Daily Devotional; formerly Chaplains Corner

Discussion in 'Religious Discussions' started by ampaterry, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. sub-moa

    sub-moa Member

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    Here is my take on this subject.
    Some have always craved power. And really the power they lust for is control…over other people. They seek relentlessly to control as many other people as they can. There were kings, emperors, prime ministers, presidents and an almost endless list of other titles, all through history, who wanted to control the people.
    Now the only real threat to someone who sits in control is, of course, the threat of another gaining the popularity of enough other people to threaten this control. Enter Jesus; everywhere he went people could see and feel his sincerity and love and yes THIS WAS POWER! Power that they had never seen or known before. Can you imagine? He had control over people, not by lying to them or making them fear him or by killing enough of them to gain control, but by loving them. So they had to deal with him.
    Fast forward through history and you can see the same story over and over. The first thing a power hungry leader will do is discount any sort of alignment between their control and God because he is still a threat to them. Maybe they won’t come right out and say it but God is like a blemish they cover with makeup. Some bend the rules and some even deny his existence. But at the very least they will at all cost keep him out of their way.:(
  2. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Most excellent points, gentlemen - and thank you!

    For today, let us journey back to WWII. Clarence W. Hall was a newsman who followed American troops through Okinawa in 1945. While there, he and his jeep driver came upon a small town that stood out as a beautiful example of a Christian community. He wrote, "We had seen other Okinawan villages... down at the heels and despairing; by contrast, this one shone like a diamond in a dung heap. Everywhere we were greeted by smiles and dignified bows. Proudly the old men showed us their spotless homes, their terraced fields... their storehouses and granaries, their prized sugar mill."
    Hall said that he saw no jails and no drunkenness, and that divorce was unknown in this village. He was told that an American missionary had come there some 30 years earlier. While he was in the village, he had led two elderly townspeople to Christ and left them with a Japanese Bible. These new believers studied the Scriptures and started leading their fellow villagers to Jesus. Hall's jeep driver said he was amazed at the difference between this village and the others around it. He remarked, "So this is what comes out of only a Bible and a couple of old guys who wanted to live like Jesus."

    Matthew 5:16 (KJV);
    “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

    Philippians 1:27 ( GWT);
    “Live as citizens who reflect the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come to see you or whether I stay away, I’ll hear all about you. I’ll hear that you are firmly united in spirit, united in fighting for the faith that the Good News brings.”

    1 Peter 2:12 (TLB);
    “Be careful how you behave among your unsaved neighbors; for then, even if they are suspicious of you and talk against you, they will end up praising God for your good works when Christ returns.”

    There sure is not much to add to those verses, is there? God knows your actions at all times, of course, but there are people watching you too; people whose eternal salvation might well depend upon their opinion of how a Christian acts; and that Christian could be YOU!!

    May God bless each one of you, guys -
  3. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    Believing that God has given us the Gospel in it's entirety, I have to believe that the message Christ was delivering the other 95.37% of the time was a repetition of that of that already contained in the Bible. It would make sense that as He travelled Jesus was spreading the same gospel message to everyone. Of course I'm sure there are many other miracles He performed, but I can't believe we don't have the complete Gospel message contained in our Bibles.
  4. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree completely - we absolutely have the complete Gospel message in our Bibles.
  5. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    So true, Terry;
    Thanks.

    The Gaderene demoniac was found clothed and in his right mind after his encounter with Christ.
  6. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is from a book by Tim Hansel; When I Relax I Feel Guilty

    I was almost your person today, Lord.
    Then I thought; what it would have been like if Jesus had done the same thing. What if God had almost revealed himself in Jesus Christ? What if Christ were almost born and almost lived and almost died? What if he would have said, "Ask and it will almost be given you; seek and you will almost find; knock and it will almost be opened to you"? What if he would have said, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavyladen, and I will almost give you rest"? And what if Jesus had told his disciples, "For whosoever would save his life will lose it, and whosoever loses his life for my sake will almost find it"?
    My Almost Christianity took on a much different light. I realized how many times I had played the game of being one of Jesus' "almost disciples." I recalled how many times I had prayed almost believing and walked through my days as if he were almost risen.
    It was not a question of theology. It was a question of lifestyle. Whether or not I had a lifestyle that could match what I said I believed, whether or not, as some have said, I could walk my talk.

