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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Daily Devotions

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Jesus Teaches in the Temple

Wednesday, October 17

by Robert Brock

Jesus Teaches in the Temple

John 7:14-24

“If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine,
whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself,” John 7:17.

The Jews wanted to know how Jesus knew what they had to learn in the rabbinical schools. He told them He got it from the source. He made an important point in this passage. If one wanted to find the truth, God would make sure he found it. He connected it to man’s will.

He told the woman at the well that God was looking for people who were looking for Him. “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:27). Paul told the pagans that God was present and waiting for them to reach out. He told the Corinthians that man had an eternal spirit that could understand Christ’s teaching if that spirit was energized by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-14).

The Jews were sure they were the worthy chosen because God had given them and no one else the Law. He told them by the Law they performed circumcision on the Sabbath. Since Jesus was the Lord of the Sabbath, He thought it just fine to make a man whole on the Sabbath. What could they say? Let’s kill Him. He knows too much. They wanted to keep the public ignorant of the spirit of the Law lest they lose the crowd who bragged on them and puffed them up.

THOUGHT: In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus raised the Law to a higher standard. One has to surrender and allow
Christ to keep it through Him. “For it is God which worketh in
you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Murmuring Jews

Thursday, October 11

by Robert Brock

The Murmuring Jews

John 6:37-51

“Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day,” John 6:43, 44.

Murmuring is complaining, moaning about one’s current lot in life and shows discontent. The children of Israel could have been in the Promised Land in a few months after leaving Egypt, but no one told them they would have to fight the giants to get there. If they could not go back to Egypt where there was water, garlic, a little meat in the pot and idols, they would choose to trudge through the wretched wilderness where the complainers died. Murmuring all the way, they went back to the dust without a song in their hearts. “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:17-19).

Where is the joy in living life under the curse? Jesus promised to make the difference, offering abundant life, in spite of the curse, which will not be lifted until His millennial reign. Every season of life has its own trials. We must not make God angry because of our cursing the curse. We ought to be thankful for salvation in that Jesus took our curse and nailed it to the cross.

THOUGHT: Life on earth will be full of problems, but Jesus promised joy in the heart of the thankful Christian (John 16:33).

Robert Brock

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The People Seek Jesus

Wednesday, October 10

by Robert Brock

The People Seek Jesus

John 6:22-24

“They also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus,” John 6:24.

A true friend will be there for you in good times and bad, in sickness and in health. When difficult times approach, a fair-weather friend cannot be found. He cannot be depended on for a hand up in the storm and is called a fair-weather friend.

These same people that wanted to crown Jesus king (John 6:66) abandoned Him and walked with Him no more because He did not obey them. How often nominal Christians abandon Jesus because He will not give them what they ask. The multitude attempted to use Jesus as a gift giver. Therefore, they left pouting. Jesus wanted them to receive Him into their lives; they wanted to receive loaves and fishes into their bellies again.

People seek Jesus for many reasons. For the motive in their hearts to be pure, the seeking must be for His honor and glory, not just because the car would not start or the children get into trouble. Jesus Himself told His Father, “Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done” (Luke 22:42). That is surrender. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7).

Paul taught that if it is God’s will, I have learned to go hungry and to suffer need. Truly God is the giver of all good gifts. However, the mature Christian stays faithful to Jesus regardless of the circumstances. Some of God’s grandest rescues occur when Christians are in their deepest need, holding an empty cup, crying, “I cannot, but you can, Lord. Nevertheless, your will be done.”

THOUGHT: “Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

Robert Brock

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Jesus Walked on the Sea

Tuesday, October 9

by Robert Brock

Jesus Walked on the Sea

John 6:14-21

“But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid,” John 6:20.

The disciples had rowed about four miles from shore when a ter-rible storm appeared. This is another of Jesus’ lessons to teach them that they were helpless without Him. They were already afraid of dying when the storm started sinking their small fishing boat. Then, to make matters worse what they thought was a spirit appeared. Surely, they thought this was the end of them. Jesus, attempting to calm the situation, said, “It is I; be not afraid” (verse 20).

When I was a small boy, part of the rite of passage was for older boys or men to take younger boys into the woods at night, build a bonfire, tell ghost stories and go snipe hunting. If you have never experienced such a fearsome ordeal, all the older people would go into the woods in the dark and round up the snipes (little birds) and shoo them toward the initiate who would be holding a sack, (burlap feed sack) while blowing a whistle in the dark and yelling, “hoot, hoot, hoot!” expecting the birds to fly into the sack any minute. This continued until he got so tired that he could not hoot another hoot. Then he would look around and all the grown-ups had disappeared and left the hooter holding the bag in the dark in the woods full of horrendous scary things. The idea was for the one on his rite of passage to get so scared that he would begin to cry or figure out a way to get back home.

These apostles were already so afraid that they were going to die because of the storm that the supposed spirit made it a sure thing. Then, Jesus showed up and peace reigned. Life will be full of helpless moments when our little boat is going down for the last time. That is when we have to look up in helplessness and cry to Jesus, “Help us, Lord. We are sinking!”

THOUGHT: Once you have experienced a fearsome ordeal, you never forget it. You know who brought you to safe harbor.

Robert Brock

 

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Jesus Fed the Multitude

Monday, October 8

by Robert Brock

Jesus Fed the Multitude

John 6:1-13

“And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do,” John 6:6.

