THE GROWTH OF DECEPTION

…falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, declares the Lord. —Jeremiah 9:3

Everyone deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity. Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, declares the Lord. —Jeremiah 9:5-6

In October of 2012 if was reported that 20% of Americans claimed no religion compared to 15 percent five years previously (http://www.alternet.org/belief/number-atheists-us-spikes-protestants-minority-first-time). “The growth in the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans – sometimes called the rise of the “nones” – is largely driven by generational replacement, the gradual supplanting of older generations by newer ones.” So the older generation is failing to reach the younger generations or is it that the younger generations refuse to trust the Lord God Almighty?

According to the verses above, in Jeremiah’s day the people did not know the Lord, but they also did not want to know the Lord! The result was the growth of lies in the land and the diminishing of the truth with evil being practiced more and more. The people learned lies and spoke lies. Deception was rampant.

Does that sound like the United States today? We are a nation where lies are being communicated; people are believing the lies and then repeating the lies. Deception in our nation is also rampant. You and I, fellow followers of Jesus Christ, are to be salt and light in this nation and anywhere in the world the Lord might move us. May we be speaking the truth in love that others may know the Truth— Jesus.

Dear Father, help me to be salt and light today to those around me. Oh, that I would speak the truth to them in love. May You be pleased to touch hearts as Your Word is planted and watered in Jesus’ authority.

BE LISTENING YOURSELF!

“How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie. —Jeremiah 8:8

How many people in your local church are really disciples of Jesus Christ? These would be people who are growing and sharing their faith, being obedient to the Lord. I was with a church with about 100 people recently and I asked that question. The leadership told me, “Probably 10 and that is on the high side.” On top of that many people in this church were following TV personalities that are teaching false doctrine. That church is very fragmented.

There are many so called “teachers” of God’s, but all they are doing is repeating what someone else has told them. Their faith is not in the Word of God, but in the person who tells them what the Word of God says as they see it. Personally, I always point the person to the Word of God for them to check it out. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). That is the responsibility of every follower of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately for many who profess the Name of Jesus, they would rather let someone else do the work and not do it themselves. That is a dangerous place to be.

We are to “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (II Timothy 4:2-4). According to the verse above this is what was happening in Jeremiah’s day as well. The scribes were not handling the Word of God correctly and they believed themselves to be doing the right thing. How sad it is when people would rather believe the lies being shared with them instead of believing the truth!

How about You and I— are we checking out God’s Word for ourselves or are we having someone else do that for us and believing what they are saying? Oh that we would truly sit at the feet of Jesus and make sure what we are being told lines up with what He says. May it be so!

Thank You, Lord God Almighty, that You have left us Your Word and we do not have to be led astray. Help us to be sitting at the feet of Jesus to hear what He has to say and may we then check out what others say by what He has told us.

PRAYER

“As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. —Jeremiah 7:16

They were in a life or death situation when they made the phone call. “Please, please, someone pick up the phone,” but nobody did…

There is a time when the Lord does not want us to pray because He will not answer. In the case above Judah had crossed a line and the Lord told Jeremiah not to pray for them. The people were doing their own thing and would not listen to what the prophet Jeremiah had to say anyway. Truth had perished from the land (Jeremiah 7:27-28). What a sad commentary when a nation goes so far that the Lord tells one of His servants to not even pray for his nation.

In I Timothy 2:1-2 we are told to pray for all those in authority. May we be doing so. That is what we are to be doing today and when a nation crosses the line He has established then He will judge that nation according to His desires. So let us pray for America and serve the Lord according to His desires. May it be so.

Lord, help me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and serve You according to Your will and in the authority of Jesus my Lord!

A QUENCHED THIRST

…for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. —Jeremiah 2:13

Take your pick. Drink water from an icy cold, cascading mountain stream or from a bucket with holes in it that cannot hold any water. As soon as you put water in the bucket it immediately runs out and is empty.

Why is it that when people have the choice to “drink” of the Lord they rather “drink” from other empty things that cannot quench their inner thirst? It is because of spiritual blindness, satanic influence, pride, selfishness, rebellion and not hearing the Word of God. How sad is this!

So many people in this world have had the opportunity to hear or read the gospel numerous times while others in the world have not heard it once. Yet instead of drinking from “the LORD, the spring of living water” (Jeremiah 17:13), they make for themselves broken vessels that are useless in the search to quench spiritual thirst.

What are you drinking from? Cracked pots that cannot quench the inner thirst that only a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ can quench? “Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:10-14). May we take the water that Jesus offers and be spiritual satisfied in Him forever!

Dear Father, thank You for the water of eternal life You have given us through Jesus. Oh, that we would truly appreciate how You have enabled us to have our inner thirst to be quench forever through the life you have given us through Your Son. May we be faithful to offer other people this Water of Life that they too can have their inner thirst quenched.

MASSIVE DESTRUCTION OF GOD’S PROPERTY!

