Great Conversation with Derris Ross of Ross Foundation - Turning Personal Trauma into Transformed Lives.

A Prayer of David for Our Times of Duplicity

This prayer of David came up today in my devotional reading. This is a fitting prayer to our times of duplicity. Some might say Psalms is old testament and therefore irrelevant. However, the The Apostle Paul taught otherwise, “All Scripture is given by inspirational of God... and is profitable...” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) Remember that God’s grace in your life is more than a barcode label. Our “package” is the same as the label!

Let this reading bless and challenge you!

Psalm 26:1, Vindicate me, O Lord,
For I have walked in my integrity.
I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip.
2 Examine me, O Lord, and prove me;
Try my mind and my heart.
3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth.
4 I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, Nor will I go in with hypocrites.
5 I have hated the assembly of evildoers, And will not sit with the wicked.
6 I will wash my hands in innocence; So I will go about Your altar, O Lord,
7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And tell of all Your wondrous works.
8 Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house, And the place where Your glory dwells.
9 Do not gather my soul with sinners,
Nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
10 In whose hands is a sinister scheme, And whose right hand is full of bribes.
11 But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; Redeem me and be merciful to me.
12 My foot stands in an even place;
In the congregations I will bless the Lord.

Grace: An Empowered Life, Not Barcode Religion (Audio Podcast)

Listen to the message on the Firm Foundation audio podcast:

My lesson today will be, “Grace: An Empowered Life, Not Barcode Religion” We will study from 1 Peter 4:10-11 reads, "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."

We are never at the mercy, and weakness, of operating in our own strength. We can rely on the ability of God through grace in every endeavor of life. Our faith in God is not like a barcode (you will have to hear the teaching about that one!)

Apollos, From an Accurate Teacher to an Accurate Practitioner

Acts 16:24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

Apollos was a man with high motivation and strong gifting. The text says he was bold, eloquent, and accurate in his teaching.

Apollos' best attribute was his willingness to learn and to grow. A person possessing this level of ability could easily become conceited, arrogant, and walled off from others.

Notice how he received the Aquila and Priscilla along with their instruction. A man who was accurate in his teaching became even more accurate in the ways of God as a practitioner.

Accurate knowledge is always important, but knowing the ways of God more accurately always takes one to a higher level of function and purpose. Apollo's was a great teacher who became a great practitioner of the faith. 

That's an excellent example for you and me.

Beware of Misused Scriptures: Americans Do Not Have a King or a Ruler

Here is a basic civics lesson: 
Everyone in America should keep in mind that we don’t have kings and rulers. Therefore, Scriptures that relate to kings and rulers do not specifically apply to American presidents, governors, mayors, etc. 

They are all fellow citizens whom we should respect and pray for, but who are not above critique, censure, and removal. Kings were not citizens and were not chosen “by the consent of the governed.” They were considered divinely appointed representatives of God and above the people.

We don’t have a king to fear, we only fear God. We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights. Don’t allow the Scriptures to be twisted or misused in an attempt, or as intimidation, to silence your dissent or encourage veneration of political leaders. 

Constitutional principle: “...The right to petition government for redress of grievances is the right to make a complaint to, or seek the assistance of, one's government, without fear of punishment or reprisals, ensured by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (1791).”