Today’s Devotional – September 25th (The Ishmael Within!)

By admin On August 27th, 2014

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 “Complete List of Daily Devotionals”

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Today’s Devotional – September 25th

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The Ishmael Within!

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Navez_Agar_et_Isma%C3%ABl.jpg

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There are a great number of people in the world, who believe that they are the descendants of Ishmael, the son of Abraham. And they believe that they have a destiny to fulfill in the world.

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Listen…  “These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.” Genesis 25:16

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Yes, just as this above verse states, Ishmael was the progenitor of twelve princes. And so there are many today who claim to be the descendants of those twelve princes!

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Hagar and Ishmael – Wikipedia – Share-Alike License

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TRANSLATING NATURAL INTO SPIRITUAL

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Now, as we see the people of the world seeking the knowledge of these things, we must be reminded that… “the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” Luke 16:8

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Yes, the children of this world are wiser in their generation, than we, who claim to be the children of God!

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Yes, there are many who claim to be the descendants of Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael!

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And so, as we see their worldly wisdom, we maybe should translate their worldly wisdom into spiritual wisdom!

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And so, the Christian should try to discern the spiritual truths concerning Ishmael. And maybe we too, are the spiritual descendants of Ishmael!

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Let’s explore that question for a moment!

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Shoppers in Toronto – Wikimedia – share-alike license

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THE TWO COVENANTS

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The Apostle, Paul reveals the true, allegorical meaning of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac, as well as Hagar and Ishmael!

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Listen… “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons (Ishmael & Isaac), the one by a bondmaid (Hagar), the other by a freewoman (Sarah).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PaulT.jpg

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“But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

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“Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

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“For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

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“But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”

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Galatians 4:24-26

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So here we see that Ishmael represents the “Old Man” of the flesh, within. In other words, Ishmael symbolizes the carnal man who is still in bondage to the flesh!

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Paul the Apostle – Artist – Valentin de Boulogne or Nicolas Tournier – circa 1500s – Wikipedia – public domain

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CRUCIFYING THE ISHMAEL WITHIN!

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And so, all those who are true worshippers of God have been given the great commission to crucify the Old Man within, who is a servant of the flesh, so that the “New Man”, Christ, canhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:6tag_250316-124351.jpg freely live out His life through His true Believers!

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Listen… “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: ” Romans 6:6-8

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And so, those of us who are still under the bondage of the flesh to some extent, have a work to accomplish!

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And so, we must be busy making sure that the Old Man is thoroughly crucified, so that Jesus can live out His life freely through us!

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Cross of Jesus Christ – cropped photo – Wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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ABRAHAM & SARAH “HELP” GOD

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One great lesson to be gleaned from the story of Abraham and Sarah, is how they devised a plan to “Help” God fulfill His promise to Abraham… “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him (Abraham), So shall thy seed be.” Genesis 15:5

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And so, when Abraham and Sarah were beyond child-bearing years, she said to Abraham… “Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.”

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And as a result, Ishmael was conceived. But Ishmael was not the child of promise! No, Ishmael was the product of Abraham’s and Sarah’s human wisdom and human works!

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Sarah & Hagar – Foster Bible Pictures – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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TRAINED TO TRUST OUR OWN STRENGTH

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Now, the great lesson to be learned from the story of Abraham is, that Abraham and Sarah did what so many of us try to do! Yes, so often, we try to help God out, thinking that somehow, by our own human wisdom and human strength, we will accomplish God’s will! Perhaps I dream up some humanitarian ministry. Or maybe I can move out to the desert and overcome sin by living an austere life! Or maybe I can manipulate my relatives into doing some thing which I think is important! Or I can badger and nag my spouse or children into becoming Christians!

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And so, as a result of my own human efforts, an Ishmael is thriving within me! And this Ishmael is merely the result of my own human wisdom and strength! Ishmael symbolizes the Old Man within and his human works of the flesh.

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But God is not desiring human works! No, He rejects our miserable human attempts to bring good to pass! Just like He rejected Abraham’s miserable human efforts!

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Listen… “Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” Galatians 4:30, 31

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But what does God wish for me? What is God’s great desire for me?

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Expulsion of Ishmael and His Mother by g. dore- wikipedia public domain

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BELIEVING ON JESUS: THE WORK OF GOD

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

But what does God wish for me? What is God’s great desire for me?

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Listen…  “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom he hath sent.” John 6:28, 29

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Yes, as Jesus pointed out to these works-seeking people, it is the work of God to cause a person to believe on Jesus! Salvation is the gift of God. And Jesus is the Author of life! And He is the captain of our Salvation! And He has accomplished everything necessary for our Salvation. And He breathes spiritual life into our dead being, and makes us to miraculously come alive. We did nothing to bring it about. And our choosing to follow Him is really Him choosing us!

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Brooklyn Museum – Jerusalem Jerusalem James Tissot wikimedia US public domain

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CAPTAIN OF MY DESTINY!

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But we humans think that we must use our own strength to make things happen! We http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:We_Can_Do_It!.jpgare conditioned by society to want to be “movers and shakers”! So much of what we see on TV or read about in books and magazines, or listen to on radio, is designed to indoctrinate us into being “the captain of my own life”!

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It is extremely difficult for we humans to relearn what we have been trained to do from birth, onward: to run our own lives!