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” —Jeremiah 1:4-5

The builder knew what he was going to do before he began the construction. Even before the building was completed he set it apart for special purposes. He then appointed the building to be the special place of relaxation for him and his family. This had been planned for years and now it had come to pass.

The verses above make it very clear. It is the Lord God Almighty who forms a person in the womb and he has specific purposes for that person. So, over 50,000,000 persons that the Lord God Almighty was forming were purposely killed by abortionists. All these people were being formed by the Lord God Almighty and it seemed a small thing for those who killed them to destroy what the He was forming.

We in the U.S. have allowed this to happen. One thing that I particularly despise when people talk about this subject is the use of the Latin word “fetus.” Do you know what that word means?

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin fētus bringing forth of young, hence that which is born, offspring, young still in the womb, equivalent to fē- (v. base attested in L only in noun derivatives, as fēmina woman, fēcundus fecund, etc.; compare Greek thēsthai to suck, milk, Old High German tāan to suck, Old Irish denid (he) sucks) + -tus suffix of v. action http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fetus?s=t

fetus (n.)
late 14c., "the young while in the womb or egg," from Latin fetus (often, incorrectly, foetus) "the bearing, bringing forth, or hatching of young," from Latin base *fe- "to generate, bear," also "to suck, suckle" (see fecund).

In Latin, fetus sometimes was transferred figuratively to the newborn creature itself, or used in a sense of "offspring, brood" (as in Horace's "Germania quos horrida parturit Fetus"), but this was not the basic meaning. Also used of plants, in the sense of "fruit, produce, shoot." The spelling foetus is sometimes attempted as a learned Latinism, but it is not historic. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=fetus&searchmode=none

When people hear the word fetus it sounds like nothing because they do not even know what the word means. I know this because I have asked people if they know. If people don’t understand the communication, how can they understand what is being communicated or what is happening? The use of this word as a euphemism has led to the destruction of many children and we in the United States are guilty! These were children and not some meaningless blob that could be removed like a wart. Those aborted were precious individuals that God was forming and man destroyed them. That is rebellion against God and that is satanically instigated as Satan is the destroyer (I Peter 5:8). Isn’t it time we take greater action to stop this?

Dear Father, help me to do the part You desire of me to help cease the murder of those You are forming in the womb. Please guide in this whole area in Jesus’ authority and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

FALSE NARRATIVES

Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the Lord. In the fire of his jealousy, all the earth shall be consumed; for a full and sudden end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth. —Zephaniah 1:18

Climate change is going to destroy the earth! Or, is it global warming and the world is going to bake? Or were they right in the 1970’s that it was global cooling and we were going to freeze http://denisdutton.com/newsweek_coolingworld.pdf.

One thing is for sure according to the verse above is that no amount of money will deliver mankind from “the day of the wrath of the Lord.” The big thing today is that we must act now or the planet is going to be destroyed and so the idea is to tax the people more— http://www.kairoscanada.org/sustainability/climate-justice/keeping-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground-essential-to-curb-climate-change-briefing-paper-37/.

Can we trust these supposed scientists that are making these claims? I think not. We get a lot of snow and right off it is because of climate change. Well, I remember in my youth that there were winters where we got a lot of snow. Then, it is really hot and so that proves there is climate change. Well, I remember in my youth that we had droughts in this area and the water levels dropped greatly. Sometimes it truly appears that people live in the moment and do not remember the past very well at all. Of course, this is true. It can be seen in the very amnesiac view of history in general.

It is a perpetual lie that we are gradually going to heat up until the earth is uninhabitable. How do I KNOW this? Well, when you know the One who is in control of all things and know what He has to say in His Word, then a person can be absolutely sure in what is going to happen and it is not what is being portrayed by the ones communicating climate change.

When this planet is destroyed, and it will be, it will happen suddenly and immediately. The verse above says it will be “a full and sudden end.” In II Peter 3:12 we are told “That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells” (II Peter 3:12-13). No amount of taxation will stop that coming day and those who promote that the end is coming through climate change are using fear tactics to advance their agenda. What is their agenda? It is the ungodly agenda of all those who are in power now and that have been in the past who thirst for power over people instead of promoting the best interests for the people. It is about total control.

As followers of Jesus Christ we do not need to be anxious about world events. We KNOW who is in control and that He is working out all things according to His good will. We can trust Him fully.

Dear Father, I am grateful to know that Your word tells us what is to come and that we do not have to fall for the lies perpetuated among us. Help me to communicate what You have to say to a darkened world of false views. May I do this in Jesus’ authority and by the Holy Spirit’s power. May it be so!

FAITHFUL SERVICRE

The workers labored faithfully. —II Chronicles 34:12

When the boss was around they did their work as they were supposed to, but when the boss was not around they slacked and fooled around. They did not faithfully do their work when he was not directly overseeing them. They were slackers!

What about us? Are we faithful in the work the Lord has given to us? Whether we are in school at any level or in the workplace, at home or among His people, the church, are we faithfully laboring for the Lord Jesus?

