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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Daily Devotions

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Brevity of Life in View of Eternity

by Beverly Barnett

Friday, August 23

The Brevity of Life in View of Eternity

Psalm 90:1-6

“For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday 
when it is past, and as a watch in the night,” Psalm 90:4.

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

This body that houses our soul is wearing out, thanks to Adam and Eve; it must fall off before we can walk and talk with the Father in the cool of the day. Today, I am more ready now to leave it behind than when I was a teenager and wanted to live forever. Sin has inflicted havoc on this body, and it is not much use to me anymore. I am ready for a glorified one! If I live to seventy or eighty years, I am closer to my death date than my birth date. This does not make me sad, and it should not you either as believers we have a lot to look forward to.

However, we should not waste away our last days and years bemoaning the past, but use them to bring honor and glory to God. Let us not morn and grieve for circumstances we cannot change, but let us be anxiously ready for the call! Jesus admonishes us to, “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them (Luke 12:35-37).

REFLECTION: Life is a vapor but eternity is forever. Be ready.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Consistency of Prophecy

by Beverly Barnett

Tuesday, August 22

The Consistency of Prophecy

Acts 3:18-24

“But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled,” Acts 3:18

There is nothing like the consistency of prophetic truth, especially when we see that truth was fulfilled in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. In the Garden of Eden, God told the serpent, after Adam and Eve had sinned, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). From that point in time, every prophecy in the Old Testament about Christ has been fulfilled concerning His birth, life, death and resurrection.

With those prophecies coming to pass, why would anyone doubt that future prophecies will also be fulfilled? But the scoffers and doubters, mock God, His Word, and live like there are no consequences for their disbelief. However, when Jesus breaks through that Eastern sky, and the trumpet sounds, and their Christian friends leave their useless bodies behind to meet Jesus in the air, then will they believe?

I am ready for the trumpet, how about you?

REFLECTION: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you” (Acts 3:19, 20)

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Knowing Jesus Is Coming Again Changes Us

Wednesday, August 21

Tuesday, August 20

Knowing Jesus Is Coming Again Changes Us

Titus 2:11-14

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works,” Titus 2:14.

Zeal is the necessary qualification of positive duty or acts of goodness in the life of every believer. It does not matter if it is taking out the trash or singing in the praise band, choir or standing behind the pulpit, both the motive and the enthusiasm is judged by God.

What God loves is a willing heart and body, one that is willing to get into the hedges and highways, to tell the good news of the gospel. Take Brother Bill for example. Bill is an older man confined to a wheelchair due to a breathing disorder. It took three men to baptize him because of his disability. He cannot physically work, but he uses what he has available to work for the Lord. He rides his scooter about five or six blocks to church with a handwritten sign on the back that reads, Follow me to Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. He will not let us pick him up in the church van. He uses Facebook to post positive, uplifting Scripture messages and sends messages of encouragement to others. Even with his disability, he is enthusiastic

REFLECTION: How about you? Me? Do we live and work like we believe Jesus is coming? It is high time to get busy!

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Our Duty Until Jesus Returns

by Beverly Barnett

Tuesday, August 20

Our Duty Until Jesus Returns

Luke 19:11-27

“And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading,” Luke 19:15.

God gives every one of His children, abilities, opportunities, time, talents and a place to impact and enlarge His kingdom until death or He returns. It is up to us to waste or multiply what He has given us.

What if Jesus were to contact you today and say, I gave you something to use until I call you to me, now what have you done to glorify me or build My kingdom? How would you answer? Believers are to be an active participant in the kingdom of God. God gives each of us the ways and means to give Him glory, no excuses.

In this parable, Jesus tells of a nobleman that went to a far country, but before leaving he gave ten servants, ten pounds and asked them to invest in something that would draw interest and he would collect it when he returned. Jesus is the nobleman and we are the servants in this parable. Jesus has gone to Heaven to prepare a place for us. He gives the Holy Spirit to live within each believer, and together as the Holy Spirit guides, encourages and protects, we are to enlarge His kingdom by spreading the gospel. We do this by coming alongside new believers, supporting His church with money, attendance and participation.

But, what will we have to show Him when He returns? Empty pews and hoarded bank accounts?

REFLECTION: “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Assurance of Jesus’ Promise to Return

by Beverly Barnett

Monday, August 19

The Assurance of Jesus’ Promise to Return

John 14:1-6

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also,” John 14:3.

Our devotional today is from a wonderful, assuring, promise of Jesus. It is one that we can be confident will come to pass and reassures us when we are despondent or depressed. It is one that gives us a hope filled future. We can look forward to the day when Jesus comes again, but should we pass in death from this life before He returns to catch us away; our eyes will open to a glorious sight in the presence of Jesus. This promise you can carry in your heart and mind through the difficult times of life.

While we think on our future home, we must not forget to be present in this one. C. S. Lewis writes, “This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave this present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next….It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.”

As we journey through this life, waiting on the next, be active, be alive! Our job as believers is to be busy until the Lord returns or until we see Him face to face.

REFLECTION: “Blessed assurance Jesus is mine—Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!”

