‘MYSTIC BAPTIST’ CHARLES STANLEY EXPLAINS HOW GOD SPEAKS TO HIM

‘MYSTIC BAPTIST’ CHARLES STANLEY EXPLAINS HOW GOD SPEAKS TO HIM

POSTED BY ERIN BENZIGER ∙ 30 NOVEMBER 2012

Charles Stanley

Christianity Today recently interviewed megachurch pastor Charles Stanley of First Baptist Church Atlanta and father of fellow megachurch pastor Andy Stanley. The interview focuses primarily on the prayer life of the elder Stanley, who says that the key to his life has been to “learn to talk to God and to listen to him and to be obedient to him and watch him work.” For Charles Stanley, this seemingly includes hearing from the Lord outside of the pages of Scripture.

As Christianity Today’s senior managing editor Mark Galli spoke with Stanley, he asked the following:

You often say in your books and preaching that God speaks to you, tells you things, and gives you messages. What is that like for you? Is it a thought? Is it a voice you hear?

SOURCE:http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/november/mystic-baptist.html?paging=off

Getting right to the point, Galli seeks to know precisely what method Charles Stanley claims that God is using to speak to him. Stanley’s answer, then, points not to the objective, written Word of God, but rather to impressions received from God that Stanley believes he has learned to interpret.

For me, I get this strong sense of feeling that’s so clear, so direct to me. Like this week, something happened and I thought, Well, I could do thus and such, and God said, “Don’t do that.” I don’t hear a voice, but it’s so crystal sharp and clear to me, I know not to disobey that.

I think that comes from early in life as you learn to listen. You make mistakes; after a while, you realize as you obey him, it turns out right, and whatever your reason was for not obeying him, it doesn’t turn out right.

SOURCE:http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/november/mystic-baptist.html?paging=off

Galli rightly labels this claim as “mystic,” following up with the question,

The way you talk about your relationship with God, the word mystic comes to mind. How would you feel if someone were to describe you this way?

SOURCE:http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/november/mystic-baptist.html?paging=off

Not specifically addressing this question, Stanley instead answers by stating that his entire life has been “wrapped up in” asking the questions, “Who is this God? How do I have an intimate relationship with him? How can I listen to him knowing that he’s the one doing the speaking?”

Indeed, how can one know that it is God who is speaking? Herein lies the problem with a reliance upon subjective experiences as a means of encountering and “hearing” from God. How does one tell the difference between a “strong sense of feeling” that allegedly originates with God, and one’s own internal desires? How does one know that it is God who is speaking, and not a deceptive spirit? When seeking to “hear from God,” there is no biblical guidance as to how one may determine exactly who or what is communicating. CRN’s research article on the topic of Spiritual Formation explains this in further detail.

In this interview with Christianity Today, Charles Stanley concluded that he wants “the Holy Spirit to interpret the truth” for him. Certainly this should be the desire of the Christian, but where can this truth be found which the Holy Spirit must illumine? Said Puritan John Owen,

Scripture is the believer’s rule and the Holy Spirit is his guide. SOURCE:http://www.the-highway.com/hsguided_Owen.html

How, then, can one be certain that one is being guided by the Holy Spirit into the truth of God? Is it by relying upon and placing one’s confidence in subjective,[COLOR=Green] extra-biblical experiences? Or is it by opening up the concrete, unchanging Word of God? [/COLOR]The Lord Himself answers that question:

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. (John 17:17, NASB)

http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2012/11/30/mystic-baptist-charles-stanley-explains-how-god-speaks-to-him/

The world turns against Israel and in favor of the Palestinians

The world turns against Israel and in favor of the Palestinians

November 30, 2012

Sixty-five years to the date after the UN voted the petition of mandatory Palestine, a move the Jews accepted and the Palestinians rejected, the UN voted overwhelmingly to grant the Palestinian delegation the upgraded status of non-member observer state.

Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to the UN vote saying it was illegal since there was not a state of Palestine that even qualifies to be a state with defined borders and a legitimate government of all the people and that the UN vote changes nothing on the ground in Israel except the conflict.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

The UN vote to grant the Palestinians state status in an historic vote is simply setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

With the non-aligned member states of the UN and the EU member states, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted the Palestinian delegation an upgrade status at the UN that gives the Palestinians a claim to statehood. PA PM Mahmoud Abbas when addressing the UN General Assembly said he was there to allow the UN to issue a birth certificate for the state of Palestine. By making that statement, Abbas admitted there never has been a Palestinian state. This UN vote has only enhanced the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has basically negated any peace process that might have brought resolution to this conflict.

