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Bible Meditation

[ecko_quote source="John 10:10"]"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."[/ecko_quote]

Devotional Thought

Have you ever heard about how the Eskimos kill wolves? You're not going to believe this one!

First the Eskimo coats the blade of his knife with animal blood and allows it to freeze. He then adds and freezes more layers of blood, several coats, in fact, until the blade is completely covered with frozen blood. Next, he plants his knife in the snow, the blade facing up and goes about his business.

When a wolf finds his way to the luring aroma of fresh blood, he starts licking. Then more and more vigorously, lapping it until the sharp blade of the knife is exposed. However, by this point, so intense is his craving for the scrumptious blood, that the wolf does not notice the sharp sting of the blade on his own tongue, nor does he even realize that his ravenous craving is now being satisfied by his very own blood! By light of dawn, the Eskimo will find him laying dead in the snow.

Sin entices and seduces us in precisely the same way. Satan lures us to the place where he plans to ravage us with some sort of destructive fleshly pleasure - gossip, rage, sexual sin etc. Once we give in to it's lustful pleasures, our craving for it increases. When we continue to allow ourselves to indulge, it grips us all the more. And before we know it - it completely consumes us. Our friendships are damaged. Our marriages are broken. Our testimony, spoiled. Satan has come only to rob, kill and destroy.

Action Point

Let's begin recognizing our enemy's tactics upon us. There is no more time to give in to his destructive ways. We must strive to walk in holiness and righteousness for the glory of God's Kingdom! There is so much work to be done.

[Image Source: http://nationalvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/to_kill_a_wolf.jpg]

Pastor Jonah Ravinder- United Telugu Church, Auckland, New Zealand

Scripture

[ecko_quote source="Galatians 2:20 "]I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me[/ecko_quote]

Devotion

A few weeks ago, while I was working on my office computer, one of the important application was disabled. This application is vital for me to carry out my job. I tried my level best and asked my colleagues for help. Unfortunately, they could not fix the problem either and suggested me contact our helpdesk which is located in Wellington. A lady attended my call. She asked for my identification and my computer ID. After that, she sent me a message which requested for an approval to access my computer. I agreed and gave her the remote access. To my surprise, she was just browsing all around my computer and opening various applications. I was just watching her operating my computer without my interference. She took control of every aspect. She requested me to simply wait while she is fixing the problem. Finally, she identified the trouble and fixed it accordingly.

This incident taught me a spiritual implication of our lives in Christ. In the above incident, I should not interfere with what she was doing. If I did, the computer would crash, or she may withdraw from fixing the problem. Similarly, we should not live but let Christ live in us. The above verse states we have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer we that live, but Christ lives in us. When we provide full access and fully surrender which includes being dead to our will, only then Christ can make a difference in our life. Jesus said in Mathew 6:24” "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. We should no longer live let Christ live in us. If we continue to live, we only encounter defeat in every realm of our lives and would only receive bitter disappointment. Our best efforts and talents will not make us any good. Our system and thought lines are corruptive, and we cannot bring any good from it. The best thing we should do is to let our 'self' die so that Christ can live in us. Therefore, learn the art of surrendering moment by moment knowing that we and the life which we were living in the flesh have been crucified with Christ. And then, we can live with of full of faith in Jesus.

When we are crucified with Christ by faith in Him, we have to completely surrender every selfish desire and ambition to the perfect will of God. Self-promotion and self-pleasing desires are the greatest obstacles between man and salvation. It is because the very nature of man always wants to please himself, and this self-recognition is a building block for sin. All sin erupts from the desire to please self which must be crucified with Christ in surrender to the will of God before salvation can bear fruit. Man, cannot overcome his inherited sinful nature on his own and needs the power and assistance of the Holy Spirit to make this happen, but the surrender of his own will to that of God’s will is essential for the elimination of his own desire’s powerful motivation and enslavement. This is repentance. It is a surrender of one’s own control and will to the power and will of the Holy Spirit that is the beginning of being crucified with Christ.

Not by man’s own effort to battle his corruptible nature, but in surrender of his own will to God’s will (1 Peter 1:23). This proves to be a great challenge for many people because we attempt to control our sinful nature on our own. This only results in repeated fall into the same old, sinful ways from which  we are attempting to escape. If it had been possible for a man to overcome his sinful nature with his own power and will, there would not have been any need for Jesus to die for our sins.