The context of the verse above is when King Josiah sent workers to repair and restore the temple. These workmen “labored faithfully.” Here is a picture of faithful service. These men were not doing just enough to get by, but were diligent in their labor.

What work does the Lord have you involved in today? Will you labor faithfully? May it be so!

Dear Father, help me to work diligently in my service to You and not live or labor half-heartedly. Oh, that I would truly honor You by being a faithful worker in Jesus and by the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

A DANGEROUS PLACE TO BE

Behold, I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts… —Nahum 3:5

The recent targeting of conservative groups by the IRS illustrates how the powerless can be at the mercy of the powerful. In the case of the IRS, they used their power in a very abusive way. Anyone who gets a notice from them is truly concerned, especially when they are against those who do not line up with their values.

Power— it can be used abusively or under control to carry out specific purposes. If the verse above there are words that nobody should want to hear the Lord say—“I am against you.” The Lord God Almighty does what is right as He carries out His plans and purposes on this planet. He does not abuse His power— ever.

The context of the verse above is about Assyrian Nineveh in 697 BC. In 760 BC the Lord told Jonah to “go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” We know the story of Jonah. He disobeyed and the Lord dealt with His disobedience. Jonah was given a second opportunity by the Lord and did go preach against it. The result was that the whole city repented and the Lord did not destroy the city (Jonah 3:6-10). Now, 63 years later, the Lord is once again ready to judge that “great city” and nation.

These words “I am against you” are words nobody should want to hear from the Lord’s mouth. Yet, there are multitudes that shake their fists at God and do not want anything to do with Him. This is a very dangerous place to be, eternally dangerous. We read in Romans 1:24, 26, 28 that “God gave them up.” When God is against someone or a nation that can be experienced in different ways. For Nineveh in Jonah’s day & Nahum’s it would be by bringing an enemy against them. In Romans 1 it is by the Lord giving them up and allowing people to go their own way. In verse 24 “God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves;” in verse 26-27 God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error;” in verse 28 “God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”

What does this mean for America? These things are prevalent in our nation. Are we beginning to experience the judgment of God? Is He “giving us up?” We need leaders—in churches and in government— that will call the nation to repentance. May it be so! If this does not happen, followers of Jesus Christ need to be faithful and shine in the midst of the darkness.

Dear Father, I am grateful to know that I am at peace with You though Jesus Your Son. Yes, I am so thankful that You promise peace in the midst of storms and to know that You are ultimately in control of all things. It is wonderful to know You are 100% trustworthy when I so many times do not understand what is happening. I am grateful.

KNOW THIS, EXPERIENCE THIS

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” —Psalm 46:10

Wars, terrorism, nations coming against nations, crime and the lack of love around the world can unsettle a person or they just ignore what is going on because it does not directly affect them. Others see everything as impending doom and a crisis to be dealt with right now.

The verse above encourages us just to stop and consider Who really is in control. Do you truly know that He is God and that He is Sovereign? Then you can experience a quietness and peace that the world cannot understand (John 16:33; Philippians 4:6-7).

There are nations that are full of pride and think in themselves they are most powerful. Compared to the Almighty the nations “are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales… Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing” (Isaiah 40:15, 17). Nations should have a proper view of themselves, but it is clear today that we do not have a nation on earth that truly honors the Lord God Almighty. Is there one on the earth?

The Lord God Almighty will be exalted all around the earth in His time. He is working out His purposes, carrying out His plan. May we line up with what He is doing on this planet and work along with Him in any area He calls us to and with what He has already clearly stated in His Word. May it be so!

Where do you fit into His plan? How are you being obedient to Him? Is He calling you to something that you would not normally do? Will you obey and trust Him for what He desires to do through you? Oh, that He would be honored and glorified in our lives as we serve in His authority, knowing He is ultimately in control of all things. Yes, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Dear Father, please help me to line up with what You desire in my life. Truly I seek to honor You with whatever You have planned for me. May that be the case in the authority of Jesus and by the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

GRIEVING GOD

But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit… —Isaiah 63:10

Parental hearts are grieved over the rebellion of a child. None but a parent can experience such pain as they observe their offspring making wrong choices which bring upon themselves the natural consequences of those choices. For a child to make the choice to live a worldly life instead of being a godly follower of Jesus is a heartache no godly parent wants to experience.

Yet, it is quite possible for a follower of Jesus to grieve the Holy Spirit of God as well. We are told in Ephesians 4:29-32, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Unwholesome talk, tearing down others, harming those who hear us, bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, malice, not being compassionate, and not forgiving are just some areas that grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Am I practicing any of these?

Oh, that we would not rebel against the Lord’s desires for us. May we not grieve the Holy Spirit, but instead live an obedient life that honors Him.

Dear Father today may my speech and actions glorify Your Name. Please help me to live faithfully though this day, being and doing what You desire. May it be so in the authority of Jesus and by the Holy Spirit’s power.