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Monday, November 9, 2015

The Trojan Horse! (and other devotionals)

The Trojan horse!

(Thomas Watson, "The Lord's Prayer")

"Deliver us from evil." Matthew 6:13

In this petition we pray to be delivered from the evil of our heart, that it may not entice us to sin. 

The heart is the poisoned fountain, from whence all actual sins flow. "For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness." Mark 7:21-22 

The cause of all evil lies in a man's own bosom--all sin begins at the heart! Lust is first conceived in the heart--and then it is midwifed into the world. Whence comes rash anger? The heart sets the tongue on fire. The heart is the shop where all sin is contrived and hammered out. 

The heart is the greatest seducer, "Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust." James 1:14The devil could not hurt us--if our own hearts did not give consent. All that he can do is to lay the bait--but it is our fault to swallow it! How needful, therefore, is this prayer, "Deliver us from the evil of our hearts!"

It was Augustine's prayer, "Lord, deliver me from that evil man--myself!"

Beware of the bosom traitor--the flesh. The heart of a man is the Trojan horse--out of which comes a whole army of lusts! O let us pray to be delivered from the lusts and deceits of our own heart! "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life!" Proverbs 4:23

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Can Anger Help You Get Closer to God? 
Guest Writer: Meet my friend Shana Schutte. We are blessed to have her as our guest writer.

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)

In one of my former jobs I hung a poster outside my cubicle showing Lucy from “Peanuts” screaming, “Look out, everybody! I’m gonna be cranky for the rest of the day!” Lucy’s announcement became a joke with my coworkers, because she’s so not like me. I don’t usually show anger. In my youth I learned that anger was unacceptable, possibly because I often saw it misused. When I came to Christ, this faulty message was reinforced in church. After all, good Christian boys and girls never get angry, right? Wrong. Not only is this teaching wrong, but God expects that we’ll experience anger. Jesus never said, “Don’t get angry,” but rather Paul instructs us to “Be angry, and do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26, NKJV).

In this scripture He acknowledged that people would get angry. Why? Because anger is a secondary response to emotional pain. No doubt there’s a lot of emotional pain to go around on this sin-filled planet. Anger will happen! Anger is a red light on the dashboard of a car signaling that something’s wrong under the hood—there’s a hurt we need to give to God, or forgiveness we need to grant someone. Anger also has the potential to take us to places of deeper intimacy with Christ when we bring our disappointments to Him for healing.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

How can you do this? Yell or scream when no one is around, or run outside and holler. Clobber your pillow. You can also do what author Muriel Cook calls “hot pen journaling.” Write down your true emotions without sweetening them. Be real. Tell God the truth. Then ask Him to show you what’s fueling your anger so He can minister to your pain through prayer and His Word. Conversing with God about your anger thwarts Satan’s plan to destroy your affection for Christ, because it keeps communication open with Christ.

For some people, being real with God about their anger may sound sacrilegious. After all, aren’t most people composed and postured, even when the world and the devil walk all over them? The psalmists, inspired by the Holy Spirit, were honest with God about their rawest emotions—including anger. To cry out in anger and anguish because life hurts is normal.

I’m not saying it’s okay to mock God or treat Him with irreverence. Certainly there’s a difference between taking your anger to God for healing and aiming your anger at God in defiance and rage. Taking your anger to God in humility means you’re operating in faith, that you feel safe enough to trust Him with your most uncomfortable and ugly emotions, and to approach His throne of grace with confidence to find mercy in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16). It also means you’ve opened your heart to Him in faith so He can heal you.

“Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being. . .” (Psalm 51:6)

Prayer: Lord, I am so grateful that I never have to withhold my ugliest feelings from you, even my anger. Please help me take it to you instead of hurting others with it. And thank you that you always empathize with my weaknesses and what I am going through.

~Wisdom Hunters Devotional~


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1 Kings 18:43
Go again seven times.
Success is certain when the Lord has promised it. Although you may have pleaded month after month without evidence of answer, it is not possible that the Lord should be deaf when His people are earnest in a matter which concerns His glory. The prophet on the top of Carmel continued to wrestle with God, and never for a moment gave way to a fear that he should be non-suited in Jehovah's courts. Six times the servant returned, but on each occasion no word was spoken but "Go again." We must not dream of unbelief, but hold to our faith even to seventy times seven. Faith sends expectant hope to look from Carmel's brow, and if nothing is beheld, she sends again and again. So far from being crushed by repeated disappointment, faith is animated to plead more fervently with her God. She is humbled, but not abashed: her groans are deeper, and her sighings more vehement, but she never relaxes her hold or stays her hand. It would be more agreeable to flesh and blood to have a speedy answer, but believing souls have learned to be submissive, and to find it good to wait for as well as upon the Lord. Delayed answers often set the heart searching itself, and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation: deadly blows are thus struck at our corruption, and the chambers of imagery are cleansed. The great danger is lest men should faint, and miss the blessing. Reader, do not fall into that sin, but continue in prayer and watching. At last the little cloud was seen, the sure forerunner of torrents of rain, and even so with you, the token for good shall surely be given, and you shall rise as a prevailing prince to enjoy the mercy you have sought. Elijah was a man of like passions with us: his power with God did not lie in his own merits. If his believing prayer availed so much, why not yours? Plead the precious blood with unceasing importunity, and it shall be with you according to your desire.

~Charles Spurgeon~

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