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We Can Do It! Rosie the Riveter – Wikipedia – Public Domain

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TRANSFORMED BY RENEWING OUR MINDS

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Listen… “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_040327-N-1261P-058_Navy_Chaplain,_Lt._Marc_Massie_assigned_to_Naval_Mobile_Construction_Battalion_Seventy_Four_(NMCB-74)_studies_his_Bible_for_an_upcoming_service.jpgsacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but 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 12:1, 2

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Yes, here is the work that we Christians can do! There is no greater human work, nor is there any other human work necessary, than to merely lay down my life in hopes of renewing my mind with the Word of Christ! Yes, the regeneration of the Believer’s heart is what God wants above all else!

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Chaplain reads Bible – Wikimedia – US Govt. Public Domain

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CRUCIFYING THE ‘OLD MAN’https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Willmann_Jesus_being_nailed_to_the_cross_(detail).jpg

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Listen… “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” Colossians 3:9, 10

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No, God is not impressed with physical strength! As a matter of fact, it might be better if we Christians were all bed-fast, or merely under house arrest, so that we might stay at home, spending our time and energy in study, prayer and contemplation of Christ’s words! “O how love I thy law (God’s Word)! it is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97

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Nailing Jesus to the Cross – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Braet_von_%C3%9Cberfeldt_woman_with_bible_1866.jpgBE STILL & KNOW THAT I AM GOD!

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Listen to Isaiah, as God complains about His people… “Their strength is to sit still….this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:” Isaiah 30:7, 9

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And so, God reveals here, it is our strength to sit still! Yes, rather than trying to do it ourselves, God would be so pleased for us to spend our available time, transferring the Word of Christ, from the pages of the Bible to the fleshly tables of our heart! (see 2nd Corinthians 3:3)

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Braet von Überfeldt – Woman with Bible – 1866 – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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GET TO KNOW JESUS THROUGH HIS WORD!

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And so dear pilgrim, as you and I go about our necessary daily tasks, let us not further complicate our liveshttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USMC-06831.jpg with programs and pursuits of our own making! Instead, let’s remember just what it is that will mold us and make into the image of Christ!

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Listen… “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent….Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” John 17:3, 17.

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Here is the best kept secret to life eternal! Here is the lost and hidden key to a life of victory in Christ Jesus! And combined with unceasing and sanctified prayer, this is the only human work that will ultimately produce a child of Promise!

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USMC – Prayer before Bible study – Wikimedia – public domain

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To Read Part 2, click here…“September 26th (The Ishmael Within, Part 2)”

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TODAY’S PRAYER…

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“Dear Lord, Teach me to trust Thee, and let Thee lead in my life. Give me the gift of renewing my mind, filling my heart with Thy precious words of life…

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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

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TODAY’S FEATURED HEAVENLY SIGN

 

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“Multitudes, multitudes in the ‘Valley of Decision’…

for the day of the Lord is near in the ‘Valley of Decision’.”

Joel 3:14

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AT THE CROSSROADS OF LIFE…

.All Roads Lead To Rome (Except One) Public Domain www.signsofheaven.org

The Bible speaks of the Valley of Decision…“Multitudes, multitudes in the ‘Valley of Decision’…for the day of the Lord is near in the ‘Valley of Decision’.” Joel 3:14. Of course, this valley is a spiritual concept and not a literal place.

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But God has inscribed this very truth in the heavens. It is called “The Valley of Decision” Constellation. It speaks of that valley that each person must walk through.

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VALLEY OF DECISION CONSTELLATION

staples

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Look eastward in the early summer through fall. Find the Cassiopeia ConstellationCassiopeia is the Mount of Blessing. In the sketch, it is the farthest mountain to the left. In the sky, it is the northern-most of these three mountains when facing eastward. It resembles a pyramid. Then find the next pyramid to its right (south). Then go a little further south to the next third pyramid. The third snow-cap is the Destroying Mountain Constellation. These three pyramids are the snow-capped portion of these three mountains in this sketch. (of course, you won’t see the snow-caps in the sky. They are just an embellishment in this sketch to present a concept-EDITOR). 

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“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” Micah 4:1, 2

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THE VALLEY OF DECISION CONSTELLATION GROUP

Valley of Decision & O Destroying Mtn. Constellations

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They appear in mid-summer in the eastern skies in pre-dawn hours. These are made of Cassiopeia (mount on left), and various stars from the Andromeda Constellation (valley) Pegasus (Mount of Cursing (middle mount) & Destroying Mount (right)), and Pisces (Broad Way to Hell). The galaxy which appears to be climbing the Mountain of Blessing is the Andromeda Galaxy.

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The above Wikipedia star-chart shows this amazing constellation group as it appears from June to fall, just prior to the winter constellation group. Actually, this Valley of Decision Constellations appear in early summer in the pre-dawn hours. (Editor of this website has sketched in this constellation group onto this above Wikipedia star-chart.)

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… “The ‘Valley of Decision’ Constellation”

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TOMORROW:

“September 26th (The Ishmael Within, Part 2)”

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20+ MINUTE AUDIO JEREMIAH STUDY

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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 IS STUDY #266 PRESENTED BY THE LATE HAROLD CAMPING OF FAMILY RADIO…

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Prophet Jeremiah – www.christianimagesource.com – Public Domain

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