Today’s Devotional – February 12th (Pilgrim’s Family’s Progress)

By admin On February 11th, 2014

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“Complete List of Daily Devotionals”

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Today’s Devotional – February 12th

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Pilgrim’s Family’s Progress!

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“Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine

by the sides of thine house:

thy children like olive plants round about thy table.”

Psalm 128:3

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In its day, that great allegorical tale, Pilgrim’s Progress, shook the Christian nations of Europe and the colonies of America!

Pilgrims Progress title page third edition 1679 wikimedia commons public-domain

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Not only was it the first of its kind, as a total Bible allegorical tale. But John Bunyan’s book opened up the spiritual nature of the Bible in a way that put both the Bible and the Christian life in such an amazing light, as never before seen or appreciated!

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And of course, Bunyan wrote it in such charming old English language, that it immediately captured the hearts of the Christian nations, and has continued to do so for the last 330 years or so.

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Pilgrims Progress title page third edition 1679 wikimedia commons public-domain

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PILGRIM SETS OUT ON HIS JOURNEY

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The story is of a man named Christian, who has a great burden on his shoulders.

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And after unsuccessfully trying to persuade his family to flee from this City of Destruction, and come along with him (they thought him “touched” in the head for such a crazy notion), he sets out by himself, on a personal pilgrimage to unload this heavy burden from off his back.

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And on this amazing allegorical journey through the countryside, this pilgrim encounters various interesting characters, and experiences, and dangers, and giants, and setbacks, and etc..

 

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I Saw A Man Clothed With Rags pilgrims progress wikimedia public domain

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PILGRIM FINALLY CROSSES THE RIVER

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Now the reason why this book is the subject of today’s devotional, is actually because of the sequel to this book.

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You see, at the end of the first book, Christian, the pilgrim, finally crossed the river into Beulah land, the Celestial City, Mount Zion. But though this pilgrim arrived safely in the Celestial City, his family was still back home in the City of Destruction!

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Now Bunyan was finally released from his twelve year jail sentence, and soon arose to international fame because of this book’s almost universal laud and overwhelming acceptance.

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Yes, copies of Pilgrim’s Progress were now rolling off the printing presses, and encouraging Christian pilgrims both here and abroad!

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The Pilgrim’s Progress by Byam Shaw wikimedia commons US public domain

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THE SEQUEL: PILGRIM’S FAMILY COMES TOO!

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But this book, as beloved as it was, did not have complete closure.

.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PProg_65_p163_WeAreAllUndone.jpg

Oh yes, the pilgrim made it safely to the Celestial City. But the pilgrim’s family was still back in the City of Destruction!

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And so, in God’s divine providence, John Bunyan was once again arrested and thrown back in the Bedford jail for another six month stint.

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And as many assert, during that time, Bunyan wrote the sequel, in which the Pilgrim’s wife, Christiana, decided to follow after Christian, taking her children along with her.

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And so this sequel tells of her adventures as she (and her four children) also followed her husband’s footsteps on her way to the Celestial City.

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Pilgrims Progress Christiana – We Are All Undone wikimedia public domain.

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CHRISTIANA’S GENTLER JOURNEY

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Now one big difference between Christian’s journey and his wife’s journey, was that her journey seemed to be much more protected.

.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PProg_62_p159_Untitled.jpg

In other words, whenever a dangerous situation arose, something or someone just happened to rescue her and her children, safely passing over the situation altogether, making her sojourn much more smooth and pleasant and trouble-free than was her husband’s experience.

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Pilgrim’s Progress 62 – p159 – Wikimedia – Public Domain

 

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MANY PILGRIMS TODAY MUST GO IT ALONE

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But here’s the great point that today’s devotional is trying to make.

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There are many, who, like this pilgrim, have decided to follow Jesus. And, more often than not, such pilgrims also must go-it-alone, without their family. And though these pilgrims do not actually leave their home and family, as the pilgrim did in this allegorical tale, they nevertheless find themselves walking that spiritual upward pathway without their family’s approval or participation.

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Oh yes, they still live under the same roof.

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But they are often, seemingly, in two separate worlds, as the saying goes.

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Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress wiki pub dom.

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MANY PILGRIMS MUST GO IT ALONE!

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Now, needless to say, this can be very distressing and even sad at times for the Christian!

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Angel_prayers.jpg.

After all, the Christian’s great hope is for his family’s Salvation! And that Christian will often try to plead to his or her spouse and children to also come along on the heavenward journey.

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But like Bunyan’s pilgrim, today’s Christian pilgrims quite often meet with ridicule, and rejection from their loved ones. The family just doesn’t have the heart for such an all-consuming life as a stranger and pilgrim merely traveling away from this City of Destruction, i.e., this world.

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People, by nature, merely want to be comfortable and enjoy this selfish life.

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Girl Praying – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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PILGRIMS MUST CLING TO GOD’S PROMISES

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So here is the big point to be made. Any Christian who has an unsaved family, should not despair.

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The Bible has promises for us to cling to!

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Just listen to one of those promises…“Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walks in His ways.

.Grape_vines-wikimedia-commons-share-alike-license

For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be,

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and it shall be well with thee.

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Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house:

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thy children like olive plants round about thy table.

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Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.”

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Psalm 128: 1-4

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Yes, this above Psalm, as well as other Bible passages are the “great and precious promises” that each Christian needs to cling to, as we sojourn through this sad world.

