Daily Devotional, Year 2 – JUNE 23 (Love Is Not A Pick-n-Choose Buffet, Part 4: God’s Chastisement!)

By admin On May 26th, 2015

 

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 “Complete List of Daily Devotionals”

 

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Daily Devotional, Year 2 – JUNE 23

 

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Love Is Not A Pick-n-Choose Buffet, Part 4: “God’s Chastisements!”

To read Part 1, click here… Today’s Devotional – February 27th (Love Is Not A Pick-N-Choose Buffet)

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NOT A PICK-N-CHOOSE BUFFET

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The problem with the kinds of “itching ears” driven gospels preached today, is that we just can’t treat the true Gospel as if it’s some sort of a “pick-n-choose” buffet!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vegie_buffet.jpg

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Love is a multi-faceted virtue.

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Jesus is love. But His love is not merely like the anemic, diminished love of this world!

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And so, we just cannot take one or two facets of His love and ignore the other facets.

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And by so-doing, we end up taking a few of the more pleasant aspects of Jesus, and rejecting His other more stern qualities, simply because they are too self-denying!

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Vegie buffet – Wikimedia – GNU Free Documentation License

 

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“PURIFY YOUR HEARTS!”

James 4:8

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The churches today place very little emphasis on the purification of the heart.

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Either by word or by example, most Christians are not being encouraged enough to engage in the type of heart-purification that will cause us to “walk, even as He (Jesus) walked”! 1st John 2:6

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And the vast majority of congregations may make an occasional mention of this purification process. But they do not make this their over-arching theme!

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And the consequence of this is, most parishioners today remain in a spiritually undone condition.

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USMC – Prayer before Bible study – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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FIVE BASIC COMPONENTS

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USMC-081218-M-4507D-001.jpg

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Now there are a number of individual components involved in heart purification: 1. daily Bible study and contemplation of the Bible. 2. Unceasing prayer. 3. Separation from ungodly influences. 4. And accepting, and even joyfully enduring the fiery trials which purify us as gold and silver is purified. 5. And finally, to walk even as Jesus walked.

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These are the five basic components necessary for purifying the heart of a Christian.

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Girl with a Bible – Wikimedia – US Public Domain

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“SONS OF LEVI…AS GOLD & SILVER”

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But the fact is, many Christians do not understand just what are the fiery tribulations, and why we must endure them.

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Listen… “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi (Christians), and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” Malachi 3:3

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Now of course, this above verse speaks of the sons of Levi. But spiritually speaking, Christians have been chosen to be a royal priesthood, as pointed out in Part 2 of this little devotional series (click here to read). And so, we too are the New Testament sons of Levi. Therefore, this above verse from Malachi 3:3 is actually speaking of us today!

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Gold bars – Wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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“PURIFY…A PECULIAR PEOPLE”

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Listen… “Looking for that blessed hope…Jesus Christ; 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 23, 14

 

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So here we see that it is the Believer who is to be purified as silver and as gold…

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Goldkey logo removed – Wikipedia – Public Domain

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“VESSELS OF GOLD & SILVER”

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oval_lobed_gold_bowl_from_the_Belitung_shipwreck,_ArtScience_Museum,_Singapore_-_20110618-02.jpg

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Listen again… “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” 2nd Timothy 2:20, 21

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And so, we see this same theme about being purified as silver and gold continues through the New Testament.

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Golden Bowl from shipwreck – Wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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DEVIL OFTEN BRINGS TRIALS

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Now there are many Believers who are going through heavy trials.

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And just as the Devil got permission to bring the man, Job, through horrible fiery trials, so too, he likewise sends us through similar trials today.

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Job (oil on canvas) by Bonnat, Leon Joseph Florentin (1833-1922) – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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BEING DRAGGED THROUGH THE MUD

.http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_198722/William-Brassey-Hole/The-sorrow-of-king-David

Now there are some Christians who just cannot seem to get the victory over certain nagging sins. And because of this, many sincere Believers begin to doubt their Salvation.

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But Listen… “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways…” Proverbs 14:14

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And as this above verse reveals, the Lord in His great love will drag such Christians through the mud, so to speak. 

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But God is merely allowing Satan to make them miserable in their former lusts, so that they may eventually stand firm one day, when their trials are over.

