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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Psalm 119: 113-120

by Dr. D ~ December 10th, 2018

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru the Psalms: #119: 113-120 (Samekh):

Samekh

113 I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.

114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

115 Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.

116 Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.

117 Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.

118 Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.

119 Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.

120 My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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-DNC Chairman: ‘Religion’ to Blame for Opposition to Party and Abortion

by Dr. D ~ December 7th, 2018

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DNC Chairman Tom Perez blamed ‘religion’ as the major obstacle to the Democratic Party and their pro-abortion message. From PJ Media:

On Thursday, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez blamed religion for hamstringing the Democratic message on abortion.  …

Given the influence of religion on the Right, "it should come as a surprise to no one that our message doesn’t penetrate," Perez added.

"That person on the pulpit is saying, ‘Ignore everything else that this person has done and is doing. We have to focus on one issue of Roe v. Wade,’" the DNC chairman said.

"And people buy it! Because that’s their only source," Perez quipped.

<Read the whole article>

Response: When Perez says ‘religion’ and ‘pulpit’ he is really talking about conservative Christians and evangelical Bible believing pastors in particular.

He goes on to imply that conservative religious folks are too ignorant to think on their own and merely follow what their pastors or ministers might be supporting politically. How arrogant can you get? He doesn’t bother to address the issues only calls his opponents dumb.

It is his ignorance that is really telling. The actual source behind the strong Christian support for pro-life is not a pastor or minister but the Bible. If Perez wants greater support for his party from conservative Christians he needs to lead his party toward adapting messages and policies that more closely reflect Biblical teaching.

Unfortunately, Perez seems to be saying that the Biblical source somehow needs to be overcome. But how? We still have religious freedom in this country and a Supreme Court that supports it. Now we have come back to what started Perez to disparage religious folks in the first place- the support for Judge Kavanaugh who is pro-life. His observations come after he attended an event in Washington DC called: "The Court In Crisis: What’s Next For Progressives After Kavanaugh."

Notice that the current conservative leaning court is a ‘crisis’ from the viewpoint of progressives like Perez. It also may give us an idea about how Perez and others like him may want to change or restrict religious freedom in America- through the courts which gave us Roe v. Wade and a national right to abortion in the first place.

We already see this happening in state and lover courts which are forcing bakers to make cakes, photographers to take pictures, and printers to print messages which are contrary to their religious beliefs. Some of these cases are still working their way through the courts but in the process religious rights are far more restricted now than they ever have been in America.

It didn’t help that we had a President for 8 years who pushed for a ‘Freedom of worship’ understanding of the First Amendment that would restrict religious freedom to the four walls of an official place of worship. If Perez and others really want to know why so many people of faith voted against Hillary Clinton, they need to look no further than a statement Clinton said while she was running for President:

Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” …

So Hillary implied that if she was elected she would somehow force people of faith to change their religious beliefs. How? Probably through executive orders and the courts like under President Obama. I for one didn’t want to find out. From my perspective, Perez and his party have become major opponents to religious freedom in America.                 *Top

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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Psalm 119: 105-112

by Dr. D ~ December 7th, 2018

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru the Psalms: #119: 105-112 (Nun):

Nun

105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

107 I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word.

108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me thy judgments.

109 My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.

110 The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.

111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

112 I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Psalm 119: 97-104

by Dr. D ~ December 6th, 2018

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru the Psalms: #119: 97-104 (Mem):

Mem

97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.

99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

102 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.

103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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-Weekly Bible Study: Mark 3

by Dr. D ~ December 5th, 2018
Bibles027

Gospel of Mark

LESSON 4: Mark -Chapter 3

Previous Lesson: LESSON 3: Mark -Chapter 2

 

First read Mark 3 all the way through.

The ‘Supernatural’ Acts and Events in Mark 3

Events in Chapter Three That You Don’t See Every Day:

Verse 4:

-Jesus knew what they were thinking 

Verse 5:

-Hand is healed 

Verse 10:

-Many were healed 

Verses 11-12:

-Evil spirits know who he is 

Verse 15:

-Gave the Apostles authority 

Verse 29:

-Prophetic declaration.