If you cannot see the forest for the trees, you cannot see the whole situation clearly because you are looking too closely at small details. The solution to the problem was standing in front of Philip who could only see the lack of resources in the bag. If God wants something done, He has all the resources necessary to do it. Often, He will test our faith by allowing us to walk on water until we realize we cannot do it. That is when we stop looking at our menial resources and look at His smiling face and stick out our hand and scream, “Help!” Then, holding His hand, we can walk back to the boat. Those kinds of experiences in life help us to say with Isaiah, “Woe is me! for I am undone” (Isaiah 6:5). That is when we realize we are looking into the eyes of the One who is the solution.

Five barley loaves and two small fishes are not enough to feed five thousand men plus women and children. That is unless one surrender his meager resources into the hands of Jesus. Then, Jesus blesses our little bit, puts it back into the hands of His disciples to share with the hurting world and behold it is more than enough because He touched it. There is definitely a message for any doubting Christians in this amazing occasion of the apostle’s training. They seemed to have forgotten that He had already fed the four thousand men plus women and children.

THOUGHT: Why do you suppose Jesus made them pick
up the twelve baskets of leftovers? How long do you suppose they had to carry them around before they got the message—twelve baskets—twelve apostles?

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Jesus Paid It All and the Payment Was Permanent (Part Five)

jesus saves

Sin has earthly consequences which are not necessarily handed out by God, but just the natural outflow of our actions. King David is one of the finest examples of actions and consequences we can find anywhere in the Bible. Only a very few people would even try to make a case for David being unsaved; there is almost universal agreement that as we speak, David is in Heaven with The Lord. Yet, we all also know the truly terrible sins David committed at one point in his life. We all know the story of his adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of her husband Uriah. David certainly was forgiven by God for those sins, but if one reads the full story of his Kingdom it is easy to see that the consequences of what David did set the stage for many things.

  • The rape of his daughter Tamar by her half-brother Amnon and Amnon’s subsequent murder by Absalom. 2 Samuel 13
  • Absalom’s banishment from the house of David and partial restoration. 2 Samuel 14
  • Absalom’s later rebellion against David. 2 Samuel 15-19

Just a casual reading of this story and it is easy to draw the conclusion that David’s failure as both a father and husband led ultimately to some very serious consequences. One might even say that his other son Solomon behaved in some of the ways he did due to the example set by his father David.

To sum up the above, eternal security in our salvation is not a license to run out and sin all we want to. I heard a preacher say once, “Since I got saved I sin all I want to;” the audience grew silent and he then stated, “but I don’t want to.” Let’s recap quickly.

  • True saving faith and salvation will produce works or fruit
  • We will all be judged for the quality of our works.
  • God will discipline and chastise us for our actions
  • We still face earthly consequences for the things we do

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Reasons for Rejection

Friday, October 5

by Robert Brock

The Reasons for Rejection

John 5:38-42

“And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life,” John 5:40.

Beethoven began losing his hearing at thirty. By the time he was forty-four, he was completely deaf. However, outrageously beautiful music still poured from his soul. To this day, when pianists play his music, something wonderful moves the audiences. They are never the same as they were before they heard the music.

Fanny Crosby was blind, and she wrote of standing beside Jesus and touching the nail-scarred hands. She was delighted to know that Jesus was the first person she would see when she awoke in Heaven.

When someone loves something this much, his life reflects that love without even trying. Jesus said we live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Any other kind of living is not living; it is existing. There is a difference: one is fake and one is natural; one is vain religion and the other is worship. Jesus said to the woman at the well, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

When I was a crazy in love teen, the things of the world grew strangely dim, and all I could think of or see was the beloved. When that kind of love grows in a Christian who is growing in his faith, it is that Christianity is not a trudging on, not just a keep on keeping on, rather, it is higher ground.

These religious fakes rejected Jesus because of unbelief. Their lives were an excuse, the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.

THOUGHT: The more we know about Jesus and see Him working in our lives; the more we fall in love with Him. The more we fall in love with Him; the more we see Him working in our lives.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Witnesses to Jesus

Thursday, October 4

by Robert Brock

Witnesses to Jesus

John 5:30-37

“But I receive not testimony from man: but these
things I say, that ye might be saved,” John 5:34.

In the Old Testament Law (Deuteronomy 17:6), God required two or three witnesses to establish the truth. Jesus gave skeptics three witnesses, plus His own word. (1) John the Baptist: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). (2) Jesus’ miracles: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:30, 31). (3) The Father: “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16, 17).

There were many witnesses that proved Jesus was actually who He said He was, the Son of God, God in the flesh. God’s fingerprints were all over His ministry that authenticated it. In Matthew 13 Jesus told the disciples that people did not see or hear the truth because they did not want to. The Holy Spirit witnesses to the heart of man that the gospel is true. If a person ignores so many witnesses, God does not take away his free will and desire to remain ignorant. “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:38).

THOUGHT: “There are none so blind as those who will not see,” John Heywood.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Promise of the Resurrection

Wednesday, October 3

by Robert Brock

The Promise of the Resurrection

John 5:25-29

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live,” John 5:25.

He will call the dead saints from the grave and join their perfect spirits to their perfect bodies. Those who are alive at His coming will be changed in the twinkling of an eye and all the saints will be raised to meet Him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). After the thousand year reign of Christ, He will resurrect the lost, judge them by their works and cast them into the lake of fire; this is the second death, “and whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

In July 1984, Terry Wallis was nineteen years old who was plunged into a comatose state as a result of a car accident. Nineteen years later he woke up and said, “Mom and Pepsi.” When a saved person dies, his spirit is carried into the presence of God. In the resurrection he will rise and meet Jesus in the air “and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth” (John 5:28, 29).

THOUGHT: Saints who have passed from the walks of this life are dwelling in the presence of God. Time means nothing to them (2 Peter 3:8). Gone today but back in the twinkling of an eye.

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