Twenty-five hundred years ago, a number of ancient Jewish prophets foretold of a time in history when this type of scenario would be in place in our world. In fact, this scenario has never been just as it is today which is evidence we are quickly approaching the time that the prophets we’re talking about. Malachi revealed that the Palestinian people, the descendants of Esau would try to rebuild their nation, Malachi 1:3. In that same passage, Malachi reports that the Lord will call their borders the borders of wickedness. Ezekiel said that God will judge the Palestinians because they kill the Jews and take their land, Ezekiel 35:5, 10. Actually, the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will only come when the Messiah returns to the earth, Obadiah 18.

The UN vote did indeed set the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

http://news.prophecytoday.com/2012/11/the-world-turns-against-israel-and-in.html

November 30, 2012 Bible Reading

November 30

Reading for Today:

Daniel 3:1–4:37

Psalm 136:1-9

Proverbs 29:11

2 Peter 1:1-21

Notes:

Daniel 3:1- image of gold. The statue, which the king arrogantly made, represented himself as an expression of his greatness and glory and reflected the dream where he was the head of gold (2:38). It was not necessarily made of solid gold, but more likely would have been overlaid with gold, like many objects found in the ruins of Babylon. The word for “image” usually means a human form. The height of the figure was about 90 feet and the width 9 feet; it would have been comparable in height to date palms found in that area. The self-deifying statue of the king need not have been grotesquely thin in proportion to the height since a massive base could have contributed to the height. This established the worship of Nebuchadnezzar and the nation under his power, in addition to the other gods.

Daniel 3:15- who is the god…? The king’s challenge would return to embarrass him. The true God was able to deliver, just as He was able to reveal a dream and its meaning. Nebuchadnezzar had earlier called him “the God of gods” (2:47); but having let that fade from his attention, he soon would be shocked and humiliated when God took up his challenge (3:28, 29).

2 Peter 1:4- partakers of the divine nature. This expression is not different from the concepts of being born again, born from above (John 3:3; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23), being in Christ (Rom. 8:1), or being the home of the Trinity (John 14:17–23). The precious promises of salvation result in becoming God’s children in the present age (John 1:12; Rom. 8:9; Gal. 2:20; Col. 1:27), and thereby sharing in God’s nature by the possession of His eternal life.

2 Peter 1:21- by the will of man. As Scripture is not of human origin, neither is it the result of human will. The emphasis in the phrase is that no part of Scripture was ever at any time produced because men wanted it so. The Bible is not the product of human effort. The prophets, in fact, sometimes wrote what they could not fully understand (1 Pet. 1:10, 11), but were nonetheless faithful to write what God revealed to them. moved by the Holy Spirit. Grammatically, this means that they were continually carried or borne along by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit thus is the divine author and originator, the producer of the Scriptures. In the Old Testament alone, the human writers refer to their writings as the words of God over 3,800 times (e.g., Jer. 1:4; 3:2; Rom. 3:2; 1 Cor. 2:10). Though the human writers of Scripture were active rather than passive in the process of writing Scripture, God the Holy Spirit superintended them so that, using their own individual personalities, thought processes, and vocabulary, they composed and recorded without error the exact words God wanted written. The original copies of Scripture are therefore inspired, i.e., God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16) and inerrant, i.e., without error (John 10:34, 35; 17:17; Titus 1:2). Peter defined the process of inspiration which created an inerrant original text (Prov. 30:5; 1 Cor. 14:36; 1 Thess. 2:13).

DAY 30: Who was the fourth person in the fiery furnace of Daniel 3:19–25?

The delivery of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego from the flames was an astonishing, miraculous event. The furnace was real, and the flames were hot. The guards who carried the young men close enough to cast them in the furnace were killed. Why complicate this miracle with a fourth person in the furnace? Because the king himself noticed the discrepancy between the number he had thrown into the flames and the number he saw strolling about. The truth usually includes unexpected complications.