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Grape vines – wikimedia commons – share-alike-license

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WORLDLY WISEMAN

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Now back to Bunyan’s tale.

.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/John_Bunyan's_Pilgrim's_Progress

You see, while Christian was seeking to get his burden from off his back, he met up with one Mr. Worldly Wiseman, who urged Christian to reside in the Village of Morality, instead of going forward to the Celestial City.

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Yes, this Mr. Worldly Wiseman told Christian that he didn’t need to go to all the trouble of seeking that far-away country of the Celestial City.

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No, the pilgrim could simply go a short mile and take up residence in the Village of Morality instead.

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And his family could live there in Morality too!

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Pilgrim’s Progress p34 Mr Worldly Wiseman wikimedia public domain

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MANY WORLDLY WISEMEN TODAY!

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And there are many Worldly Wisemen today, who will try to give Christians much worldly advice on how to raise their family.

.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sigmund_Freud_LIFE.jpg

Oh, they will suggest child-psychology books, or family counseling videos. They will offer family camps and worldly counselors, and Christian psychologists and even fun-loving churches. They will suggest games to play, and vacation resorts to go to. They will tell of clubs to join and private schools, and marriage retreats. And on and on and on it goes!

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Yes, these are the things that the Village of Morality is made of!

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All sorts of worldly and moral ways and means of raising one’s family, without making that total rejection and forsaking of this selfish world!

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Sigmund Freud – LIFE – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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PILGRIM’S VICTORY ALSO FOR FAMILY TOO!

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But as you read Pilgrim’s Progress, you will notice what the pilgrim did to solve his family dilemma: he simply made it to the Celestial City!

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PProg_58_p143_ThusTheyGotOver.jpg

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That’s it! The pilgrim crossed that river and came up out of the water on the other side!

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You see, my family’s Salvation does not depend on me becoming a veritable summer-camp-youth-activities-director! Nor does it require me to become some sort of “romance-novel-Casanova” with my wife. Those kinds of notions come right from the lips of the Worldly Wisemen of this world!

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No, what it takes, is to do exactly like Christian, in Bunyan’s tale! I must cross that river! I have to die-to-self! I must crucify the “Old Man” with his affections and lusts, so that the “New Man” can live out His life through me!

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This is the great goal of each and every Christian: to be crucified with Christ, so that it’s no longer “self” that lives, but Christ is now living out His life through me! And “self” no longer calls the shots, as they say. Self has been crucified!

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This is what Bunyan’s book was really all about!

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Pilgrims Progress – Thus They Got Over – Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain

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PRAYERS FOR FAMILY FINALLY ANSWERED!

.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PProg_17_p47_HisBurdenFellOffHisBack.jpg

Then, once I do cross that river. Once my head goes fully under that water, I will come up on the other side. I will be an overcomer! I will have overcome the world! I will be fully surrendered to Christ’s leading!

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And then, all those prayers I made through the years for my family, will now be answered!

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Just like the pilgrim’s prayers for his family were answered, once he crossed that river (died-to-self), and entered that Celestial City!

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Pilgrims Progress – His Burden Fell Off His Back – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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TODAY’S PRAYER…

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“Dear Lord, Give me the strength and desire to continue to purify my heart in Thy Word, and in my life. Continue to work in in me, to will and to do of Thy good pleasure…

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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… “Castor and Pollux (Part 2: The Return of Christ & The Dawning of the Day)”

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THE END

.Soldiers of the Cross - Armor-Up!

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TODAY’S FEATURED HEAVENLY SIGN

 

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FLOWER OF HEAVEN CONSTELLATION

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God called to anyone, and everyone to come follow Him on a heaven-ward journey, symbolized by the Summer Constellations of Signs Of Heaven. God then led His followers through the battle between good and evil, symbolized by the Winter Constellations.

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Revelation 12 Woman on Altar w/ Flower of Heaven Constellations

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Then, after the battle was over, and the Revelation 12 Woman (The Church) (sketch right) victoriously swerves toward the Narrow Gate Stars (Gemini stars, picture to right), it begins to be seen that she is rising as incense from the Altar/Ark Constellation.

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GOD’S PURPOSE FINALLY UNDERSTOOD

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And finally is seen this Flower of Heaven, suspended as a vine from this Altar/Ark (picture right). So now we understand the Lord’s intent. Now we see what God was doing all along. Yes, God has been severe. Yes, He has brought Humanity through a very horrific experience. But alas, He took a dying flower (Humanity), and through a long process, He revived this dying flower. And in the end, God, through Christ, gave new life to this dying flower: new life which shall never ever perish. And this flower no longer springs up from the Earth. But now is suspended from this Altar/Ark, which is located in Holy Mountain of Zion…God’s eternal throne.

3.9.132

 

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But as we look at this Flower of Heaven Constellation, it also reminds us of something almost romantic. This last scene from Signs Of Heaven almost reminds us of a love letter, written by God to Humanity, with a single rose, placed upon that letter, just waiting for anyone to read it.

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… “The Flower of Heaven Constellation”

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TOMORROW: 

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February 13th (The True Pilgrim’s Pathway!)

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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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YOU CAN ALSO GO TO www.familyradio.org TO LISTEN TO OR DOWNLOAD MORE OF THESE JEREMIAH STUDIES.

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THIS STUDY #43 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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