INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

  DAYS OF PRAISEJune 25, 2020
Satan’s Wiles
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Ephesians 6:16)

Our goals as victorious warriors or even survivors in the battle at hand include neutralizing the enemy’s tactics as well as defeating him. The Christian wants to live above the fray, being successful in his efforts to “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked,” as we saw in our text. The third verse of the hymn “Higher Ground” expresses this desire well.

I want to live above the world,
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.

The passage surrounding our text captures the warrior’s spirit well. The fighter is to don with care his entire armor (Ephesians 6:13) and protect his “loins girt about with truth” and wearing the “breastplate of righteousness.” He must be protected from head to toe, “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (v. 14-15) and standing with the helmet of salvation on his head. The text gives further instructions, perhaps more important than all the others, for it instructs “above all, taking the shield of faith.” Our faith, our belief in God, and the knowledge of the Word of God provide the necessary and winning power for the battle. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

The final item mentioned in this important passage is the striving together of the saints for the common goal, praying together and beseeching God for His blessings. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18) makes victory more certain in both the short run and the long. What bliss to catch the joyful sound of faithful saints on higher ground. JDM

 

TRUTH FOR LIFE

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June 25

Hear Today’s Program

Finding True Rest

But the dove found no place to set her foot.

Genesis 8:9

Reader, can you find rest apart from the ark, Christ Jesus? Then consider that your religion may be in vain. Are you satisfied with anything short of a conscious knowledge of your union and interest in Christ? Then woe to you. If you profess to be a Christian while finding full satisfaction in worldly pleasures and pursuits, your profession is probably false. If your soul can stretch herself at rest and find the bed long enough and the blanket broad enough to cover it in the chambers of sin, then you are a hypocrite and far away from any proper thoughts of Christ or awareness of His preciousness.

But if, on the other hand, you feel that if you could indulge in sin without punishment, that would be a punishment itself, and that if you could have the whole world and live in it forever, it would be quite enough misery not to be separated from it, for your God—your God—is what your soul longs for, then be of good courage, you are a child of God. With all your sins and imperfections, take this for your comfort: If your soul has no rest in sin, you are not as the sinner is! If you are still crying after and craving after something better, Christ has not forgotten you, for you have not quite forgotten Him.

The believer cannot do without his Lord; words are inadequate to express his thoughts of Him. We cannot live on the sands of the wilderness—we want the manna that drops from heaven; the pitchers of self-confidence cannot produce for us a drop of moisture, but we drink of the rock that follows us, and that rock is Christ. When you feed on Him, your soul can sing, “He who satisfies me with good so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s”;1 but if you don’t have Him, your wine cellar and well-stocked pantry can give you no sort of satisfaction: Learn to lament over them in the words of wisdom, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!”

1) Psalm 103:5

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Living Life in Jesus’ Name.

CARE INSTRUCTION FOR A LIFE WORTH LIVING

Amidst all the confusing and distorted notions, Scripture speaks with brilliant clarity. “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6, NIV). To pursue spiritual life means simply this: To know Jesus more intimately and to live as if he were in your place. It is to orderyour life in such a way that you stay connected to Christ, thinking as he thought, speaking as he spoke, and walking as he walked.

Certainly, this imitation of Christ will look different for each person, expressing itself through that person’s unique temperament, abilities, and circumstances. But there is a common denominator. At the core of Jesus’ teaching is the command to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love other people as you love yourself. (Mark 12:30–31).

What would this kind of life look like if you actually lived it out? Let’s face it—you could chalk up this concept as another idea that sounds good but isn’t really practical. Yet God is inviting you to make each moment of everyday a chance to learn from him how to master the art of life.

The apostle Paul put it like this: “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Col.3:17, NIV)

In the Bible, names often reflect a person’s character. So to do something in Jesus’ name means to do it in a way consistent with his character—to do it the way Jesus himself would. Paul’s teaching is very comprehensive on this matter. He says, “Whatever you do. . . .” And in case anyone misses his point, he adds, “. . . whether in word or deed. . . .” And in case anyone misses that he says, “. . . do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (italics added for emphasis).

Your spiritual life is simply your whole life—every minute and detail of it—from God’s perspective. In other words, God isn’t interested in your spiritual life. God is simply interested in your life. And every moment is an opportunity to do life in Jesus’ name.

One fully devoted follower, Brother Lawrence, put it this way: “(W)hat makes you think that God is absent from the maintenance shop but present in the chapel? . . . Holiness doesn’t depend on changing our jobs, but in doing for God’s sake what we have been used to doing for our own. Seriously—repair the equipment for God, answer the abusive phone calls for God, concentrate fully on the job you’re doing for God. He isn’t obsessed with religion— he’s the God of the whole of life. But we need to give it to him, consciously turning it over into his hands. Then whatever we’re doing—provided it is not against his will—becomes an act of Christian service.” —David Winter, Closer Than a Brother (on the life of Brother Lawrence)

All of the everyday stuff of life can be filled with his presence—if you are. You can do what you’re doing right now as Jesus would do it in your place. And if you do, you too will know the joy of true spiritual life.

The God Who Sees

NIV DAILY DEVOTIONAL(Psalm 139:1–24)

Even when we’re alone or in despair, God knows, understands, and is with us right in the middle of it.

Sitting at the bustling, communal lunch table, I introduced myself to the kind face across from me. We exchanged the usual pleasantries and inquiries: Where are you from? What kind of work do you do? What brings you to this retreat?

Rather quickly we discovered we both had sons about the same ages. At one point in our get-to-know-you conversation, my lunch buddy shared the smallest of mothering details that made my ears perk up and a lump form in my throat. Could she have this in her life too?

I dared to ask a follow-up question. She smiled and revealed just a bit more about her family. I mustered all the courage I had to offer a similar scenario from my life. She affirmed she was familiar with the struggle.

All of a sudden, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Just a few moments earlier, I had felt completely alone, like the only mom on the planet experiencing this parenting heartache. And yet, directly across from me at a small retreat center in the middle of nowhere sat a woman who was intimately acquainted with my hopes, my fears, my heart.

Of course she was the one I met that day. Out of all the people in attendance, all the lunch seats available, all the words she could have chosen, this exact woman chose to sit across from me and share a detail that only I would notice.

In my new friend’s kind eyes, I saw my loving God looking back at me. I heard him saying, “I see you. I know what’s breaking your heart. You are not alone in this. I love you.”

In Genesis 16, Hagar, Sarah’s servant, gives God the descriptive name The God Who Sees. The angel of the Lord had found her in the desert after fleeing mistreatment. God found her alone and in despair and spoke to her right in the middle of it.

I realized that I could trust God to lead me where he wanted me when my heart was seeking his. The God Who Sees sees you. He knows your heart. He is with you in the middle of it. And he loves you.

Reflect

Where have you seen evidence of God’s presence today?

Taken from NIV Bible for Women