The king concluded the fourth person was a heavenly being. He identified the visitor in two different ways: 1) “like the Son of God” (3:25); 2) “Angel” (3:28). When he commanded the three friends to exit the furnace, the king did not extend an invitation to God’s special servant.

Viewed from the context of all of Scripture, the fourth person could possibly have been the Second Person of the Godhead (Jesus Christ) in a preincarnate appearance. For other similar Old Testament instances, see Exodus 3:2, Joshua 5:13–15, and Judges 6:11ff. While the term “Angel” is used in these reports, the person had a special connection with the Lord. He wasn’t an angel, but the Angel of the Lord. His presence may be startling but He does not have the stunning and awe-inspiring appearance of an angel. The king saw four men in the furnace. The one who appeared miraculously he identified as the Son of God. It may well have been an inspired exclamation.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-bible

An Unlikely Heroine

An Unlikely Heroine

[COLOR=Red]”By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace” (Heb. 11:31).

Our final Old Testament hero of faith is an unlikely addition to the list. Not only was she a prostitute, she also was a Gentile–and a Canaanite at that.

The Canaanites were an idolatrous, barbaric, debauched people, infamous even among pagans for their immorality and cruelty. Yet in the midst of that exceedingly wicked society, Rahab came to faith in the God of Israel.

Joshua 2:9-11 records her confession of faith to the two men Joshua had sent into Jericho as spies: I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And when we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath (emphasis added).

Rahab demonstrated the genuineness of that profession by risking her life to hide the spies from the king of Jericho, who sought to capture them.

Because Rahab lied to protect the spies (vv. 4-5), some people question the validity of her faith. Surely genuine believers wouldn’t lie like that–or would they? Abraham did. Sarah did. Isaac did. Jacob did. But the important thing to understand is that God honored their faith, not their deception.

As with all the heroes of faith before her, Rahab’s faith wasn’t perfect, nor was her knowledge of God’s moral law. But because she trusted God, she was spared during Jericho’s conquest, then given an even greater honor. She became the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth, the great-great-grandmother of David, thereby becoming an ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:5).

Suggestions for Prayer:

Praise God for receiving even the vilest sinner who turns to Him in faith.

For Further Study:

Read all about Rahab in Joshua 2:1-24, 6:22-25, and James 2:25.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals

Israeli Rabbi, Vatican Official and Saudi King Join Forces for Peace

Israeli Rabbi, Vatican Official and Saudi King Join Forces for Peace

by Edward Pentin Thursday, November 29, 2012 11:23 AM

Representatives including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon pose for a photograph at the inaugural ceremony of the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, Nov. 26, 2012.

– KAICIID

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has invited an Israeli rabbi, a Vatican official and other religious leaders to help run his new inter-faith centre in Vienna – an initiative which could pave the way for freedom of worship in the Arab kingdom.

Rabbi David Rosen, an advisor on interreligious affairs to Israel’s Chief Rabbinate, will be the only Jewish representative on a nine-member board of directors that will help run the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Centre for Inter-religious and Inter-cultural Dialogue.

The other board members consist of three Christians (Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican), three Muslims (two Shia, one Sunni), a Buddhist and a Hindu. The Catholic representative, Spanish Father Miguel Ayuso, is Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

The centre, which aims to act “as a hub, facilitating interreligious and intercultural dialogue and understanding” and to “enhance cooperation, respect for diversity, justice and peace,” was inaugurated amid much fanfare this week at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.

Although founded by Saudi Arabia, Austria and Spain, it will operate as an independent organisation “free of political or economic influence.” The Holy See plays a “founding observer role.”

Speaking with Rabbi Rosen yesterday, he told me he believed the initiative will help to combat religious extremism by raising the profile of moderate voices. “Part of the problem for all of us has been that we have not worked hard enough to strengthen the moderate voices,” he said. “With regards to extremism and especially violent extremism, we have to take all the necessary security and intelligence steps to protect our society, [but] the real way to neutralize extremists is to give a higher profile, regard, respect and power to moderate voices,” he said. “I think that’s exactly what we’re doing here.”

He believes King Abdullah’s motives for founding the centre are threefold: to further a vision which brings religions together in cooperation around global issues; to affirm a positive leadership role of Saudi Arabia internationally, and in the Muslim world (as opposed to Iran); and to help bring internal reform to a country where Christians are forbidden to build churches or worship openly.

