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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Bogard Press Daily Devotionals

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Mercy and Love of God

by Wally Fry

Tuesday, September 24

The Mercy and Love of God

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” Exodus 20:3.

In answering the Pharisees, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37, 38). In His explanation to the Israelites of His expectation of them regarding their love for Him and His place in their lives, God was also quick to show them just how much He loved them. As He always had done, God had shown this by His care and protection of them as He brought them out of the Egyptian captivity.

God has set the example for us in this matter; we are to love as He loves us. We have a problem, however; our problem is that we cannot love the same way He does. We cannot do that in our natural states because we are self-centered sinners by nature and by choice. As we are, we are not capable of showing the love He desires that we show. What then is the solution?

The solution is that we put our love for ourselves aside and love Him first and foremost. We can only do this because He first extended that love to us. Because He did that, we have a choice; we can return His love or we can reject it. Our acceptance of His love results in our salvation, and a new person who can love our brethren as He loved us.

JUST A THOUGHT: God’s mercy and grace toward us are infinite. How far does ours to others extend?

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Evil Works of Cain

by Wally Fry

Monday, September 23

The Evil Works of Cain

Genesis 4:3-9

And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:8, 9.

Cain asked the Lord, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (verse 9). The only answer to that question is yes, we are all our brothers’ keepers. When the Pharisees attempted to trip Jesus up concerning the Old Testament Law, our Lord was quick to boil down the entire Law to two commandments: to love God with all that we have, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Jesus taught us that everything in our Christian lives flows from loving God and loving one another.

If love is a serious matter to our Lord, it ought to be a serious matter to us as well. It is serious enough that Jesus tells us that how we love is a strong sign that we belong to him; conversely and sadly the opposite is true as well. If we have no love for the brethren, we are not His. The teaching is clear. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death” (1 John 3:14). Friends, there is simply no ambiguity in that passage.

Why is Cain brought up here? After all, most of us would quickly claim that we are no murderers! Jesus answers that as well. “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (verse 15).

Our hearts as much as our actions reveal who we truly are. Who are we in this regard?

JUST A THOUGHT: What is in your heart?

 

 

 

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-We Have an Eternal Salvation

by Wally Fry

Saturday, September 21

We Have an Eternal Salvation

John 3:33-36

“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.

Our devotional verse today is one of the most encouraging things we can read in Scripture, yet at the same time also one of the most sobering. We have been discussing how, upon our salvation, we are born again and become the adopted children of God the Father and belong to Him. We do not just belong to him for a bit, or until we make Him mad or until we get bent out of shape and walk away. We belong to him eternally, for “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” The Father has given us to the Son, and we will not ever be let go. That is what everlasting means.

The very sobering flip side to this follows quickly, however; for “he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Those who have chosen to reject God’s offer of salvation are not His children but are the children of their father, the devil. That stern, angry Father of judgment and punishment is still there, and some will only see that side; they will never be able to say to him, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15).

While the children of God will never see the judgment side of God, this should still be sobering to us; in fact, it should break our hearts. If we truly believe that our Abba Father has us in His hand for all eternity, should we not be telling the entire world about it constantly?

JUST A THOUGHT: Have you even mentioned Jesus to anybody today?

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-We Become the Children of God

by Wally Fry

Friday, September 20

We Become the Children of God

Romans 8:12-16

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father,” Romans 8:14, 15.

If one pays close attention, they might notice a wide variance in how people refer to their fathers. Father, Dad, Poppa and Daddy are all terms one might hear. The way we address our father can also reveal some things about the type of relationship we have with him. It may sound stereotypical, but most would say a person who calls their Father Daddy probably feels closer to him than a person who calls him Father.

Far too many have an impression of God our Father as a detached, remote and grim Father just waiting for us to make a mistake, so He can deliver a cosmic whipping. While we cannot discount God’s place as a God of judgment, that is not the totality of who He is. This word used, “Abba” (verse 15), tells us a lot if we are only paying attention. Using “Abba,” instead of Father is about like saying Dad, or Daddy, instead of “father” to refer to our earthly one. It is still a respectful, yet much more intimate way of calling out to our Heavenly Father.

If we are “led by the spirit of God” (verse 14), or saved, then our relationship with God is a personal and intimate one. Not only do we become the sons of God; our Abba Father has adopted us. He chose us because He loves us. Because He loves us, He will always protect and take care of us, even when the world has turned its back on us.

JUST A THOUGHT: While we ought not to live in trembling fear of our Heavenly Father, we should live in awe and respect of him, and submission to Him.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-We Are Born of God

by Wally Fry

Thursday, September 19

We Are Born of God

John 1:11-14

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,” John 1:12, 13.

We are not born of our own flesh or our own will. We are born of the will of God. There are a lot of possible thoughts on that and we cannot possibly cover them all. So, we will run through a couple.

First, we need to consider exactly whose will was accomplished in our birth. John 1:13 says, “Nor of the will of man, but of God.” How powerful is God, by whose will we come to new life? To start with, He is powerful enough to speak the very universe into existence.

We should consider who is and is not a party to this new birth; only those who received Him have become the sons of God. Those who have not believed are not reborn and are, in fact, still dead in sin.

We should consider that this birth, just as any birth, is irreversible. Once we are born we continue until the end. We may die but the birth itself is never undone or reversed. We never stop being the children of those who gave us our earthly lives, and we never stop being the children of the One who gave us spiritual life either.

