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1 Peter 1:13 – Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  If you have ever tried to have a...

Godly women, wife, mother, friend series Are you a single woman, married woman, married with kids, single mom, working mom, grandma? What gives you identity and acceptance as a woman?  What gifts (serving, organizing, encouraging, teaching, etc.) do you have...

In one of the bravest moments in the Bible, three Hebrew slaves refuse to join three-hundred thousand people in bowing down to worship king Nebuchadnezzar instead of King Jesus. Angry, the counterfeit king had the men thrown a fiery furnace, likely the same smelting furnace that was used to melt down the gold for the idol they refused to worship.

Have you ever wondered why it seems like it’s easy to do the wrong thing and a hard-fought battle to do the right thing? Why is it easier to get drunk, act the fool, and sin sexually than have self-control, wisdom, and purity? According to the storyline of the Bible, there is a dark spiritual Enemy who actively works against what is godly and good. He and his minions are ever at work setting up the world around us to tempt the sinful flesh in us.

When faced with a decision whether to worship the true God or a counterfeit God, Daniel’s friends stood firm in worship of the true God. Even when it looked like the counterfeit God would win, the real God showed up in the middle of their trial and protected them. God can do the same for those today who put their trust and faith in Him despite the most desperate of circumstances.

Genesis 3:4-5 – But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. James 1:5-8 – If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Fear causes us to lose touch with reality. Like binoculars, fear becomes the lens through which we magnify and enlarge all the negative data we focus on in our lives. Eventually we start imagining things that aren’t real and let the fears drive us to a life of isolation and pointless worry. Fear causes us to seek to be God. The devil’s first temptation was for us to be like God. We become obsessed with information in an effort to be all-knowing like God and predict the future. We can also become obsessed with controlling the future to get the results we want and avoid the results we do not want rather than accepting God’s will for our lives. Fear robs us. Jesus spoke of the thief who comes only to steal and kill and destroy. Fear is a thief. Fear steals your joy, hope, and health. Fear kills your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Fear destroys your relationship with God, yourself, and others. Fear makes us double-minded and unstable. When God tells us to do something, we are to obey Him as an act of faith. However, when fear grips us, we are often torn between obeying the spirit of fear and obeying the Spirit of God. To order the new book from Pastor Mark & Grace Driscoll “Win Your War”, visit: https://amzn.to/2YuhoDn. For the entire eight-week “Win Your War” sermon series from Pastor Mark, visit www.markdriscoll.org or the Mark Driscoll Ministries app.

As we are winding down our study of Proverbs, it might interest you to know that most of the people reading these daily devotions read them on their way to work or at work. So, I thought some Proverbs for Christian workers would be fitting:  1. Be honest in your business dealings  Proverbs 11:1 – The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight. 2. Seek to do the best job you can  Proverbs 22:29 – Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men. 3. Maintain a good work ethic   Proverbs 12:24 – Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor. 4. Know the difference between negotiating and scheming Proverbs 20:13 – "It's no good, it's no good!" says the buyer; then off he goes and boasts about his purchase. 5. Honor those in authority over you  Proverbs 27:18 – He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who looks after his master will be honored. 6. Make results instead of excuses  Proverbs 22:13 – The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside!" or "I will be murdered in the streets!" 7. Don’t trade short term pleasure for long term pain Proverbs 20:17 – Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel. Which of these speaks most loudly to you? Why?

Proverbs 3:9 – Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all... The Bible has a lot to say to and about “the rich”. Living amidst the greatest era of wealth and highest standard of living in world history, we can overlook the fact that, when compared to others, historically and globally, we are the rich. Most everyone who reads this daily devotion owns a car, lives in a safe and comfortable home with electricity, has a fridge with food, and a pantry with more food. Perhaps no one who reads this has a bucket that they use to go fetch water from to bring to their home. When the Bible asks to honor the Lord with our wealth, that includes the money we make, possessions we have, and the combined total of all resources under our oversight. How we spend our money and use our possessions reveals our heart. Here are three perspectives on possessions: 1. “What’s mine is mine” is selfish. Selfish people hoard what they have, have a miserly mindset, and are not generous in their giving and sharing of what they have. 2. “What’s yours is mine” leads to stealing. This mentality leads to a sense of entitlement where you are owed something and therefore can steal it, demand it, or pressure someone else to provide it. 3. “What’s mine is His” results in stewarding. Stewardship begins by seeing God as the owner of all things, and yourself as the manager. The result is a contentment and thankfulness for God’s provision and a willingness to give and share what God has given you with God and others. Which of these best describes you? If married, which best describes your spouse?

Galatians 6:7-10 – Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. When I was a kid, I will never forget the day that one of our teachers taught us about compound interest. They showed how if we would, starting at a young age, regularly set aside some money and invest it wisely, that we’d be rich when we were older. The law of sowing and reaping is a bit like that. In Galatians 6:7-10, Paul explains that deception is a very real possibility that God’s people must continually guard against because deception results in the mocking of God. People who are deceived commonly fail to live according to the principle of sowing and reaping that God has woven into creation. One of the basic truths of botany is that if you sow/plant a seed (i.e. an apple seed), in time you will reap/harvest a crop that corresponds with the seed that was sown (i.e. apples and not pumpkins). For a Christian, there are only two seeds that they can sow, namely the sinful passions and desires of the flesh, and the righteous passions and desires of the Spirit. As they continually sow either of these seeds, deception may set in because they do not see any immediate benefit for sowing from the Spirit, or any immediate judgment for sowing from the flesh. But, eventually a harvest of either life or death comes from the seed sown. The deception that sowing from the flesh does not cause a harvest of sin and death is commonly seen in the lives of people who are astonished when they awaken one day to see that sin has blossomed throughout their life. This is because they were not attentive to the law of sowing and reaping. Examples would include the nagging wives who are astonished when their husbands file for divorce, married men who flirt with other women and seem shocked that they ended up in an adulterous affair, gluttons who are astonished when they their doctor gives them their annual physical, drunkards who are astonished when they are fired from their jobs, etc. Anyone who evaluates how they sow their time, money, energy, and words each day is confronted with the fact that they are sowing from a source (God or sin) and reaping a harvest (life or death). But this simple fact is often overlooked because of the power of deception, particularly self-deception. Conversely, those who sow from the Spirit reap a great harvest of eternal life that is both a state of life (life with the eternal God), and a duration of life (without end). Examples would include the people who regularly repent of their sins to God and those they have offended to discover that over time some sins in their life have died altogether, those who regularly learn Scripture to discover that as they need wisdom God brings His Word to their remembrance to guide them, and those who have lovingly served people in the church to discover that in their time of need many friends rally to help them. Where might there be deception in your life regarding sowing from the flesh instead of the Spirit?