    Luke 9:23-24 (KJV);
    And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

    Don’t almost be a Christian. Don’t almost reach out to one in need. Don’t almost make it to Church this Sunday. That way you will never almost experience the joy of helping someone. You will not almost rejoice when someone enters the Kingdom of God due to your witness. And in the end, you will not almost spend eternity with Jesus Christ.
    Jesus does not judge by the denomination of the church you attend; but he certainly does judge by whether or not you have studied and believed the truth of the gospel! If you are following a man, or a man’s doctrine, you will never get closer to Jesus Christ than - - almost.

    May God bless each one of you - -
  7. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Today is independence day here in the USA. This is the day on which our fore-fathers published the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. This is an excellent document, filled with words that resound over the years of history since this event. It begins:

    “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

    Then it proceeds to outline the God given rights of the people, the ways in which the king has reduced those rights, the failed attempts to correct these wrongs and finally the formal declaration of separation from the King's power. This is completely correct in all ways. The complaints are explained, the failure to correct them is outlined, and the declaration is made. Did this bring our freedom? No, it did not. Actually, there was no noticeable difference in life here on July 5th from what it had been on July 3rd. The revolutionary war continued as it had been before the declaration until our nation obtained victory in 1781.

    Diplomacy is the civilized way to handle things, but it is usually soldiers that bring victory.

    God himself promoted the use of armies:
    Numbers 1:2-3 (KJV);
    Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls; From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies.

    And He also promotes diplomacy:
    Proverbs 15:1 (KJV);
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

    It behooves us, as Christians, to practice both. Attempt to handle all differences in a peaceful manner, but keep your powder dry.

    May God bless each one of you -
  8. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Yesterday's comments: Thanks for the challenge, Terry. Another leader whose writings challenge the socks off me is George Verwer, Operation Mobilization.

    Scotland is pushing for independance from the UK; the Scottish National Party wants to have a referrendum in 2014 to vote for independance. Some independance: SNP wants Scotland to be part of the European Union, which already dictates much of the legislation passed by Parliament in London. Out of the frying pan into the fire. This is a far cry from the procedures followed by the writers of the Declaration of Independance.
  9. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you, BlackEagle, for telling us what we DON'T hear on the news - it is appreciated!

    Today is another Muslim holiday. This one is called Lailat al Bara'a, and it is also called Mid-Sha'ban.
    By now, you are aware that the Muslim calendar is not true to a solar year. Due to this inaccuracy, all Islamic holidays come eleven days earlier each year on our calendar, 12 days earlier in leap years. Due to this movement, all holidays move all through the year in our calendar, and can come in any season.
    But there is much more uncertainty about today's holiday than merely the date for it. Today's holiday is one which Muslims observe, but they do not agree on why they observe it.

    In the Shia view, today is the date when Imam al-Mahdi was born. Shias believe him to be the twelfth, final and current Shia Imam and also the Mahdi, a very important Islamic figure who is believed by all Muslims to bring absolute justice to the world by establishing Islam as the global religion.

    We know this to be false, because the Word of God is clear concerning the coming age of a one world religion, and how it ends:
    Revelation 19:19-20 (KJV);
    And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

    In the Sunni view this is a day for worship and salvation, commemorating when Noah and his family were saved from the deluge, and the time when God prepares the destiny for all people on Earth for the coming year. For this reason it is sometimes called the Night of Emancipation (Lailat ul Bara'at).

    We know this to be false, because God has prepared our salvation before the founding of the world, ready and waiting for us to accept it:
    Ephesians 1:4-5 (KJV);
    According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will . .