The Saudis, he said, are keen that the Vatican participate in the centre because they are aware “they cannot change their society in a revolution overnight.” He said the hope is that by working together with mutual respect, reform will filter through to Saudis on the ground and the country will be able to “change the reality” from within……..

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/israeli-rabbi-vatican-official-and-saudi-king-join-forces-for-peace#ixzz2DgPLRHVt

The Palestinian people petition the UN for state status on the same da

The Palestinian people petition the UN for state status on the same day, November 29th as Israel did in 1947

November 29, 2012

In a symbolic move by the President of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas, petitioned the UN General Assembly for an upgrade in status for the Palestinian people on November 29th, the same date in 1947 when the UN approved the resolution that allowed the Jewish people to have their own modern-day state of Israel.

Less than a year later, the state of Israel was a reality with about 500000 Jews from around the world forming the Jewish state and once again being a nation among all the nations of the world.

In an effort to form a Palestinian state in what is a part of Israel and with a portion of the city of Jerusalem as its capital city, PA President Abbas has petitioned the UN General Assembly to approve their upgrade to a state status which will only intensify the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

The Palestinian petition at the UN to give the PA a state status at the General Assembly is a precursor to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

The PA led by Mahmoud Abbas has for years claimed that the Israeli people had stolen their state and replaced it with a Jewish state. The Palestinian petition at the UN General Assembly for state status among this international governmental organization is an admission that there never was a Palestinian state as history has recorded. Palestine is not a real state since it has no defined borders and is without a legitimate government in place.

The ancient Jewish prophet Malachi wrote 2500 years ago of how the Palestinian people, the Edomites of biblical time, those who were descendants of Esau, would return to the land that God has given the Jewish people through Jacob, Genesis 37:1 and that these Palestinians would endeavor to rebuild. Malachi reveals that God would call the Palestinian borders the borders of wickedness, Malachi 1:4. In that same verse, God said He will have indignation against the Palestinian people forever. Ezekiel 35:5, 10 foretell of the judgment on the Palestinian people because they kill the Jews and endeavor to take their land. Obadiah says that God will destroy the Palestinians as if they have never been.

The Palestinian petition at the UN is indeed setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

http://news.prophecytoday.com/2012/11/the-palestinian-people-petition-un-for.html

The last Jews in Ethiopia prepare for a trip to the promised land

The last Jews in Ethiopia prepare for a trip to the promised land

November 28, 2012

The last 2000 Ethiopian Jews are preparing to immigrate to Israel which will mark the first and only time an entire country’s Jewish population will leave their homeland and travel to the land of their forefathers, traveling to what they claim to be God-given land.

Operation Moses in 1985, when as many as 20000 Ethiopian Jews left for Israel, many of them by foot through Sudan saw the first immigration of these Jews of Ethiopia to the Jewish state of Israel.

In May of 1991, 15000 Ethiopian Jews were crowded into a series of non stop air flights over a 36 hour period of time into Israel in what was called Operation Solomon – most likely the greatest airlift in history.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

As 2000 Ethiopian Jews prepare to travel to the Jewish state of Israel the last chapter for these Jews will be completed and will result in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy for the last days.

In 1985, 20000 Jews from Ethiopia made their way, many by foot to Israel and fulfilled their obligation as a Jew to return home to the land of their forefathers during what was called Operation Moses. In May of 1991 a special airlift called Operation Solomon brought 15000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel. Now, the last of the Ethiopian-Jewish community is preparing to travel to Israel as well.

The ancient Jewish prophet Ezekiel foretold of a time when the Lord would bring all Jews from the four corners of the earth back to the homeland, the land of the Jewish forefathers, Ezekiel 34. In fact, another Jewish prophet, Zephaniah wrote 2500 years ago that the Lord would bring the Ethiopian Jews back home as well, Zephaniah 3:10. The return of the Ethiopian Jews is only part of the entire Jewish world coming back to Israel and establishing a Jewish state which is foretold in Ezekiel 37:7-8. Out of 108 nations of the world over the last 100 years Jews have been coming home and the remaining Jewish worldwide community will do the very same thing in the near future.