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David’s sorrow – Wikigallery – Public Domain

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SATAN TORMENTED PAUL

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Now the Apostle Paul experienced heavy trials from Satan. And, we are in good company, when we also experience heavy trials by the hand of Satan…

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Listen… “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” 2nd Corinthians 12:7

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Yes, Paul was buffeted at the hand of Satan, yet for his ultimate good!

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Paul – www.thebiblerevival.com US public domain

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AFFLICTIONS FOR OUR GOOD!

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And even though Paul prayed for these trials to be removed, the Lord replied… “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2nd Corinthians 12:9

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Yes, the Lord knew that such trials were necessary for Paul’s own good.

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Paul the Apostle – Artist – Valentin de Boulogne or Nicolas Tournier – circa 1500s – Wikipedia – Public Domain.

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IN HEAVINESS FOR A SEASON

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And so, dear darling soul, take heart in the fiery trials and apparent failings, knowing that they will, “work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”  2nd Corinthians 4:17

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It’s true that, “though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:” 1st Peter 1:6

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And so, Peter says here that our trials will undoubtedly bring heaviness upon us.

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Vincent van Gogh – Old Man in Sorrow (On the Threshold of Eternity) – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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PAUL TOOK PLEASURE IN TRIALS

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And yet, the Apostle Paul had come to the point in life, that he actually rejoiced in his trials… “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2nd Corinthians 12:10 

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And we to must plead for the grace that we too might likewise rejoice in our heavy trials, knowing that when we are weak, then will we be strong in the Lord!

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Paul Shipwrecked – Acts 27:41-44 – www.lavistachurchofchrist.org – Public Domain

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TODAY’S PRAYER…

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“Dear Lord, Help me to endure the trials in my life, knowing that they work a far more exceeding glory which will endure throughout eternity future…

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… The Crown of Revelation 12: What Is “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”?, or you can also read…“July 17th (Kunta Kinte Christians)”

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THE END

 

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TODAY’S FEATURED HEAVENLY SIGN

 

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A SIGN IN HEAVEN

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“And there appeared a great wonder (sign) in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:” Revelation 12:1

.woman of Revelation 12 In Travail-www.signsofheaven.org

You see, God has placed in the heavens, the symbol of His bride, the Church-Faithful. In the summer night-sky, she appears as the woman-in-travail. This is the constellation, Ursa Major. And this article will introduce you to this amazing sign of Heaven, and what it means to you and to me.

 

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DOUBLE ENTENDRE OF REVELATION 12 WOMAN

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“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church: and He is the Savior of the body.” Ephesians 5:23

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This page concerns the constellation which is commonly known as The Big Dipperand the “Great Bear”.

.star-chart ursa major summerr

It actually appears in the summer months as a woman travailing in child-birth. God has purposely given her no head. But God did this to present a very important concept.

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Yes, this woman represents the Church, the “Jerusalem above, which is free, and is the mother of us all” (see Galatians 4:26).

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You see, the single star she is giving birth to typifies the Christ child. Reading in Ephesians that Christ is the “head” of the Church, this single star is logically going to become her head. But how will that be accomplished? 

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WOMAN FLIPS AROUND IN WINTER

.star-chart ursa major

Now, if this Woman-in-Travail were all that the Lord created in the heavens, it would be nothing short of amazing! But God, in His infinite power and majesty, has made this a great sign in Heaven, just as Revelation 12 proclaims. Because as the summer passes, this constellation begins to slowly flip around, until the stars representing her arms now become her legs. And the stars that once represented her legs now become her arms.  And finally, it appears as the Fleeing Woman of Revelation 12. And at that point, this single little star in her womb-area, representing the Christ-child, now becomes her head! And of course, this reminds us of the passage… “And He (Christ) is the head of the body, the Church…” Colossians 1:18.

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… Woman of Revelation 12 (Woman in Travail)

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TOMORROW…

JUNE 24 (The Monkey Wrench in the Works of Salvation)

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20+ MINUTE AUDIO STUDY IN JEREMIAH 

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YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO BEGIN FOLLOWING THIS 650+ AUDIO BIBLE STUDY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH EACH DAY ON THIS DAILY DEVOTIONAL.

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THIS STUDY #538 IS PRESENTED BY THE LATE HAROLD CAMPING OF FAMILY RADIO…

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above picture: Prophet Jeremiah – www.christianimagesource.org – Public Domain

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