful knowing that the God of all creation has chosen to manifest His will to His saints here on earth. My daily readings recently have been taking me through the writings of Justin Martyr. He is one of our early church fathers that lived in the 2nd century. He was one of our original apologists (defends the faith) and many of his writings were arguments about the fallacy of the teachings and myths of the Greeks. The Greeks, like many other people groups throughout history, put their hope in gods that were very fickle and more like humans than gods. One common thread in all of these types of religions is that the gods never trust mankind. There is no way that they would magnify their wills into the lives of their subjects. This is because they are not truly gods and just myths. Our God, the creator of all, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, chooses to magnify His will in the lives of His saints. This means that He allows his will to be exercised by His saints here on earth so that He can be magnified. He knows that His saints will use His work in their lives do His work and not to overthrow Him or cause Him injury as so many of the mythical gods had done to them in their legends. Glory be to God!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October 4, 2016

JEALOUS LOVE


Exodus 34:14

(for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord God, a jealous name, is a jealous God),

Encouraging Words

Is it a bad thing that our God is a jealous God? Using today's language to define what jealous is would make it a bad thing because we look at jealousy as a bad thing. But let's look at one of the definitions according to Websters. "Vigilant in guarding a possession." I love my wife! She is very precious to me and I would give my life up for her if the need arose. Out of that deep love for her, I will be vigilant in guarding and protecting her. You mess with her and you will answer to me! In this context, I am a jealous husband. This is how God is towards us as His children. He has given, continues to give, and always will give, all of Himself and His resources to His children. You mess with His beloved, His children, you mess with Him. And as part of that relationship that He has with us, He asks that we love Him and put Him first in our lives. He asks that we not put any substitutes in the form of idols between us and Hin. He knows that when we do that in our lines that we are setting ourselves up to be injured and hurt by those false gods and that breaks His heart. That is a jealousy born in love. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner!

Monday, October 3, 2016

October 3, 2016

BEWARE!


Matthew 7:15-16


"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?"

Personal Challenge

We usually read this verse and apply it to those who would come into our churches teaching heresies and trying to break up the unity of the body of Christ. Granted, this does happen and if the members of the church are not well-grounded in the truths of God, they will be easily lead astray. However, there is another wolf in sheep's clothing that can gain a foothold in our churches. It is those who do a good job as coming across as virtuous or religious and yet have not been willing to adopt and adhere to the teachings of the church that they are in. This outward display of virtue and religiosity can very easily entrap those who are new or young in the church and lead them astray. It is just as important to watch for these people and to counter their attempts to lead others, especially the new believers, astray, If we know the fruit that our Lord is expecting from all of us (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) then we will be able to identify these wolves and counter their work. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October 2, 2016

DWELLING IN HIS TABERNACLE


Psalm 15 (14 LXX)

O Lord, who shall dwell in Your tabernacle?
Who shall live in Your holy mountain?
He who walks blamelessly, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart,
Who does not deceive with his tongue,
Neither does evil to his neighbor;
And does not find fault with those nearest him.
He disdains those who do evil in his presence,
But he holds in honor those who fear the Lord;
He swears an oath to his neighbor and does not set it aside.
He does not lend his money at interest,
And he does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be shaken.

Personal Challenge

Who will ever be able to dwell in the presence of our Lord? Based on this Psalm, I know that I would never be able to, for I have never been able to do all of these things. But, by the grace of my Lord, through His mercy, and the work of His Son, Jesus Christ, the doors to this glorious, heavenly tabernacle have been opened to even sinners such as I. And through the work of the Holy Spirit within me, I can strive to live my life this way. Thank You, Jesus!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

October 1, 2016

Saint of the Week 
St. John Climacus 



September 30, 2016

A HOLY NATION


Exodus 19:5-6

"'Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, you shall be a special people to Me above all nations; for all the earth is Mine. You shall be to Me a royal priesthood and a holy nation.' These are the words you shall speak to the children of Israel."

Encouraging Words

So, if we, the people who obey Gods' voice and keep His covenant, will be set apart as a special nation above all nations, then why is not America, which so many claim to be a Christian nation, a royal people and a holy nation? Have we, as Christians who have keen blessed to live in a nation that has Christian people in it, forgotten what God has been teaching us from the beginning of time? Have we fallen into the same misunderstanding as the Jewish nation and believed that God was referring to a kingdom made by man? The Church, the universal body of Christ, is the special people, the holy nation, the royal priesthood that Exodus is referring to. This holy nation exists in Russia, England, China, Mexico, South America, Africa, America, and every other country in the world, It exists in every physical country that has at least one believer in it. Why is this important to embrace? Because if this is truly my nation, then I am only an ambassador, an alien, in the physical nation that I live in. I exercise my rights and responsibility in that earthly nation but I do not surrender my citizenship to that nation. God is my supreme Leader, not some elected official.