One final thing to consider is this: what do we do for our children? What have our own parents done for us? They did not just give us life and then leave us to raise and nurture ourselves. God, our Father, does not do that, either.

JUST A THOUGHT: Our Heavenly Father, like any good parent, will always take care of His children.

 

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Christ Dealt with Our Sins

Wednesday, September 18

Christ Dealt with Our Sins

Colossians 2:9-15

“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses,” Colossians 2:9, 13.

Yesterday, we discussed some of the important aspects of the humanity of Jesus; today we are looking at the other key aspect of who Jesus is. Jesus is also fully divine; He was literally God in the flesh. Just like His humanity matters, His deity matters also. We learn in our devotional verse that we were dead, but Jesus has quickened us; He has made us alive again because our sin slate has been cleaned, “having forgiven you all trespasses.” Jesus as One man could pay the price for one man, but Jesus as an infinite God could pay the potentially infinite penalty for all the sin past, present and future of every human past, present and future.

We are now free. As saved believers, we are free forever from the penalty of our sin. As we mature, we are being saved from the power of sin in our lives. Someday, we will be saved forever from the very presence of sin.

We do not have to strive and struggle to free ourselves from that bondage of sin; Jesus has done that. We do not have to worry about paying for our sin; Jesus did that also. What then? What are we to be doing? We are to be resting, obeying, serving and applying the precepts of God’s Word in our lives and in our actions so that others might see and be partakers of it. If we show them, and they believe, then Jesus will save them, too!

JUST A THOUGHT: Being free never means doing nothing; being free means we are free to do much.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Christ Took Our Nature

by Wally Fry

Tuesday, September 17

Christ Took Our Nature

Hebrews 2:14-18

“Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted,” Hebrews 2:17, 18.

Jesus was fully God and fully human. That is impossible to understand, yet Scripture teaches that truth. The full humanity of Jesus matters for many reasons. First and foremost, the fact that it was humanity who sinned in the first place meant that humanity owed the price that was required to be paid. Jesus’ status as fully human qualified Him to pay the price we owed for sin.

But, there is more concerning the reality of Jesus and salvation than just the simple payment for our sin; as we have discussed several times, our Christian lives only begin at salvation. Unless we are called home the moment we are saved, we are asked to translate the reality of Jesus in us into a visible reality in our lives.

There lies another reason for the full humanity of Jesus. Jesus gets it because He lived it for over three decades. Even though He lived a sinless human life, it was very much a human life, marked by all of the feelings, trials and temptations faced by any other human who has ever lived. Of course, our Lord never gave in to the temptations He faced, but He felt every bit of them. Not only did Jesus act as a model and example for us to follow, but He also shared many words of wisdom, counsel and commands for us to read and apply. Jesus showed us how to do it, and He told us how to do it. Are we?

JUST A THOUGHT: Jesus is our Savior and our Lord; we do not get one without the other.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

by Wally Fry

Monday, September 16

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

John 15:26-27

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning,” John 15:26, 27.

As great as being saved is, it is not the final objective of God in the lives of believers. God has a plan and objective for each of us as individuals; He also has universal or common objectives for all believers as a body. God desires that none remain lost and that all come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). While God, as the sovereign of the universe, could certainly just directly cause all to come to Him, He has not chosen that method. The method He has chosen is that all will have the ability to choose Him or reject Him, based on their response to the proclamation of the gospel message.

Here, we see one of the most important ministries of the Holy Spirit under the new covenant. John was inspired by that same Holy Spirit to share this with us, that God sent Himself as the Holy Spirit to testify of the Son and point the way to salvation for the entire world.

How does the Spirit testify of the Son to the whole world? He does that through us, the saved. First, we are indwelt by Him at the moment of our conversion. Second, we are given His strength, power, and enlightenment to perform this task. He gave the disciples their marching orders in the last part of our devotional verse, and that instruction was for us also; is there any better way to show the reality of Jesus in our lives than to tell others about Him?

JUST A THOUGHT: Someday when we get to Heaven, it would be nice to meet many who are there because we said something?

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Setting Our Eyes on Heavenly Things

by Wally Fry

Sunday, September 15

Setting Our Eyes on Heavenly Things

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal,” 2 Corinthians 4:18.

There is a term in reference to computer programs, garbage in garbage out. In other words, the output of any computer program or routine is only as good as the information that was input in the first place. Corrupt input produces a corrupt end product. This also happens to be a pretty fair analogy of what can happen with Christians now and then. Sometimes our Christian product is not what it should be, and we produce garbage and incoherence. That may seem harsh, but it is true.

God has provided all that we need to produce good Christian output. He gave us grace, His Son, and the strength and power to do it. He has built us ready and able to be successful believers. We are equipped by Him and ready to be taken off the shelf and put to use.

Yet, we have a role in the success of our Christian walks. What we put in our minds, what we think on, and where our focus is matters a lot. We tend to take on the characteristics of the ones we spend the most time with. If our minds are constantly filled with the world, and the things of the world, then acting like the world, will be our output. If we fill our minds with God’s Word and eternal things, then what we produce will be Christlike. Does this really matter? Of course, it does. What good is a Christian who is just a mirror of the world rather than Jesus?

JUST A THOUGHT: When nonbelievers look at us what do they see? Do they see something different?

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