Notes and Commentary:

I.  Famous Healing Ministry:  Verses 1-12

     Verse 4 Jesus asks if it is all right to do good on the Sabbath?  Seems like a ridiculous question to us.  But Jesus knew what the religious leaders were thinking. They were looking for ways to accuse Jesus as an ‘evil’ sinner. This was probably a ‘set-up,’ at least that is what it became since I am sure they expected Jesus to heal the guy.

According to their traditions, since Jesus was a ‘healer’ then healing was technically his ‘work’ and to do so on the Sabbath would therefore be a violation of the ‘Law’. 

A convoluted understanding at best, and Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy of it.  After all, if you can help someone or heal someone, that should be considered a ‘good’ thing.  If you don’t help when you can wouldn’t that actually be evil?  Jesus healed the man anyway and that was good.

     Verses 7-12  Jesus Becomes Famous:

People literally came from different cities, towns, and regions to observe and/or be healed by Jesus.

Medical science in the first century was nothing like it is today. Nevertheless, can you imagine what would happen if Jesus showed up on main street or in a mall near you and began to heal everyone regardless of the disease or injury? Soon the TV cameras would show up and the crowds would come from all around the world to see Jesus. He would be a ‘superstar’ today just like musical.

First the ‘experts’ on TV would question whether Jesus was a charlatan who was ultimately motivated by fame or fortune. Then some would question whether he was illegally practicing medicine when he declared people healed.

Finally, the interviews of key religious leaders would follow. Some would question his education and credentials while others would confidently explain that all the miracles ceased years ago in Bible times and any today come from demonic sources to lead folks astray.

It would be fun to see them try to explain away all of the miracles and healings. The media ignores almost all of the healings, miracles, and answers to prayer in the Christian community today. But it would be hard to ignore or explain away someone who publically heals everyone and every disease and then even raises the dead. 

Can you imagine the cameras rolling when a guy called Lazarus hops out a crypt after being dead for four days? The subsequent interview with his doctors would be priceless.

II.  Jesus Appoints Apostles & Gives Them Authority:  Verses 13-19

Jesus gave the 12 ‘authority’ (Can’t give what you don’t have–Jesus has authority)

To Do What?

1.  Be with him

2.  Preach

3.  Drive out demons

III.  What Folks Think About Jesus and How He Responds: Verses 20-22, 31-35

     Verses 20-21  His family thinks he’s crazy? At least his brothers had questions about his sanity but I have always wondered if Mary his mother really thought that way also? I find it hard to believe that she did. Nevertheless she went along for the ride.

     Verse 22  Religious leaders think he is possessed by Satan himself. After all he obviously is healing folks and doing miracles. Where did that kind of power and authority come from. They conclude that it must be coming from the Devil himself.

     Verses  23-30  Jesus says that it is The Holy Spirit giving him the authority and power.

     Verses 31-35  Mother & Brothers come again to confront him.

IV.  The Different Responses of the People:

1.  His own family came to take charge of him thinking he’s ‘out of his mind? I wonder what kind of reports they must have heard to cause them to be worried about Jesus and question his sanity?

2.  The religious leaders are threatened by his power and authority & plot against him. 

3.  The Apostles commit themselves to be with Jesus & participate in his ministry. 

4.  The regular folks flock to see Jesus. There was no TVs or Movie theaters so for some this was the best entertainment they had ever seen.

5.  Some believed that he was a prophet from God and wanted to hear what he had to say. Then there were miracles like when he fed thousands. Who wouldn’t want to see that and get a free meal in the process.

6.  The largest group of folks who followed Jesus just wanted to be healed. The sick were desperate to get to Jesus. After all, he actually healed everyone and everything for free. Far better than the best physicians of that day. The numbers were so overwhelming that sometimes Jesus didn’t even get to eat or rest!

V.  The Way Jesus Responds:

1.  He heals the sick. 

2. Preaches to the crowds. 

3. Gives special attention & authority to the 12. 

4.  He challenges the religious ‘leaders’, shows their hypocrisy, & condemns them for calling the work of the Holy Spirit demonic. 

