Prevent the Crash – Dave’s Daily Devo – March 31

20200331

Prevent the Crash

Galatians 1:1-2

On Monday, October 29, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 took off at 6:20 AM from Jakarta, Indonesia, on a routine flight.  Only twelve minutes after takeoff the plane crashed into the Java Sea killing all 189 passengers and crew. Five months later on March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 took off from Addis Ababa and six minutes after takeoff, this plane crashed killing 157 more.

The FAA  frantically analyzed the flight recorders and examining the wreckage to determine the exact causes of the crashes, but the preliminary assessment was that a computer system that was supposed to protect the pilot from pitching the plane too high which would cause a stall, malfunctioned, and pitched the nose down. The pilots in both crashes did not know how to override the malfunctioning system that caused the deadly dive.

At Sinai God gave Moses the tablets of stone and in Exodus through Deuteronomy, he spelled out the rules of the Sinaitic Covenant. Moses is clear. If his people obeyed these commandments, they would live, but if they disobeyed them, they would die. As we read the rest of the Story in the Old Testament we learn that even Moses never entered the Promised Land because he disobeyed. David, Israel’s greatest king, shattered the commandments against adultery, lying and murder, and both the Northern and Southern Kingdom were destroyed because they disobeyed God.

The point? The Law was good and would bring life to those who obeyed, but the hard fact is that none of us obey and therefore, the Law condemns all of us to death. And this leads us to the gift of God’s Son who perfectly obeyed his Father, and then gave his life so that all could simply admit their sin and trust in the sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

This is the Gospel Paul proclaimed on his first missionary journey to the Galatians, and the message many of them received. Then soon after he left, Jewish Christians, like those in Jerusalem who argued against Peter, Paul, and Barnabas at the Jerusalem Council  (Acts 15) came to Paul’s churches and declared that he was wrong.

Faith in Jesus was not enough. One must get circumcised and then obey the Mosaic Law. This was the only way to guarantee salvation and overcome sin in our daily lives. Now some theological debates are over trivial matters, but this debate in the Book of Galatians decides whether we will fly safe to Jesus or whether we will crash into eternal destruction.

Paul is usually not one to point to his credentials, but when it comes to the truth of the Gospel, check out how Paul begins this most heated of his letters.

“Paul, an apostle, not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—and all the brothers with me.”  Galatians 1:1-2

LORD, Paul saw your resurrected Son on the road to Damascus and your Spirit revealed the true purpose of the Mosaic Law and how it pointed us to your Son, the only Savior who ever rose from the dead. Help us to carefully track Paul’s argument and move those who read these Devos to clearly understand the Gospel and to not allow dependence up any religious system to cause them to crash to their eternal death.

For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!

Leaves of Life – March 31

MARCH THIRTY-FIRST

  • Ludwig von Beethoven died 1827.
  • Joseph Francis Haydn born 1732.
  • Andrew Lang born 1844.
  • Charlotte Brontë died 1855.

The Great Being unseen, but all-present, who in his beneficence desires only our welfare, watches the struggle between good and evil in our hearts, and waits to see whether we obey his voice, heard in the whispers of conscience, or lend an ear to the Spirit Evil, which seeks to lead us astray. Rough and steep is the path indicated by divine suggestion; mossy and declining the green way along which temptation strews flowers. Then conscience whispers, “Do what you feel is right, obey me, and I will plant for you firm footing.”
—Charlotte Brontë.

God help us do our duty, and not shrink,
And trust in heaven humbly for the rest.
—Owen Meredith.

I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life.
—Deuteronomy 30. 19.

My Father, as I review my life I am impressed how accurately my deeds have copied my thoughts. And though I have failed the so often, yet I pray that thou wilt accept my yearnings, to think and work for the best in every day. Amen.


Worry Doesn’t Solve Anything – Daily Hope with Rick Warren – March 31, 2020

Worry Doesn’t Solve Anything
By Rick Warren

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25 NIV)

Worry is essentially a control issue. It’s trying to control the uncontrollable. We can’t control the economy, so we worry about the economy. We can’t control our children, so we worry about our children. We can’t control the future, so we worry about the future.

But worry never solves anything! It’s stewing without doing.

Jesus actually gives four reasons you don’t need to worry in his Sermon on the Mount.

1. Worry is unreasonable.

Matthew 6:25 says, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (NIV).

Jesus is saying, if it’s not going to last, don’t worry about it. To worry about something you can change is foolish. To worry about something you can’t change is useless. Either way, it’s unreasonable to worry.

2. Worry is unnatural.

Jesus gives us an illustration from nature in Matthew 6:26“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (NIV).

