Today’s Prayer

Day 23

Today’s Prayer Moment is drawn from Acts 23:11
 We adore You, Father. In our worship, we admit our problem with perspective. We have a hard time recognizing them as such, but both triumph and disaster can be impostors—we are tempted to fixate on them and, unfortunately, adapt our lives accordingly. We often label ourselves as either heroes or abject failures, and in either case it is very hard to hear the voice of Your Spirit. Let us hear Him today, just as Paul did, and give us the faith to remain steadfast saints in Your service. In Jesus’ name we ask this. Amen.

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Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20-21

Daniel, a Chinese brother from Singapore, sat in the chair still shaking his head in unbelief. He had just returned from his first extensive visit to the People’s Republic of China. Now in the freedom of his home city, he was trying to assimilate and communicate all the impressions and messages he had received.

“How would you summarize what you learned on your visit, Daniel?” I asked him. He continued to shake his head and smile. Finally he began to speak.

“Probably by my visit to one particular house church,” he slowly replied. “It numbers several hundred believers who have had a lot of persecution over the past years. I asked them how they had been victorious and even grown in numbers during such terrible experiences. They quickly replied, telling me three things,” he continued. “First, obedience to the Word of God; second, communication with God, that is, prayer. And third, love for the brothers and sisters.”

This group memorized one chapter of the Bible every week. They began doing this because of a lack of Bibles, but continued doing so after they realized the blessing it brought to their lives.

The Bible is God’s written revelation of Himself and His desire for a relationship with people. It is more than just a revelation of God’s character. It is also a revelation of His intricate plan for the world. We could never have understood our great God if He had not chosen to reveal Himself.

His greatest revelation of Himself was when He came to live among us in a human body and was known as Jesus Christ. But even our knowledge of that revelation depends upon His written Word, the Bible.

Satan has conducted a massive propaganda campaign in the last century in an attempt to discredit the Bible. He would love to see Christians lose faith in the Word of God. In spite of his efforts, however, no one has ever been able to disprove its reliability. It remains the only absolute truth known to humankind.

The Bible is our God-given basis for faith, doctrine and practice. Many times Christians have knowingly departed from its teachings and suffered because of doing so. Many times when Christians depart from the Word, it is because they do not know or understand it.

The church can only be true to the revealed Word of God when its people know what it teaches. Study of God’s Word is an essential part of the Christian life. When Christians doubt, ignore or fail to understand the teachings of scripture and depart from its principles, they lose their spiritual power.

RESPONSE: Today I will recommit to the daily study and application of God’s Word, the Bible.

PRAYER: Pray for believers in many parts of the world who still yearn for a copy of the Bible.

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Shining Light in Duck Places, Day 7

Today’s reading is drawn from Luke 11:33.

Years ago I was invited to give my duck call demonstration at a store in Iowa. A huge crowd of duck hunters gathered around me like bees on honey. They’d seen our Duck Commander DVDs and our TV show on the Outdoor Channel, and they wanted to meet me in person. After I went through my demonstration, I used the opportunity to share the gospel. Look, I know if you’re gonna do that, there’ll be a trickle of people who’ll head toward the exit. But that’s okay with me, because I’ve also seen the impact of the gospel on people’s lives.

About five years after that presentation in Iowa, I got this letter:

Dear Mr. Robertson,

I came to hear your demonstration in Iowa because you were my hero in the duck calling world. In my mind you were the big cheese and the guru, so I had you all built up. As you went through the demonstration, I thought, That guy can sure blow a duck call. Good night, if I could only get half as good as he is.

I really looked up to you. But before a cat could lick his tail, the duck calls went back inside your little satchel and the next thing I know, you got a Bible and you’re talking about sin, death, and Jesus. I’m thinking, What a jerk! He’s taking advantage of me. I came to hear a duck call and now he’s beating me over the head with religion! When I left there, I bad-mouthed you. I cussed you to everybody I knew. I even threw your duck calls away. . . .

But a strange thing happened. What I heard kept gnawing at me. One day I woke up and sat on the side of my bed. I was thinking, Now wait a minute! This guy told us that we were all sinners. Which is true. He proceeded to tell us that we’re all going six feet deep. Which is also true. So I began to question why I was so mad at you.

It occurred to me, Mr. Robertson, that the whole time I’ve been bad-mouthing you, it really wasn’t you I was mad at—it was God. He’s the One I’ve been rebelling against. Here you give me the way off of Planet Earth, you tell me my sins can be removed so I can come forth from the grave—and I am cussing you out over that . . . for five years! What can I say? I’m an idiot.

So I took you up on the good news of Jesus. I responded by faith. I was baptized. My wife is thrilled. My children are jumping up and down. They’re happy because their dad is now a Christian. I hereby officially apologize for cursing you for five years.

Just because someone hears the gospel and their first response is to get mad or reject you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have said anything. Remember it’s God who grants repentance to them. This guy wrestled with the Almighty for years. That’s spiritual warfare: the devil was on one side and God was on the other. The Spirit, through the gospel, had convicted him at that duck call workshop.

A guy once warned me that my preaching was going to hurt my business. Hurt my business? We’re comparing duck call sales to people getting their sins forgiven? After all, Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12)! And if He lives in us, Jesus says we’re supposed to let our light shine so that people will see it and come to Him. Look, I enjoy going to conventions to talk about duck calls, but I want to get down to some more important business while I’m there! The truth is I really don’t care what it does to the duck call business.

Besides, I’d say things are working out okay for us on that front.

Phil Robertson

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