Operation Moses in 1985, Operation Solomon in 1991, and this next and last immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel is indeed a fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

http://news.prophecytoday.com/2012/11/the-last-jews-in-ethiopia-prepare-for.html

Casting Your Cares on God Parts 12

Casting Your Cares on God, Part 1

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

by John MacArthur

The apostle Peter was a worrier. He worried about drowning when he was walking on water, even though Jesus was right there with him (Matthew 14:29-31). He worried about what was going to happen to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, so he pulled out his sword and tried to take on a battalion of Roman soldiers (John 18:2-3, 10). And when he worried about Jesus being crucified, Peter ordered God Himself not to go to the cross (Matthew 16:22).

Nevertheless, although Peter had ongoing trouble with anxiety, he learned how to deal with it, and he passed on the lesson to us—a lesson that shows the connection between our humility and our ability to conquer anxiety.

Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter5:5-7, emphasis added).

When Peter said “clothe yourselves with humility toward one another” (v. 5), he had a specific image in mind. He used a Greek term that means to tie something on yourself with a knot or a bow. It came to refer especially to a work apron. A slave would put on an apron over his or her clothes to keep them clean, just like you might before you start a messy chore. The word became a synonym for humble service.

Humility is the attitude that you are not too good to serve others, and you are not too great to stoop. It was not considered a virtue in the ancient world. Sadly, we have reverted to those times in that regard. Humble people today are mocked and trampled on. The world calls them wimps and instead exalts pride, arrogance, and runaway egos. Although society was no different in Peter’s day, he called his readers to be different.

To support his exhortation to clothe ourselves in humility toward one another, Peter cites the Old Testament: “God is opposed to the proud, but give grace to the humble” (v. 5, cf. Proverbs 3:34). Those verses provide keen motivation for displaying humility. In simple terms, we will be blessed if we are humble and chastised if we are not. And one of the blessings of humility is the ability to deal with anxiety.

On the other hand, pride only compounds your problems when you give in to worry. Pride usurps God’s preeminent position, leaving you no one to rely on when anxiety creeps in. You can’t rest in the sovereignty of God when you arrogantly exalt your desires, opinions, and will to the same level—or above—the Lord’s.

Humility keeps priorities in proper order. It keeps you from being overwhelmed by your own circumstances and instead focuses your attention on God’s plans and purposes in those circumstances. It takes your focus off the immediate situation and helps you appreciate what the Lord is accomplishing behind the scenes.

Humility also puts us on God’s timetable and not our own. As Peter says, “He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Peter 5:6). What’s the proper time? His time, not ours. When will it be? When He has accomplished His purpose.

Now that might seem a little vague, but there’s no cause for concern—God has perfect timing. Indeed, our salvation depended on His perfect timing. Paul specified that the hope of eternal life was “at the proper time manifested” through Jesus Christ (Titus 1:1-3). Trusting in God’s timing is no light or peripheral matter to the Christian faith.

We can, and should, rest assured that God will exalt us according to His perfect timing. But what kind of exaltation should we anticipate? Paul used a Greek term that speaks of lifting us out of our present trouble. For the Christian, even the worst trial is only temporary. Remember that truth, as you will be tempted to conclude that because there’s no end in sight, there is no end at all. Don’t believe it for a minute; God promises to lift you out.

How are we to conduct ourselves until the promised time of deliverance? Peter said “Humble yourselves . . . casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

That’s where we’ll pick it up next time.

(Adapted from Anxious for Nothing.)

http://www.gty.org/Blog/B121128

November 29, 2012 Bible Reading

November 29

Reading for Today:

Daniel 1:1–2:49

Psalm 135:15-21

Proverbs 29:10

1 Peter 5:1-14

Notes:

Daniel 1:8- Daniel purposed. The pagan food and drink was devoted to idols. To indulge was to be understood as honoring these deities. Daniel “purposed in his heart” (Prov. 4:23) not to engage in compromise by being untrue to God’s call of commitment (Ex. 34:14, 15). Also, foods that God’s law prohibited (Lev. 1:1) were items that pagans consumed; to partake entailed direct compromise (Dan. 1:12). Moses took this stand (Heb. 11:24–26), as did the psalmist (Ps. 119:115) and Jesus (Heb. 7:26).