    May God bless each one of you -
  10. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I read about a method that some cowpunchers used to bring some of those wild steers back onto the ranch. They would take along a burro. Now a big three-year old steer that's been running loose on the range is a tough customer to handle. They would get a rope on the steer and then they would tie him neck and neck, right up close, to the burro and let them go.

    At first, the burro would have a bad time. The steer would throw him all over the place. He would bang him against trees, rocks, into bushes. Time after time they both would go down. But there was one great difference between the burro and the steer. The burro had one thought in his mind. He wanted to go home. And no matter how often the steer threw him every time the burro got to his feet he took a step nearer the corral. This went on and on. After about a week, the burro would show up at the corral. He had with him the tamest and sorriest-looking steer you ever saw.

    The thought of this little burro being overpowered and abused can encourage us when we find ourselves struggling with difficult people. We often feel tied, "right up close". If we could only have some slack! But our God had a purpose in tying us to that person. He knows that our faith will enable us to hang in there. No matter how often we are thrown, our stubborn Christian attitude will enable us to get to our feet and take a step nearer to God's solution! We may be abused and hurt. But just think of the tremendous outcome -- that we might eventually stand before the throne of our Savior, tied to that special person who has now been brought to Christ! God's techniques, after baffling us for so long, will then make sense!

    Philippians 3:12-14(NKJV);
    “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

    May God richly bless you, and whatever wild and unruly person you find yourself tied to.
  11. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Perseverance. Thanks, Terry. I need the reminder from time to time.

    Galations 6:9-10
    And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
  12. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Great verse, BlackEagle!

    For today:

    Christians are not differentiated from other people by country, language or customs; you see, they do not live in cities of their own, or speak some strange dialect, or have some peculiar lifestyle.
    This teaching of theirs has not been contrived by the invention and speculation of inquisitive men; nor are they propagating mere human teaching as some people do. They live in both Greek and foreign cities, wherever chance has put them. They follow local customs in clothing, food and the other aspects of life. But at the same time, they demonstrate to us the wonderful and certainly unusual form of their own citizenship.
    They live in their own native lands, but as aliens; as citizens, they share all things with others; but like aliens, suffer all things. Every foreign country is to them as their native country, and every native land as a foreign country.
    They marry and have children just like every one else; but they do not kill unwanted babies. They offer a shared table, but not a shared bed. They are at present "in the flesh" but they do not live "according to the flesh". They are passing their days on earth, but are citizens of heaven. They obey the appointed laws, and go beyond the laws in their own lives.
    They love every one, but are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death and gain life. They are poor and yet make many rich. They are short of everything and yet have plenty of all things. They are dishonored and yet gain glory through dishonor.
    Their names are blackened and yet they are cleared. They are mocked and bless in return. They are treated outrageously and behave respectfully to others. When they do good, they are punished as evildoers; when punished, they rejoice as if being given new life. They are attacked by Jews as aliens, and are persecuted by Greeks; yet those who hate them cannot give any Reason for their hostility.
    To put it simply -- the soul is to the body as Christians are to the world. The soul is spread through all parts of the body and Christians through all the cities of the world. The soul is in the body but is not of the body; Christians are in the world but not of the world.

    -- From an anonymous letter to Diognetus. 2nd century.

    Sometimes, we find the gospel with no bible verses at all -
  13. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    ...and so many verses are sumarised in that statement. He wrote well.
    I have triple nationality--US, UK, and KH--Kingdom of Heaven.
    Thanks again, Terry
  14. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    BlackEagle, Just curious, if I'm not prying, how and why did your dual (or triple)citizenship status come about? Are you in the UK or US presently? Where were you born?
  15. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I was born in the UK; my parents are US citizens. Dad was in school when I was born. I grew up in Indiana; but I have been back and forth a few times. My wife is from the UK. We were married in the US, but after living there for a while it was time to come back to the UK. Our three children (two born in UK, one in US) have dual nationality because of my US citizenship. I learned about jus sanguiniss and jus soli in high school social studies.

    I also learned that because I was born outside US soil I could never be President, but I could hold any other office. Too bad the president and those who got him into office don't live by the rules
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