There’s only one thing in all of God’s creation that worries: human beings. We’re the only things God has created that don’t trust him, and God says this is unnatural.

3. Worry is unhelpful.

It doesn’t change anything. Matthew 6:27 says, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (NIV). When you worry about a problem, it doesn’t bring you one inch closer to the solution. It’s like sitting in a rocking chair—a lot of activity, energy, and motion, but no progress. Worry doesn’t change anything except you. It makes you miserable!

4. Worry is unnecessary.

Matthew 6:30 says, “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?” (NIV). If you trust in God, you don’t need to worry. Why? Because he has promised to take care of all your needs: “God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NIV).

That includes your bills, relational conflicts, dreams, goals, ambitions, and health issues you don’t know what to do with. God will meet all your needs in Christ.

Don’t worry about it!

PLAY today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick >>

For more Daily Hope with Rick Warren, please visit pastorrick.com!

THE OPERATING PRINCIPLE OF LIFE

Daily in Christ 3/31

March 31

And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God”
The sun is perhaps the most credible object of faith for the world. It appears to be immutable. It has always been there, 24 hours of every day, 365 days a year. Without the sun, people couldn’t live. If the sun didn’t rise tomorrow morning, what would happen to the world’s faith? All of humanity would be thrown into confusion.
If we have such great faith in the sun, why don’t we have even greater faith in the Son who made the sun and all the rest of the fixed order of the universe?
Our faith is in God. Genuine faith is born out of a knowledge of the will of God and exists only to fulfill that will. Faith is not a means of getting man’s will done in heaven; it is the means of getting God’s will done on earth.
After hearing me speak on spiritual conflicts, a young man came by to talk about his personal life. He said he’d had several experiences of not being able to speak the name of Jesus aloud. I asked him about his faith. He thought he had made a decision for Christ years earlier in an evangelistic meeting. He tried living with some American Indians to continue his spiritual journey, but that proved to be disastrous. He finally ended up living in a pastor’s home where he was helped with the assurance of his salvation. The pastor encouraged him to just go live by faith.
The young man said to me, “I’ve been trying to live by faith for three years, and it has been one trial after another.”
“Faith in what?” I asked.
He didn’t know how to respond. This young man was trying to live by faith in faith. But faith itself is not a valid object. The only valid object for faith is God and the revelation we have of Him in His Word. Faith is the operating principle of life. The only difference between Christian and non-Christian faith is the object. God must be the object of our faith.
Prayer: Lord God, I place my faith in You alone today. Help me not to allow anyone or anything to take Your place as the object of my faith.

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Ceremonies And Traditions – One Year Devotions for Men

“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is a farce, for they replace God’s commands with their own man-made teachings.” – Mark 7:7

Most parents require their children to wash their hands before mealtime. In many instances, this appears to create great hardship for the children, if their reluctance to obey is anything to go by. But basic hygiene demands that the ritual be fulfilled before food is handled. It’s a matter of hygiene—and nothing more. In Jesus’ day, what had started out as basic hygiene had developed into something quite different. Simple hand washing before eating or after returning home from the market had developed into an elaborate ceremony with purported spiritual significance. Instead of simply eradicating unpleasant dirt when they followed “the usual Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating” (Mark 7:2), the religious Jews believed that they were ensuring a religious purity before God by their action. By their ablutions on returning home from market, they believed they were underlining their divinely-approved separation from the contaminating world.

As time went by, these “ancient traditions” (7:3) took on such importance that a person’s spiritual standing was evaluated by his adherence to the ritual—or lack thereof. In some instances, a person who failed to go through the ritual, for any reason whatever, would be regarded as ceremonially unclean and therefore be banned from worship.

This was what lay behind the question asked by the Jerusalem leaders when they traveled to confront Jesus: “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old customs? For they eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony” (7:5). Jesus replied with surprising vehemence. “You hypocrites! Isaiah was prophesying about you when he said, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is a farce, for they replace God’s commands with their own man-made teachings’” (7:6-7).

Jesus was exposing the age-old problem of religious ritual devoid of spiritual reality. The charge of hypocrisy was well-founded. In those days, a hypocrite was literally an actor who would convey an emotion by holding a mask over his face. Religious externalism does just that: it portrays on the outside that which may not be present on the inside. That was the problem—the Jerusalem religious leaders lacked a real spirituality. They were faking it!

Adherence to religious rituals such as baptism or communion is to be encouraged, provided that the external act represents an inner reality. But if the familiar act has degenerated into an empty symbol, that which claims to be a spiritual experience may be nothing more than a gross distortion. What outwardly purports to demonstrate a deep spirituality may be nothing more than a blatant lie. Religious ritual is intended to portray spiritual reality, not to become a substitute for it.

