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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-God Is Merciful to Those Who Seek Him

by Robert Brock

Saturday, June 15

God Is Merciful to Those Who Seek Him

Hebrews 4:15-16

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” Hebrews 4:15, 16.

Paul used a double negative in this passage which canceled itself and made the statement a positive. We have a High Priest which can be touched with the feeling of our trials because, as a human, He went through the same temptations, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life. Just as with Adam and Eve, Satan tempted Jesus in the flesh and He overcame. He used the Scriptures to fight Satan and send him packing. Jesus promises us the same power to overcome the temptations of Satan and his minions. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

Some believe that Jesus could have sinned but He did not, thus earning the right to be the perfect sacrifice. This belief is heresy. Jesus was God, and God cannot sin. He was already the Savior before the foundation of the world. Rather, He was able to overcome in the flesh making Him the High Priest and Mediator who understands our trials in the flesh first hand. He also understands God’s perfect point of view which makes Him the perfect mediator between man and God. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:5, 6).

THOUGHT: Therefore, through Jesus, we have the right to come before the Judge and ask mercy when we have sinned and grace to make it through hard times and trials.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Priesthood of Every Believer

by Robert Brock

Friday, June 14

The Priesthood of Every Believer

Revelation 1:6; 5:10

“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father,” Revelation 1:6.

A Kohen (priest) is called upon to direct himself, and others, in the proper service of God: “And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons” (Exodus 28:1). The Aaronic priesthood led in worship, prepared the animals for sacrifice, administered the sacrifices, read the Scriptures and took care of the Tabernacle and Temple.

God expected the priests of Aaron to live holy lives because they reflected God to the worshipers. When Christ was crucified, He took the old ceremonial laws and sacrifices, which pictured Jesus’ sacrifice, and nailed it to the cross. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Colossians 2:14). Therefore, the Jewish priesthood was no longer necessary since Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial law. He was the Passover Lamb of sacrifice that took away the sin of the world.

Peter explains that Jesus’ churches are now the priesthood. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar [purchased] people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:5, 9). “Shew forth” means to demonstrate the faith that we preach as God’s priests.

THOUGHT: Are you the kind of priest that reflects the Savior you preach?

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Building a Spiritual Building

by Robert Brock

Thursday, June 13

Building a Spiritual Building

1 Corinthians 3:10-15

“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon,” 1 Corinthians 3:10.

From 2013 to 2015 we searched a town in East Texas for a home for one of our sons. We must have looked at fifty homes for sale. At least eighty percent of them had a cracked foundation, some looked like an earthquake had passed through. After rejecting many of the homes, we found out that some areas of that county have an odd kind of sand that swells and cracks cement foundations.

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” (Matthew 7:24, 25). “And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock [Jesus, the foundation Rock] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

From Genesis to Revelation, God likens Himself to a foundation Rock or a mountain and He likens man to dust. “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust;…my salvation” (Psalm 18:2). “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:19).

THOUGHT: Check your foundation. If it is built on the solid Rock, He will hold on tight in the storm.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Word of God Is Food for Our Souls

by Robert Brock

Tuesday, June 11

The Word of God Is Food for Our Souls

Psalm 19:7-10

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the
testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple,” Psalm 19:7.

The brain is one of the largest organs in the human body. It contains more than one hundred billion nerves that communicate in trillions of connections called synapses. The brain is made up of many specialized areas that work together: five functions of the brain are creativity, memory and the ability to learn, social interaction, emotion and feelings, planning. It connects to the spinal cord and controls automatic functions such as breathing, digestion, heart rate, and blood pressure. The adult human brain weighs on average about three pounds, about two percent of the total body weight. The most intelligent animal brain on earth is the dolphin which has a brain more complex than humans, the dumbest animal brain is the domestic turkey.

The brain collects and stores about a million gigabytes of information. When one studies the Word of God the information is stored in the brain and transferred to the soul, changing attitudes, aiding in decisions and going forward with life under the guidance of God. “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). No other book has brought man so many blessings as the Word of God; it is supernatural food for man’s hungry soul. “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:103-105).

THOUGHT: A Christian who does not study God’s Word is living far below the standard God intends.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Ye Must Be Born Again

by Robert Brock

Monday, June 10

Ye Must Be Born Again

John 3:1-6

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” John 3:3.

Jesus was talking to a teacher of the Law, who was the master of a school like Paul’s teacher, Gamaliel. As a Pharisee, he believed three things would get him a front-row seat into the kingdom of Heaven: circumcision, being a descendant of Abraham and possession of the Law. Jesus statement in John 3:3 was confusing to such an astute leader. Jesus then illustrated entrance into the kingdom of God with childbirth. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?…he that came down from heaven…even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:6, 12-15).

Jesus taught Nicodemus that the Son of God was born the Son of Man, born once onto the earth in order that Nicodemus could be born twice, born of earthly humans and then born of a heavenly parent into Heaven.

