Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire.” —John Witherspoon

Religious persecution alert: ISIS is eliminating Christians in Iraq.

“It is a serious fault if a believer is in want, and thou knowest it, or if thou knowest that he is without means, that he is hungry, that he suffer distress, especially if he is ashamed of his need…. If he is in prison, and—upright though he is—has to suffer pain and punishment for some debt (for though we ought to show mercy to all, yet we ought to show it especially to an upright man); if in the time of his trouble he obtains nothing from thee; if in time of danger, when he is carried off to die, thy money seems more to thee than the life of a dying man; what a sin is that to thee!” —Ambrose

[VIDEO] Detroit Tigers radio announcer Ernie Harwell broadcasting his last game.

Interesting: Why The First Hospital To Do Sex-Reassignment Surgeries No Longer Do Them.

“When the Middle East is fragmented in this horrible war, this savage, savage war between militant Shiites and militant Sunnis … the only place where you have freedom, tolerance, protection of minorities, protection of gays, protection of Christians and all other faiths is Israel,” said Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister. Read more about the wrong-headed decision of the Presbyterian (USA) Church to divest in Israel.

More young adults are having kids outside of marriage, and that is creating a dangerous environment for the kids.

“Kind words are the music of the world. They have a power which seems to be beyond natural causes, as if they were some angel’s song which had lost its way and come on earth. It seems as if they could almost do what in reality God alone can do—soften the hard and angry hearts of men. No one was ever corrected by a sarcasm—crushed, perhaps, if the sarcasm was clever enough, but drawn nearer to God, never.” —Frederick William Faber

Defeating satan

Spiritual warfare.1The Bible tells us that satan is a formidable foe. He steals, he kills, he destroys. When he speaks, lies are all that come out of his mouth. He slanders, he deceives, he coaxes, he bullies; he does whatever he can to trip up as many people as he can.

Remember this: “The prince of this world now stands condemned” (John 16:11). He wants to take as many victims down with him as he can! Look what the Bible says about his powers—

  • He is more crafty (Genesis 3:1). This means he is extremely subtle. He seldom throws a huge blatant sin right in your face, but he whispers subtle suggestions.
  • He operates with mighty powers (Ephesians 6:12). He knows how to match strength for strength.
  • He knows the Bible (Luke 4:9-11). The difference is he only knows the words, but the scriptural text is not illuminated by the Holy Spirit to him.
  • He waits for the most opportune time (Luke 4:13) to pounce.

But “…that satan might outwit us… we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11). What are his schemes?

  • Pride—“You can do it yourself.” This was his original downfall, and now he will use it on you.
  • Second-guessing—“Did God really say…?” (Genesis 3:1). He will try to make you think that God’s Word is out-of-date or irrelevant to you.
  • Condemning. Notice that satan wasn’t around when God showed up in the Garden of Eden. Instead he leaves you feeling like you’re unacceptable to God and that you need to hide from Him.

The way we overcome satan is the same way Jesus did it: Jesus quoted Scripture to refute each of satan’s temptations (see Luke 4:1-13). We are victorious in the exact same manner!

Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony(Revelation 12:10-11).

Don’t try to go toe-to-toe with the devil because he is too strong for you to handle on your own! But with God’s Word as your weapon and the Holy Spirit as your Counselor, you can hurl him down every time!

3 Steps To Better Bible Studies

Inspired WordThe Bible is God’s inspired Word—literally, that means it is “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). If the Holy Spirit inspired the Word to the biblical writers, He can best illuminate the same Word to you as you read and study it.

This is how Jesus said the Holy Spirit would help us handle God’s Word:

Teach (John 14:26a). This word means to teach by holding a discourse with someone (or in this case, with Someone). Reading the Bible is meant to be a dialogue, not a monologue.

Remind (John 14:26b). The Holy Spirit is actively involved in us recalling and applying the Word to the situations in which we find ourselves. The Bible tells us to study to be prepared (1 Peter 3:15) and to handle God’s Word like a good worker (2 Timothy 2:15). We are also told not to pre-plan what to say if we are put on the spot, but that words would be given us (Matthew 10:19) as the Holy Spirit recalls to our memory which we have studied.

Convict (John 16:8). This word means both to refute and to confute. Confute simply means proving something is wrong. Refute means to show us we’ve reached a false or illogical conclusion, perhaps a conclusion we reached without giving it very much thought.

Guide (John 16:13). We get a good idea of the meaning of this word from the negative use of the same word—Can a blind man lead [the same word for “guide” in John 16:13] a blind man? Will they not both fall in a pit? (Luke 6:39). We can trust the Holy Spirit to lead us to the truth in the Scriptures that we can apply to our lives.

Quite simply better Bible studies come from:

  1. Praying for the Holy Spirit to illuminate Scripture to you as your read it.
  2. Reading the Bible.
  3. Obeying what the Holy Spirit illuminates to your heart and mind.

Try it and see what happens. I think you’ll like the results!

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