5.  He rejects the way his family is treating him, & includes all who follow him and do God’s will as his ‘real’ family. This could include us today.

VI.  Source of Authority and ‘Unforgiveable’ Blasphemy: Verse 29

Over the years, I have had a surprising number of Christians come to me wondering if they had committed this ‘unforgivable’ sin.  My answer has always been the same-anyone concerned about it definitely hasn’t. One’s concern is the proof of the matter.  It means that the Holy Spirit is still working on you. Fact is, any sin without Jesus is ultimately ‘unforgiveable.’

Here in chapter 3 ‘religious’ leaders and authorities are claiming that Satan is the source for all of the supernatural acts and healings of Jesus. Jesus says that the Holy Spirit is the source and that they are actually committing an ‘unforgivable’ blasphemy when they claim that the work of the Spirit of God is demonic.

Think about the context. All of the temple sacrifices and the blood of animals could only temporarily cover sin. In this case the authorities were actually opposing God and there were no provisions for forgiveness for that in the sacrifices of the Mosaic law. Complete eternal forgiveness waited for the ultimate final sacrifice that came later with the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Only the blood of Jesus could really wash away their blasphemy forever and they not only did not believe in him but called his work and ministry demonic.

Later, one of their number (a Pharisee) would be struck down on the road to Damascus and become one of the greatest of the early Apostles. Think about this, Saul (Paul) not only rejected Jesus and his ministry and thought it evil like these guys here in Mark 3, but also tried to eliminate everyone who even just believed in Jesus.

He was responsible for the deaths of many early believers including Stephen. The temple sacrifices and the temporary forgiveness through the blood of animals could never even begin to cover his acts, murders, and unbelief. Only the Blood of Jesus could wash it all away for all eternity through faith alone (Rom. 3:23-25). Otherwise it was all unforgiveable. When Paul accepted Jesus it changed his destiny forever.

The ultimate ‘unforgiveable’ sin is to die without committing yourself to Jesus after a lifetime of rejecting every opportunity given to you by the Holy Spirit. Fact is, any sin without Jesus is ultimately ‘unforgiveable.’

How do you respond to Jesus today?

It really does matter. In fact, the way one responds to Jesus is the most important decision anyone can make for now and for all eternity. If you are really concerned that you may have committed an ‘unforgiveable’ sin or any sin for that matter, the best way to take care of it is to ask Jesus for forgiveness.  Just ask him now–he will forgive every mistake and every wrong thing you ever did.  You only need to ask.  He will forgive you now and for all Eternity.

-Read Mark 4 in preparation for LESSON #5

Previous Lesson: LESSON 3: Mark -Chapter 2

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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Psalm 119: 89-96

by Dr. D ~ December 5th, 2018

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru the Psalms: #119: 89-96 (Lamedh):

Lamedh

89 For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.

90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.

91 They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.

92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.

93 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.

94 I am thine, save me: for I have sought thy precepts.

95 The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.

96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Psalm 119: 81-88

by Dr. D ~ December 4th, 2018

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru the Psalms: #119: 81-88 (Kaph):

Kaph

81 My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.

82 Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?

83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.

84 How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?

85 The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law.

86 All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.

87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.

88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Psalm 119: 73-80

by Dr. D ~ December 3rd, 2018

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru the Psalms: #119: 73-80 (Yodh):

Yodh

73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.

74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.

75 I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

76 Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.am

77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.

78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.

79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.

80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Psalm 119: 65-72

by Dr. D ~ November 30th, 2018

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru the Psalms: #119: 65-72 (Teth):

Teth

65 Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Lord, according unto thy word.

66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.

67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.

69 The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.

70 Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law.

71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Psalm 119: 57-64

by Dr. D ~ November 29th, 2018

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru the Psalms: #119: 57-64 (Heth):

Heth

57 Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words.

58 I intreated thy favor with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.

59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.

60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.

61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.

62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.

63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.

64 The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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