What's next?

salvation is  by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8–9).Many Christians want to be obedient but continue to stumble in sin because they try to hang on to parts of their old self which they think they can control. This is a self-defeating rationale that relies on the idea that man saves himself by his own works. The Bible teaches us that nothing a man does can save his soul. Only salvation by the grace of God can (Ephesians 2:8–9).

[http://i2.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/005/737/jesustakewheel.jpg]

Scripture

[ecko_quote source="Romans 6:12"] Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

It has been a general tendency among some believers to commit sin, ask for forgiveness and then come back only to recommit the same sin for which they earlier sought forgiveness.

God's law for all sin is punishment followed by transgression and suffering. When a man squanders his fortune by extravagance, he may bitterly repent, but he continues to suffer for his folly. When a man becomes a drunkard or addicted to smoking, he may be full of sorrow for what he has done, but his body and his family would still face the consequences of his luxury of sin. When a woman loses her character, she may weep tears of bitter repentance, and God may pardon her as He pardoned Mary Magdalen, but she can never recover her character and must suffer the consequences of her acts.

In this world or the next, all sin must be compensated for suffering. Christ by His death removed the guilt of sin, but not the suffering for sin. Apostle Peter bids us to remember that suffering remains as a consequence, for he exhorts us, "Forasmuch as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin." That is, the sin would be wholly compensated, only when the suffering it brings after it has been committed. The sin may be forgiven and suffered for, but the scar remains on his soul. The blood heals, but the scar remains.

What is required for God to forgive sin? Repentance. However, even repentance does not ensure the removal of the consequences of sin. The consequences often remain as a reminder of the terrible, destructive nature of sin.

King David was forgiven for his grievous sin of lust, adultery, robbery and murder. God forgave him and removed his sin from him completely (Ps 103:12). God did not, however, remove the pain that David would endure as a result of his transgressions. The child born of David’s adultery died (2 Sam 12:14), David’s son Ammon spoiled David’s daughter Tamar (2 Sam 13:14), David’s son Absalom murdered Ammon (2 Sam 13:28-29); Absalom brought the kingdom into rebellion (2 Sam .15).

For the rest of David’s reign, violence filled his home and his kingdom. Although David knew he was forgiven, he bore the painful consequences of his sin for the rest of his life.

What's next?

It is incorrect to assume that God removes every consequence the moment you repent of your sin. Do not think that the very instant you show remorse God will restore everything as it was. He may not. Some sins, such as adultery, come from a flawed character. God forgives sin immediately upon repentance, but it takes longer to build character. It is a character, not forgiveness; that determines what God brings next to your life.

Because we know the devastating consequences of our disobedience, let us diligently avoid every sin and “run with endurance the race that set before us (Heb 12:1)

Source: Pastor Jonah Ravinder and Blackby

[https://ulvog.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/consequences.jpg]

Scripture

[ecko_quote source="1Thess 4:3"]God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin[/ecko_quote]

Devotion

Someone observed, “He who carries a lantern on a dark road at night sees only one step ahead. When he takes that step, the lamp moves forward, and another step is made plain. He finally reaches his destination in safety without once walking in darkness. All of the way will be lightened, but only a single step at a time. This is  the way of God’s guidance and revelation of His will. He reveals step by step and each must be taken in obedience with complete trust in Him. However, often we want to know the entire plan before we proceed any further. This types attitude/desire shows our lack of faith in God’s sovereign direction. It is not necessary to see beyond what the Lord reveals. Following His leading, there is always enough light for each step of the way.

As said in my previous devotions, God wants us to understand His will far more than we want to know it. He always makes His will clear to those who seek it with an obedient heart. What is the will of God for us? It differs from believers to believers. Most of the real problem areas in the question of God’s will are settled for us in the Scriptures. We can see in the Scriptures at least in four aspects of the will of God which would apply to every Christian.

It is His will that we learn more about God. Colossians 1:9  states that” For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”. Secondly, it is His will that we grow in His grace and holiness- In 1Thess 4:3” For this is the will of God, your sanctification (holiness): that you should abstain from sexual immorality. Thirdly, it is His will that we study His word –in 2 Tim 3:14-15 “ But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus”. Finally, it is His will that we share our faith- in Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

In reality, there is no reason to suppose anything about God. You can know without a doubt what God will do because He has already stated it in His Word. Religious people say, "You just never know what God is going to do." But the person making a statement like this either doesn't know or doesn't believe God's Word. The Word of God tells us exactly what He will do. God's will is clearly confirmed in His Word. For instance, people have said, "If it's God's will, He will heal me." But that is simply a wasted statement because God has clearly stated throughout the Bible that it is His will to heal. First Peter 2:24 says, "Who Himself (Jesus) bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed." Exodus 15:26 states, "For I am the Lord who heals you."

