Daily Devotional for Tuesday August 14, 2012
How Lost and Confused this World Really Is
(Proverbs 10:2; Isaiah 55:2; Jeremiah 12:13)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, My question is this, the church is against cremation and stresses that you should have a regular burial, casket etc. Is there any scripture in the Bible that states one should not be cremated?
ANSWER: ABSOLUTELY NOT! How people dispose of the dead is more a cultural issue. There is NOTHING in the Bible that says you must be buried. What the Bible DOES say, is that from dust you came, and to dust you will return. Burial is the slow process of that happening, cremation makes it happen quickly. Here is a link to a Devotional on that very issue: http://www.liveprayer.com/ddarchive3.cfm?id=1025
How lost and confused this world really is. A few years ago, the city manager of Largo, Florida (next to St. Petersburg), a $140,000 a year job that involves supervising 1,200 employees and a budget of $130 million, announced that he would be undergoing a sex-change operation and go from being Steve to Stephanie. Melissa Ethridge won the Oscar for the year's best song in a movie, and instead of thanking God, thanks her "wife." Outside of Tampa, Florida, the principal of a Junior High School was arrested by undercover officers for purchasing crack cocaine and having it delivered to his office at the school.
I can go to any city or town in this nation and on any given day pick up the local paper and find dozens of examples that only support how lost and confused this world really is. We are living in a day when the vast majority of the people live in rebellion to God and His Truth. What God calls wrong is now called right and glorified. Those who dare take a Biblical stand for Truth are labeled as "hateful," "intolerant," "narrow-minded," and other demeaning names to silence them.
The faithful have found it easier to simply keep quiet rather than endure the ridicule from the majority. Those who know the Lord have found it safer to simply stay where it is comfortable behind the 4 walls of the church rather than venture into the marketplace where they are met with great hostility and scorn. Those God has raised up in these last days to preach His Word have become satisfied simply preaching to the choir rather than bring the Gospel to the lost as Paul and so many after him have done.
Sadly, those few men and women of God who have ventured into the marketplace decided to compromise the Truth of God's Word in order to appeal to a lost world. Rather than calling themselves preachers of the Gospel they use worldly terms like "life coach." Rather than preaching against sin and calling people to holiness, they "tickle ears" with nothing more than a message any unsaved motivational speaker would deliver.
Then you have men like Peter Popoff, Robert Tilton, and Jim Bakker who shamed the name of Christ in the past with their scandals, greed, and excess, but are still out there doing the same thing. Popoff was caught wearing an earpiece so his crew could relate personal information about people in the audience that he would then act like God told him. He is back on television in the middle of the night, making tens of millions of dollars selling vials of "holy water."
Tilton is also back on TV with his "Success" infomercials asking people to make "vows" of $1,000 to insure they become millionaires. Bakker, who after his release from prison wrote a book titled, "I Was Wrong," admitting the prosperity message was theologically flawed, is now back on TV with his latest wife hawking products for doomsday, and recently has dusted off his old hard hat to raise funds for his latest Christian theme park near Branson, Mo.
Is it any wonder why the world is so lost and confused when those who possess the Truth are either too afraid to take God's Word to the marketplace and challenge the lies of satan like Elijah did on Mt. Carmel? Or those few who do go into the marketplace have so compromised, watered down, and perverted the Truth since they are not interested in building God's Kingdom, only their own!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I read about a man who runs a city, so lost in his sin that despite being married and having a child, chooses to spend his weekends in distant towns dressing up as a woman. This man who has allowed satan to utterly destroy his life by deciding to have surgery and become a woman, has now lost his job, most likely his marriage, and has done tremendous damage to his son's life and their relationship.
The world gives an Oscar to a woman who has chosen to live in rebellion to God in a homosexual relationship, yet unless she turns from her sin and accepts the Lord into her heart and life by faith will die and be cast into hell. God isn't going to be impressed by her Oscar! A Junior High School principal is so lost in his bondage to drugs that he brazenly has his crack supply delivered right to his office at the school!
I could go on and on but I don't need to. The examples are all around us every day of a world lost in its sin and in rebellion to God. We, the people of God who possess His Truth and know the love of Jesus Christ in our lives, MUST be the ones to go out and make a difference in this lost and crazy world. We can't do that sitting in our churches all the time. The church should be like boot camp, a place to go to be trained and prepared for battle.
You don't join the army and never leave boot camp! You go back for more training on a regular basis, but in the meantime you take what you have been taught and you go out and fight! Don't let satan intimidate you! He is like every other bully. Hit him in his mouth and he will run! We already know he loses and we win so what do we have to be afraid of? As I tell you often, the only way he can win is if we don't show up! Sin is rampant and this world is in spiritual free fall because the children of God aren't showing up!!!
I will pray for you today, Pray today that you will take the next 5 minutes and ask God what YOU can do to make an impact with your life. Everyone can take a few minutes each day and share with those God allows to cross your path what the Lord has done for you. You will be shocked at how open most people are. Those who aren't, you pray for them and move on. No salesman ever sold anything by keeping his mouth shut. As a matter of fact, the more people a salesman pitches, the more sales he ends up with. The reason most Believers never see any fruit in their lives is because they never even take the time to tell anyone about Jesus!!!
***AUGSUT FINANCIAL UPDATE: Thank You to everyone who prayed and those who were able to make the sacrifce to help Liveprayer during July and so far this month. We are just $10,000 short of covering our $25,000 shortfall from July. I am seeking the Lord today that everyone in the Liveprayer family who is able, will send the most generous gift they can today so that by this weekend we can cover our shortfall and begin working on the $40,000 we need for our August operations as we celebrate 13 yrs of Liveprayer.
Our shortfall is several weeks past due, and I am asking for 2 people who can make a special one-time gift of $5,000 to help me today. Each month for 155 months now, God has used the faithfulness of those in the Liveprayer family to help us cover what we need to operate for one more month. Each sacrificing what they are led and able to give to help us meet our needs. Please take a moment today and pray about what God is asking you to do to help me clear up our July shortfall. Thank you for your love, prayers, and sacrifice as we take HIS Truth into the marketplace and the hope and love of Jesus to the lost and hurting!!!
PLEASE PRAY ABOUT SOWING A SPECIAL GIFT TO LIVEPRAYER DURING OUR ANNIVERSARY MONTH. MANY HAVE BEEN BLESSED BY GOD'S WORK HERE, BUT HAVE NEVER GIVEN TO HELP US. ACTUALLY, LESS THAN 1/4 OF 1% OF THOSE WE REACH EVERY GIVE A DIME TO SUPPORT GOD'S WORK HERE. ALL WE HAVE DONE OVER THESE 13 YRS, IMPACTING LITERALLY TENS OF MILLIONS OF LIVES WORLDWIDE, HAS ONLY BEEN POSSIBLE BECAUSE FRIENDS LIKE YOU PRAYED AND MADE THE SACRIFICE TO HELP US BE HERE EACH DAY FOR THE HURTING AND LOST.
MOST EVERYONE CAN SEND SOMETHING. LET ME CHALLENGE YOU TO GIVE A GIFT OF $13, $130, $1300, OR FOR SOME, $13,000. THAT IS $1, $10, $100, OR $1,000 FOR EACH YEAR OF SERVICE. GOD WILL MULTIPLY YOUR GIFT EXPONENTIALLY IN THE LIVES AND SOULS OF THOSE WE REACH WITH HIS TRUTH AND THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!
TO GIVE A GIFT TO LIVEPRAYER, you can use your major credit card on our secure server at: www.liveprayer.com under the "Donation" link, you can give using your PayPal account using my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org,or you can mail your gift to: Liveprayer, 6660 46th Ave. North, St.Petersburg, FL 33709. All gifts to Liveprayer are 100% tax deductible.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE, YOUR PRAYERS, AND YOUR SACRIFCE. THESE 13 YEARS HAVE ONLY BEEN POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF YOU, AND I THANK GOD FOR YOU EACH DAY. KNOW YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE IN MY PRAYERS. WE PRESS ON TOWARDS THE PRIZE!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,