October 5, 2015

1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

This sad truth is all too evident as we look around us. Deceiving and evil spirits certainly seem to have ramped up their activities, and caution and devotion to the Word are certainly called for. The flip side of that is that some have quenched the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19) in an excess of caution, and so have missed out on great blessings. The thing is, the major lies of the devil and his cohort don’t change fundamentally, they just put on new window dressing. The “Prosperity Gospel” of today is another version of a lie that Paul had to deal with, (1 Timothy 6:5, 9-10) and likewise lax attitudes toward sexual sins are nothing new. We need to be so steeped in the Word that anything contrary to it immediately becomes obvious to us. God is not stingy, but He is certainly holy, and He calls us to be holy as well. (1 Peter 1:15-16) That is a truth the devil certainly wants to conceal and/or deny! We aren’t to be surprised by all the junk that’s going around, but we must stand firm against it, speaking the truth in love even when such loving truth is branded “hate speech,” as it often is today.

I will confess to a desire to pull into a shell and forget that all this junk is going on around me, but that would be violating Jesus’ command to let my light shine. (Matthew 5:16) As a pastor I have a special responsibility to communicate the truth, building a firm foundation in people’s hearts and lives so that they won’t be shaken by “every wind of teaching.” (Ephesians 4:14) It is a continuing frustration that so many fail to develop a lifestyle of feeding on the Word and having fellowship with the Lord, but I must not give up. The Holy Spirit is faithful, despite human failings, and I am to keep trusting Him and proclaiming God’s truth. At this point there are many distractions from what I have thought of as “the work of the Kingdom,” but God works in ways that transcend human plans and ideas, and I am to keep my heart centered on Him. He will “do exceeding abundantly, beyond all I could ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20)

Father, thank You for this training, growing period You have us in right now, just as You had me say in the message yesterday. Help me be true to You in all that happens, rejecting every temptation to deviate from full submission and obedience. Irritations of one sort and another seem to be unrelenting, but I know that You indeed turn it all around for good. (Romans 8:28) Help me be an open channel of Your grace and blessing to all today, to Cathy first and to everyone else as well, so that You may touch them through me for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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