Daily Devotional for Friday April 21, 2006

Applying God's Word to the Real World we Live In

(1 Corinthians 10:11; Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 2:2; Psalms 119:105)

We read the Bible, we hear our pastor preach from the Word of God, we study the Scriptures to know how to live and what God expects from us, yet every day we see things happening in the world around us and need to understand them in the context of God's Word. God's Word is applicable to everything that happens in life. As a Christian, it is imperative that we look at the events that happen in our world as well as in our life through the filter of the Bible. After all, the Bible is God's inspired, inerrant Word, representing Absolute Truth and our final authority in ALL matters.

In today's headlines, some of the top stories are the war in Iraq, oil over $70 a barrel and gas prices at $3 and rising, and the 2 Duke lacrosse players who have been charged with raping a stripper at a party. You may look at these simply as financial, energy, legal, political, and national security stories, but each one is also relevant from a Biblical standpoint. While we watch the events in our world unfold, we should always look at what is happening around us in the context of the Bible. Again, God's Word is our final authority in ALL matters.

The ongoing war in Iraq is about our national security, even though many do their best to politicize it. I have dealt in previous Devotionals on the Biblical case for war, and the Word of God clearly supports our nation's right to defend itself from those who would seek to destroy it. In the context of God's Word, we have brave men and women sacrificing their lives, even unto death, defending this nation by confronting head on those whose agenda is the destruction of the United States and the death of each one who lives here while bringing freedom and democracy to the oppressed people of Iraq.

We need to pray for President Bush, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and all of those in leadership who have to make the difficult decisions each day regarding the war in Iraq. We need to pray for our brave men and women who are serving our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as those serving throughout the world and here at home. We pray for their protection, for God to watch over them, and to bring them back to their family and loved ones quickly. We also pray for the families of our service men and women since they are making a great sacrifice as well. May God bring peace to Iraq and allow those who seek the destruction of our nation to be defeated.

Oil being at record highs and gas prices are over $3 a gallon, possibly on their way to $4 a gallon, is a financial and energy story. Where does the Bible fit into this one? It can come into play in many areas of this issue, but primarily it is about God's provision. God knows you need gas for your cars, and that energy prices have an impact on every area of the economy that ultimately is paid for by the consumer. It is in these times of financial pressure that we must rely on the Lord to provide for our needs.

We need to pray for those who are in control of the world's oil supply to recognize the responsibility they have to market their product at a fair price. We need to also pray for Got to give men and women wisdom from on High to develop new energy sources that will help meet the world's growing demand at reasonable prices. While we feel the pressure of rising gas prices here in the United States, in some countries those prices are 3-4x as high, and in other nations, there is simply not enough energy at any price to meet the needs of the people. May God help us all to be good stewards of the resources He has provided.

The sad story out of Durham, North Carolina involving the allegations that a stripper was raped by members of the Duke University lacrosse team is a legal and moral issue that also has the elements of race, politics, and economic status. From a legal standpoint, the DA has indicted two of the Duke players for the rape and kidnapping of this young woman. You have both sides putting our their version of what happened and eventually this case will go before a jury where the evidence will be presented, cross examined, and the truth of what happened or didn't happen that night will come out. Until that time, nobody can know for certain what really transpired on that fateful night.

What we do know, however, is that if all involved were following God's Word, this sad event that will scar their lives regardless the legal outcome would have never happened. First, there is absolutely no legitimate reason for a woman to ever sell her body for money. I deal every day with single moms who go to school, work, and make great sacrifices without prostituting themselves. Second, the mentality that it is okay for young men to hire a stripper to entertain them is straight from the pits of hell itself. Lusting after a woman you are not married to is called a sin in the Bible, and sin always costs. The argument that these are just college boys having some fun is as weak as the argument that it is OK for a women to strip to earn extra money.

On top of these clear moral issues, we also have the element of politics, race and economic status that are in play. The DA involved is up for re-election in a month, the accuser in this case is black while the young men are white, and you have the affluence of Duke University versus the lack of resources in the area surrounding the campus. Satan's tried and true tactics of personal gain and division are alive and well in this sad story. The Bible calls for men and women in public service to be above reproach. T he Bible says that ALL men are created in the image of God. The Bible tells us that God is no respecter of persons and we all have immeasurable worth to God regardless of the balance in our bank account.

Let's pray for this woman who has made these charges to find the Lord's strength through all of this, that God will help her to value herself enough to never go back to selling her body for money, and that He will open doors to provide for her and her children. Let's pray for these students who have been charged that they will seek the Lord through this ordeal and this will cause them to fully surrender there lives to Him. We need to pray that through the legal process the truth will be told and that those who have committed a crime will be punished for what they have done and those who are innocent will be exonerated. Let us also pray for the DA to put his service to the community above his personal goals, and for the Durham community to not allow satan to use this incident to cause any more division between those of different races and socio- economic backgrounds. Let God bring UNITY in a situation satan wants to use to bring division!

I love you and care about you so much.. I hope these examples help you see how the Word of God is not irrelevant to our lives each day, but very RELEVANT! The fact is, God's Word doesn't just apply to all of the events that happen in our world each day, it also applies to all the events that happen in YOUR LIFE each day! Everything that happens in your life can be looked at through the filter of God's Word. Everything that happens in your life each day MUST be looked at through the filter of God's Word!

That is my word for you today. You have got to start putting your life in the context of God's Word. You see, it is the Bible that is our guide through life. The Bible is the only Truth there is. That is why it is imperative to look at everything going on in your life each day through the lens of God's Word. It is His Word that guides us in the decisions that we have to make throughout our journey through this life. It is His Word that helps us to know the mind of God on any of the issues that we face. That is why it is co critical to be in the Word of God each day, reading and studying what God says so we know how respond and act no matter what life throws our way.

I will be praying for you today. Praying that God will open your heart today to hear this important word for your life. Start applying God's Word to the events you see unfolding each day throughout our world, and most important, start applying God's Word to the events you see each day in your very life.