Daniel 2:36–45- we will tell the interpretation. Five empires in succession would rule over Israel, here pictured by parts of a statue (body). In Daniel 7, the same empires are represented by 4 great beasts. These empires are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the later revived Rome, each one differentiated from the previous as indicated by the declining quality of the metal. A stone picturing Christ (Luke 20:18) at His Second Coming (as the Son of Man also does in Dan. 7:13, 14) will destroy the fourth empire in its final phase with catastrophic suddenness (2:34, 35, 44, 45). Christ’s total shattering of Gentile power will result in the establishment of His millennial kingdom, the ultimate empire, and then continuing on eternally (2:44; 7:27).

1 Peter 5:6- under the mighty hand of God. This is an Old Testament symbol of the power of God working in the experience of men, always accomplishing His sovereign purpose (Ex. 3:19, 20; Job 30:20, 21; Ezek. 20:33, 37; Mic. 6:8). The readers of Peter’s letter were not to fight the sovereign hand of God, even when it brought them through testings. One of the evidences of lack of submission and humility is impatience with God in His work of humbling believers. exalt you in due time. God will lift up the suffering, submissive believers in His wisely appointed time. See Job 42.

DAY 29: How are pastors to care for their congregations?

First Peter 5:2 gives this exhortation to the elders: “Shepherd the flock of God.” After the motivation (v. 1) comes the exhortation (vv. 2–4). Since the primary objective of shepherding is feeding, or teaching, every elder must be able to teach (John 21:15–17; 1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:9). Involved with the feeding of the flock is also protecting the flock (Acts 20:28–30). In both duties, it must be remembered that the flock belongs to God, not to the pastor. God entrusts some of His flock to the pastor of a church to lead, care for, and feed (v. 3).

“Not by compulsion but willingly.” Specifically, Peter may be warning the elders against a first danger—laziness. The divine calling (1 Cor. 9:16), along with the urgency of the task (Rom. 1:15), should prevent laziness and indifference. “Not for dishonest gain.” False teachers are always motivated by a second danger, money, and use their power and position to rob people of their own wealth (2 Pet. 2:1–3). Scripture is clear that churches should pay their shepherds well (1 Cor. 9:7–14; 1 Tim. 5:17, 18); but a desire for undeserved money must never be a motive for ministers to serve (1 Tim. 3:3; 6:9–11; 2 Tim. 2:4; Titus 1:7; 2 Pet. 2:3; see also Jer. 6:13; 8:10; Mic. 3:11; Mal. 1:10).

“Nor as being lords” (v. 3). This is the third major temptation for a pastor: demagoguery. In this context, “lords” means to dominate someone or some situation. It implies leadership by manipulation and intimidation. Rather, true spiritual leadership is by example (1 Tim. 4:12).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-bible

Conquering in Conflict

Conquering in Conflict

[COLOR=Red]”By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been encircled for seven days” (Heb. 11:30).

Forty years had lapsed since the Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land. That unbelieving generation had perished in the wilderness. Now Joshua was leading a new generation into the land. The first obstacle they faced was Jericho–a well- fortified city that was near the mouth of the Jordan River.

Some city walls of that day were wide enough at the top to allow two chariots to ride side-by-side. That was probably true of Jericho because of its strategic location. That, coupled with the caliber of its army, made the city virtually impregnable– especially to unsophisticated Israelites, who lacked military training.

But what is impossible for man is easy for God. And the stage was set for Him to demonstrate His power and for the Israelites to demonstrate their faith and humility.

One can only imagine how embarrassed the Hebrew people felt as they marched around Jericho once a day for six days. That certainly is not your typical military strategy. But on the seventh day, after marching around the city seven times with the priests blowing their rams’ horns, the priests gave one final blast, the people all shouted out loud, and the walls of the city collapsed (Josh. 6:20). Faith had reduced a formidable obstacle to a crumbled ruin.

Can you identify some spiritual obstacles you’ve faced recently? How did you handle them? You’ll always have them to deal with in your Christian walk, but don’t fret. See them as opportunities to exercise faith and see God’s power on display in your life. Continue to trust the Lord and demonstrate your faith by courageously doing what He has called you to do.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Ask God to help you humbly trust in God’s power when you face spiritual conflicts.

For Further Study:

Read about the conquest of Jericho in Joshua 6:1-21. Note each occasion where the people obeyed one of Joshua’s commands without hesitation.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals