Animal Sacrifice at the Temple

From what this video shows, there was animal sacrifice at the dedication for the rebuilding of the temple on December 10, 2018.  Our Lord must be so grieved by this, being that HE was the FINAL SACRIFICE, and there is no more need for any animal sacrifices.  From the looks of this video, it may not be much longer until we see the abomination of desolation in the temple.

Here is another video.  Similar, but has some different aspects.

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Those Familiar Verses of Scripture

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Those Familiar Verses of Scripture

It is easy to glaze over those verses of scripture that often get quoted, or that we memorized many years ago. I tend to do this myself, but over the last few years, I have tried to get myself to stay focused and look beyond those verses, seeing what the context of the chapter is saying.

I saw something interesting when I did this with 2 Timothy 3. At the end of the chapter is that very familiar verse which speaks of how all scripture is inspired by God, is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. Why? So that we will be complete and equipped for every good work.

But if you back up and read the entire chapter, it is really enlightening. First, we are warned about how in the last days there will be perilous times. People will love themselves and money. They will be proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient, ungrateful, unholy, slanderous, lacking self-control, brutal, haters of good, lovers of pleasures instead of God, and the list goes on. If we are diligent to read and study our Bibles, we will know to watch out for this. We will also understand that this has to happen in the last days because scripture tells us so, and scripture does not lie. This understanding will help us not to become fearful, overwhelmed, or lose our faith when we see this happening.

Next, we are admonished to avoid such people. Scripture goes on to describe people who creep into households, capturing the weak, leading them astray by various passions. They are described as always learning, but never able to arrive at the knowledge of the truth. When I read this verse, trying to apply it in today’s society, I think of the many preachers who are on television, as well as online, preaching false doctrines. If you don’t study the scriptures for yourself, it is easy to be swayed by their persuasive words. 1 Timothy 4:7 admonishes us to train ourselves to be godly. The implication is that it is not up to a preacher to do this for us. By only listening to preaching, we will not be trained in godliness!

A few verses later, we discover that all who desire to live a godly life will eventually be persecuted. Again, if we take the time to study the Word, we see that persecution is inevitable for all us, so we can pray for the Lord to make us strong so that we stand firm in those times. In this same verse, we also see that imposters (false teachers) will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. Jesus spoke four times more about deception in Matthew 24 than He did about wars, famines, and pestilences. Obviously, it is imperative for us to be in the inspired Word of God because it will keep us from becoming one of the deceived.

That is why Paul ends the chapter with that familiar verse on how all scripture is inspired by God. He is stressing to us the importance of staying in the Living Word because it will not lead us wrong in these perilous times!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller
 

Following at a Distance

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Following at a distance

 

The account of when Peter denied the Lord three times in Matthew 26 has always fascinated me. This man was in the inner circle with Jesus, yet when the heat comes on, he denies Him, not once, but three times.

 

I find it interesting to notice the sequence of events. In verse 58, we find that Peter is walking in the direction of Jesus, but he does so at a distance. He has gone from being up close, in that inner circle, to following at a distance. This reminds me of Psalm 1:1 when it speaks of how the godly will not walk in the counsel of the ungodly.

 

In following at a distance, I would imagine there were times when Peter stopped, and stood still, thinking, “I’m getting too close. I need to stop for a bit so they don’t see me.” This could be likened to standing in the path of sinners, from Psalm 1.

 

Next, we find in verse 69 that Peter is sitting outside in the courtyard. He has now made himself comfortable. This is similar to sitting in the seat of the scornful, from Psalm 1. He just keeps getting deeper and deeper in his distance from the Lord.
In that distance place, the disastrous result is that he denies the Lord three times. In verse 70, he simply denies him. His heart turns just a bit harder. In verse 72, he steps it up a bit by denying Jesus with an oath. His heart gets even harder. In verse 74, he not only denies Jesus, but he curses and swears.

 

This is how the deceitfulness of sin can snare us. First, we have just a bit of distance from the Lord. Perhaps we skip a few days of reading the bible and praying. Next, we think we are doing fine, so we skip a few more days of devotions, and even skip attending church. We don’t notice our heart’s coolness to the things of God. Before we know it, we begin to deny the Lord in our thoughts, words, and actions. It is a dangerous, and slippery, slope.

 

How much better to do like Psalm 1:2, meditating and delighting in the Word and in the Lord! The results are so much better! We will grow strong, like a tree, we will bring forth righteous fruit, and we will not wither. In other words, when under pressure, unlike Peter, we won’t wither and deny the Lord. We will be strong and stand firm!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Coming Soon…..