God always means exactly what He says. According to Hebrews 6:18, "It is impossible for God to lie." God has written His will in the Bible, and He will never change. Psalm 15:4 says, "He who swears to his own hurt and does not change." As a result, there is never an occasion to assume or suppose when it comes to the will of God.

What's next?

So, when you have the decision to make, and you are seeking God for wisdom, remember this – you can be led by the Spirit. You can have the mind of Christ and know the will of God for your life. You don't have to be in the dark concerning your destiny (1 Corinthians 2:16).

[http://purelylocal.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/consol-solar-jar-2.jpg]

Scripture

[ecko_quote source="Galatians 6:7"]Do not be deceived; God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap[/ecko_quote]

[ecko_quote source="Numbers 32:23"]Be certain of this that your sin will catch up to you! [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

I heard a heartbreaking and true story from our dear aunty. A God fearing solo mother went to Rajahmundry town to buy some gold and dresses for her daughter’s marriage. She completed her shopping and got on the last bus to her village which routes through a forest. As she was journeying, a passenger after another got down at their respective villages. Finally, she was left alone on the bus as her village was the last stop and the bus will stay overnight in that village and start again in the morning. While she was getting ready with her baggage, the conductor went to the bus driver and said something. The driver stopped the bus in the middle of this rather dangerous forest. Afraid and worried, she could not understand what was going on. Both driver and conductor came to her, tied her hands, covered her mouth with a piece of cloth and dragged her from the bus. They hauled her deep into the forest and threw her into an old water well. On their return to the bus, they took her gold and possessions including all the money she withdrew.

Following morning, they started their journey back to Rajahmundry with their bus full of passengers. While passing through the same place where they threw the woman into the well, the conductor advised the driver to stop at the same spot to confirm. To check whether the woman was dead in the old well. They both got down for a break at the spot and headed down towards the well. To their surprise, they found the woman still alive and moaning helplessly. She was holding onto the tree branches that grew over time in the middle of the well. Fearing that they'll get caught, the driver and conductor looked around the well and found a heavy rock. They both lifted it aiming to throw into the well in an attempt to kill her. As they lifted that piece of stone, there were two big cobra snakes under it which bite them both. They were instantly dead. After waiting for a while in the middle of nowhere, the passengers went looking for the crew. They came to this old well surprised to find two lifeless bodies. They also heard the moaning of a woman. The passengers rescued her and heard her story.

The woman gave her testimony about how the Lord saved her from snakes and scorpions throughout the night while she was just hanging on to those tree branches. She testified that all through the night snakes crawled all over her body but did not bite her. The Lord protected her and safeguarded her against all the snares. The moral of the story is whatever we sow, surely we will reap. Further, our sins will find us. The crew of the bus got their wages within no time. Don’t be surprised if your wages are not coming forth but surely it will come along with interest. Sin is never worthwhile and not to be played around with. Be sure, your sin will find you out! Moses first preached this warning, but Solomon repeated it in Proverbs 13:6. You cannot get away with sin. It will catch up to you and destroy you. Sinners are going down for sure. They cannot succeed. They will suffer. They think they are alright, but they are heading towards death (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). You'll never know what hit you.

Joseph and David were both tempted by adultery. Joseph chose righteousness, so the Lord exalted him in Egypt. However, David chose wickedness, so the Lord raised up enemies against him (II Sam 12:10-11). He married Bathsheba and had Solomon, but God chastened him for the rest of his life. You will reap what you sow (Pr 15:9; Ps 34:12-16).

What's next?

Dear ones, you will go on to make choices after you finish this reading. Will you choose righteousness or wickedness? Are you compromising anywhere in your life? Do you enjoy the world or the things in it? Your future is dark without hope if you choose wickedness. Be sure, your sin will find you out. Your future is bright and glorious if you choose righteousness - Let God be true to you in your life.

Image Source: 

[http://www.montourrr.com/Scully/WellA.JPG]

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