So here’s a healthy exercise. Check on the religious rituals in which you have participated in the past or in which you still participate, explore their hidden significance, and see if the significance is as real in your heart as the participation is part of your life.

For Further Study: Mark 7:1-13  

Somebody Loves You – March 31, 2020

TUESDAY March 31, 2020

Do Not Judge

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Matthew 7:1-2

n this final chapter, Jesus’ teachings within the Sermon on the Mount are coming to an end. In Matthew 6, Jesus left off teaching lessons about life’s priorities. He comforted His disciples. God knows our needs; we do not have to worry about our lives. In Matthew 7, Jesus continued His sermon with the intent that His disciples should keep this important mentality–seek first the kingdom of God.

Jesus once again addressed the problem with judging others. The word judge means “being critical in your judgment¬¬—criticizing.” This is where a person loves to point out every little negative detail in another person’s life. That is having a critical spirit. People in the church can criticize their pastor, the elders, the sheep—those in the congregation––and even their neighbors. When they criticize others, they are, in fact, making an obvious statement, “I am better than you are.” Jesus warned His disciples not to criticize other people because it has a way of coming back to them.

A person who has a critical spirit will bring division into the church, and they will destroy the character of other people. Understand, that is not right. Never create waves of criticism. It will hurt you and others. No one has the right to place themselves above others. God is not a respecter of persons; His love is for everyone.

Christians need to be able to discern and make right judgments. Do they really know what is going on in the hearts of other people? Believers can outwardly see people’s emotions and reactions, but they do not know their hearts. With the same standard you judge others, it will return to you and bite you¬¬––big time. You do not want God to judge you!

Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer~

For more from Raul Ries, please visit SomebodyLovesYou.com!

A Wisdom Retreat – March 31

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

John 15:14-15

You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Joseph Scriven was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1820. After graduating from Trinity College, he had great expectations and plans. He was engaged to marry his lovely Irish sweetheart, and together they had dreams for building their life and home together. Wedding plans were made, business ventures were decided upon, but the day before their wedding his fiancé drowned in a boating accident. His world fell apart.

Joseph moved to Canada, attempting to put all the memories and heartache behind him. Although he was very much alone, he served faithfully as a missionary bachelor, driven to share the gospel with those in need of salvation.

Years later tragedy struck again. His mother became seriously ill and he was unable to be with her. In his absence, he sat down and wrote a poem for her. He scribbled out a copy for himself, and it was later discovered by a visitor.

The powerful lyrics not only brought great encouragement to his mother on her deathbed, but they were put to music and sung in churches, even to this day. His lyrics read:

 

What a friend we have in Jesus, 

All our sins and griefs to bear, 

What a privilege to carry 

Everything to God in prayer. 

O what peace we often forfeit, 

O what needless pain we bear, 

All because we do not carry 

Everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? 

Is there trouble anywhere? 

We should never be discouraged; 

Take it to the Lord in prayer. 

Can we find a friend so faithful 

Who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness 

Take it to the Lord in prayer. 

Are we weak and heavy laden, 

Cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Savior, still our refuge; 

Take it to the Lord in prayer. 

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? 

Take it to the Lord in prayer, 

In His arms He’ll take and shield thee; 

Thou wilt find a solace there.

To onlookers Joseph Scriven would seem to have lived a lonely life marred by sorrow. But after his death [also by drowning], his poem that circulated through churches and penetrated the hearts of believers for nearly two centuries revealed his heart for all to see—he had been content with life, for his closest friend was Jesus.

What trials, temptations, and troubles are you facing today? What sins, grief, and pain are you bearing? Remember this—before Jesus died on the cross for you, He whispered into the ears of His frightened disciples, “I consider you my closest friends!” No matter that sorrows and cares may come—Christ, who knows your every weakness, will shield and comfort you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.

If you are His disciple, you are also His friend… forever.

Prayer Point: God’s incredible humility is shown by stooping to call us friends when we deserve to be called slaves. Thank the Lord for restoring your relationship to Him, who walked that terrible path to the cross on your behalf.

Extra Refreshment: Read Psalms 23 and witness the faithfulness and the friendship of God in the life of David.

Moving Forward in Reverse (Booklet)

In this eye-opening look at some of the setbacks Paul experienced in Rome, Stephen will teach us the humbling lesson that God often moves us forward in reverse. Things that seem to be setbacks or reversals in your life might actually be God working to move his plan forward.

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