Coming January 1 — A Daily Study in Proverbs

Do You Need to Be Watered?

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Do You Need to be Watered?

I love it when I find new insights in the Word! When reading Isaiah 55, I tended to focus on verses 10-11 where it speaks of God’s Word not returning void. In doing so, I missed a critical point!

We see God’s Word described like the rain and snow, which bring water to the earth. The reason is so it may bud, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater. The result is that cypress trees and myrtle trees would grow instead of thorns and briers.

The critical part I missed is found in verses 12-13. When we allow God’s Word to ‘water’ us, it will get rid of the thorns and briers that have come into our lives. What happens is that His Word begins to transform us. Our speech, actions, and attitudes begin to change. People should see a difference in us when we take the time to study the Word of God.

The flip side is that when we fail to allow the Word to ‘water’ us, we become prickly, like thorns and briers. Our flesh wants to rule us, instead of our spirit. Our words may become bitter, harsh, negative, or unkind. Our actions may become sinful. Our attitudes may show worry, doubt, and fear.

I knew this concept because I had noticed it in my own life when I began to really dig into the Word. I saw that my words became softer, godlier, and even….less. Yes, really. I actually talked less because I started seeing the wisdom in being cautious in my speech. Ungodly words no longer flowed so easily from my lips. This was a big deal to me because cussing had previously had such a hold on me. I no longer had the desire to gossip because it left me feeling so dirty. I would notice immediately when my words would grieve the Holy Spirit. I didn’t like that feeling, so I quickly changed how I behaved. Doing so has led to going about my day with joy and peace. (Isaiah 55:12)

So while I had been seeing this concept lived out my own life, what a joy it was to see it actually revealed in scripture!

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Stolen Identity

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Stolen Identity

We live in a society where identity theft is commonplace. We frequently see commercials for companies whose aim it is to protect you from identity theft. There are a myriad of apps on our electronic gadgets, seeking to help us remain anonymous so no one can hack in and steal our identity.

In a spiritual sense, we can steal God’s identity. We do this when we use His Name like we know Him, but we don’t bother to hallow His Name on a daily basis. He is a jealous God and does not want us using His Name flippantly when we refuse to take the time to commune with Him, truly seeking to know Him.

There is something else that happens when we don’t seek to know Him intimately through His Word and prayer. We use His Name in vain. I used to think that cussing when using His Name was the only way to use it in vain. However, there is more to it than just that. Think of it like this – If I were to go to the White House and claim to be a personal friend of the President, they wouldn’t let me in. I may use his name, but it has no power because he won’t back me up since he has no idea who I am.

Sadly, I have seen prominent ministers use His Name in vain from the pulpit. They will be preaching, then suddenly yell out, “MY GOD!” What an inappropriate way to use His holy Name! It is one thing to yell something, “My God is a mighty God!” Or “My God is still a healing God!” The ‘minister’ is trying to make a strong point about something which angers him, and it is an inappropriate use of God’s Name in that context.

Lord, help us not to be guilty of ‘stealing’ Your identity or using Your holy Name in vain. Amen.

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Have You Lost That Loving Feeling?

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Have You Lost That Loving Feeling?

The beginning chapters of Revelation have seven letters to the churches of that day. The first one is to the church in Ephesus. Jesus had a strong word against them – they had lost their first love – Him!

 

You would think this church was a dead church in reading His warning to them to repent. However, if we take a closer look, we will find that it appeared to be a “happening” church. They were working for the Lord. They hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which was compromise. They couldn’t stand evil. This church hadn’t become weary in their works. In fact, they had persevered and had great patience. They even recognized false teachers. This implies they knew their bibles, because you cannot recognize false teachers unless you have a strong knowledge of the truth. BUT, they had lost their first love.

 

I have recently started researching many false teachers who are very popular because I want to teach a class on this very topic. I don’t want my brethren to fall prey to their deceptions. As I read this portion of scripture, it really stood out to me not to get so caught up in exposing the error of certain teachers that I lose my love for Jesus in the process.

 

We need to take inventory of our own lives. Have we gotten so busy doing the work of the Lord that we have forgotten the Lord of the work? Have we neglected those times of intimate fellowship through prayer and reading His Word? If so, just as Jesus admonished the church of Ephesus to repent, we also need to repent.

 

Have you lost that loving feeling, where Jesus is no longer your first love? He is waiting for you to reach out to Him. Don’t delay!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

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