Those who accept Jesus as Savior are born twice. They only die once, then, the resurrection. Those who refuse Jesus’ offer of salvation are born once, but they die twice. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power,” (Revelation 20:6). The lost are resurrected after Jesus’ thousand-year reign, judged and forever cast into the lake of fire which is the second death.

THOUGHT “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Like Nicodemus, religion will not get us into the kingdom. Jesus is the Door.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Love Began with God

by Robert Brock

Saturday, June 8

Love Began with God

John 3:14-18

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten 
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved,” John 3:16, 17.

C.S. Lewis lived from 1898 to 1963. His tombstone bares one of his greatest prose: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.” God’s love is like that. When we see the world as God sees it, we are looking through scarlet-colored glasses. When Jesus asked His Father to forgive us in our ignorance, God looked at the world through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). When Jesus returns for us, He will be wearing a scarlet robe symbolizing His sacrifice to cover our sins, and we will be wearing white robes symbolizing His righteousness.

David said God’s love is like the sun’s rays in the morning. It claims everything it touches. He created everything. He purchased everything with His most valuable possession, His Son’s sacrifice. Thus, by right of creation and by right of purchase God owns everything. The greatest gift of all is love. Because of His love we possess faith and hope—the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 13; Romans 5:5).

THOUGHT: Since God is love, all the love ever experienced in the history of the world has its source in God.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Love Leads Us to Obedience

by Robert Brock

Friday, June 7

Love Leads Us to Obedience

John 14:21

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him,” John 14:21.

Like it or not, obedience to a law system comes first, before grace, mercy and forgiveness. Without a law standard of perfection, man cannot measure his actions and judge himself as having fallen short of the glory of God, be convicted by the Holy Spirit and seek forgiveness. God’s Law does not save; it lets fallen man know he needs a Savior who loves him enough to cover his sin. “And above all things have fervent charity [love] among yourselves: for charity [love] shall cover the multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

My stepfather loved farming and had a law system for doing everything. He loved raising sweet potatoes. He gave many bushels to our friends. However, no one knew the law system and absolute obedience required to bring such a bountiful crop. It seemed his rows were miles long. The sand was blistering hot to our bare feet. The rows had to be raked off just a certain way, no quitting until the potato slips were planted a certain distance apart and all were watered. I can remember thinking I cannot wait to grow up and get out of here. I did grow up. All the hard work did not kill me, and I learned to love and respect my dad. Then, I would do anything he needed me to do, not out of fear of judgment but because where there is love, one wants to please the object of their love.

THOUGHT: Obedience is a natural result of love. Jesus said if we love Him we will keep his commandments, and He will make Himself real in our lives.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Love Fulfills the Law

by Robert Brock

Thursday, June 6

Love Fulfills the Law

Romans 13:8

“Love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law,” Romans 13:8.

“Owe no man anything, but to love one another” (Romans 13:8) implies that loving others is a moral obligation one must pay to fulfill the Law of God.

“I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” (Romans 1:14, 16).

God intends for His children to keep His laws. However, Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, proved that man cannot keep it. In Matthew 19, He taught that only God is good. Paul admitted only in Christ can I do all the things God requires. It is very difficult for man to admit he cannot be good. This creates a dilemma for Christians, they know God wants them to be good and Romans 7 teaches they cannot do it. Romans 1 solves man’s problem with keeping the Law of God. Man could not keep it to get saved, neither can he keep it to stay saved. If we fall in love with Jesus, He loves others through us. Therefore, God’s love in us does not offend God nor does it use and abuse man thus keeping the whole Law.

Sometimes, life can be hard and unfair, and we feel no one loves us and we find it hard to love others and keep God’s standards.

THOUGHT: Love fulfills God’s Law. God keeps it through us.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Love Gives Us Assurance of Salvation

by Robert Brock

Wednesday, June 5

Love Gives Us Assurance of Salvation

1 John 3:14

“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.

People who do not receive love often feel deprived and become psychologically sick. Visiting nursing homes one sees armies of elderly begging to be touched and loved. Love gives humans the assurance that they are accepted into the tribe. Without love people often feel ostracized and unnecessary, resulting in aggressive or introverted behavior.

Christians who fake love find selfishness hard on the flesh and often doubt their salvation. On the other hand, Christians who share and receive love of the brethren are usually content and spiritually healthy. In Revelation 2, the Ephesian church, had lost its first love. The Word was preached in the Ephesian church, they were casting out false teachers, doing good works, going through worship as a duty. But, the church had become cold. They had lost their first love, Jesus. One who is not in love with Jesus turns Christianity into a stuffy religion.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:18, 19). Those who fall in love with Jesus love the brethren and share their assurance and confidence in the Lord. Assurance of salvation is the foundation of confidence. Confidence in Jesus’ promises makes a Christian look strong.

THOUGHT: The one who loves becomes a magnet for 
weaker souls seeking a safe harbor. Without love, true Christianity does not exist. God’s motive for our salvation was love.

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