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Jesus Predicted False Prophets

by Beverly Barnett

Sunday, August 18

Jesus Predicted False Prophets

Jude 16-21

“How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit,” Jude 18, 19.

One morning I saw an advertisement for a ministry group that claims to be healers and prophets. These so-called preachers, these men and women, entice with uplifting words that sooth the conscience of a guilty sinner and proclaim messages without sustenance. However, their so-called prophetic visions, dreams or claims that God speaks to them audibly is scary because they already have thousands of followers.

On their website, the head man speaks with an ordinary sounding voice, while sitting outdoors in front of an orchard. He looks normal, like an uncle or a friendly pastor, no robes or strange posture. But, his claim of being a prophet of God, hearing the voice of God, as do the other co-ministers of this group is unscriptural. Peter says by inspiration, “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage” (2 Peter 2:18, 19).

These are some of the deceivers Jesus warned us about. They are false prophets, speaking lies but claiming they speak for God. The only way we can know the difference is by reading and studying God’s Word.

REFLECTION: “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away” (1 Corinthians 13:8-10).

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Way of Balaam

by Beverly Barnett

Saturday, August 17

The Way of Balaam

Numbers 22:27-35

“Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face,” Numbers 22:31.

Balaam was a prophet for hire, and those are the most dangerous kind. Balaam was respected in the kingdom of Median, for his soothing words, and his lack of condemnation of sin. That made him a popular prophet.

As the children of God left Egypt, and crossed through hostile lands the sheer number of them intimidated the smaller kingdoms. The kings of Moab and Median formed an alliance and sent messengers to Balaam and asked him to curse Israel. But the Lord spoke to Balaam and said not to go with them and not to curse Israel. And a second time they sent high ranking ambassadors with gifts to Balaam so that he might put a curse on God’s people. And the second time he inquired of God. Was God’s answer the first time not good enough? The Lord’s answer was go with them, in other words, you have already made up your mind to do what you want so go.

And we know the rest of the story, how Balaam’s talking don-key saved his life. But that is not the end of Balaam’s story. Balaam could not curse God’s children so he chose another tactic. He encouraged Balak to corrupt the people whom he could not curse. The way of Balaam is worldliness: eat, drink, be merry, gather stuff, be a workaholic, forget God and His teachings, do whatever makes one feel good. (See Numbers 25:1-3; Numbers 31:16; James 4:4; Revelation 2:14.) The way of Balaam is still familiar in the world around us today!

REFLECTION: “Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (2 Peter 2:15).

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Lot’s Ineffective Testimony

 

by Beverly Barnett

Friday, August 16

Lot’s Ineffective Testimony

Genesis 19:12-14

“And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law,” Genesis 19:14.

Our testimony is important. Ask anyone who has lived a life in disregard of God and then tried to influence a loved one to do or become better, like Lot tried to do. Do not be like Lot!

Lot was a husband, father and a person of influence in the city of Sodom. We know this because he sat at the city gate. But, it is apparent that he did not use his influence to teach people to worship God and Him only, even in his own family. It is hard to teach a child to love God and keep His commandments if they do not see it in their parent’s life.

Apparently, even though Lot may not have participated in the sexual deviance that was rampant in Sodom and Gomorrah, he never actually condemned it either. Sadly, the same thing has happened in our families and in church membership today. We hear the excuse it is an alternate lifestyle, and God loves them so should we. While the latter is true, love does not mean we should not condemn sin, and pray for them to see their sin and repent. Sexual deviance is a sin against God, and it has consequences. Lot would not speak out against theses sinful lifestyles. His silence was consent, as a result, his sons-in-law rejected his pleads to leave the city before the coming destruction. The Bible does not state how many daughters, sons-in-law or grandchildren were killed because they would not listen to Lot. We only know that Lot, his wife and two daughters escaped the city. Even to lose one person because we will not take a stand for God and His commandments is one too many.

REFLECTION: “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, 
and sow wickedness, reap the same” (Job 4:8).

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-We Must Try the Spirits

 

by Beverly Barnett

Thursday, August 15

We Must Try the Spirits

 John 4:1-3

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world,” 1 John 4:1.

False prophets are not the same as false preachers. A false prophet predicts a false future. For example, there is a religion that has prophets in their leadership roles. They are high ranking, make the rules, carry out discipline, and predict the future. They are false prophets. The Bible clearly states that the prophets were until John, meaning John the Baptist. (See Matthew 11:13; Luke 16:16.) These men and women deceive many and are not guided by the one true Spirit. They predict that people will get better and better and this will eventually lead to Heaven on earth. This doctrine is totally opposite to what the Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:1-3.

That is why this warning in our Bible reading today is so relevant in our time. There are so many false teachers, preachers and so called prophets proclaiming lies, and thousands believe them. They sound good, give false hope, but in the end it will not happen.

It is vitally important, that we not only try the spirits, we must judge them by what the Bible says. The Bible is our guide to faith and practice. But, the Bible will not jump in our head and heart just by being in our house lying on a table. We must open the Bible and study the treasures of knowledge it contains. We must hide its truths in our heart and meditate on it throughout the day.

REFLECTION: Biblical knowledge is power, especially,
when false teachers, preachers or prophets speak.

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