Daily Devotional for Monday May 25, 2020
(Deuteronomy Chapter 20)
***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Lord, USE ME in these perilous, last days, as a messenger of Your hope in Jesus. Father, make me aware of the people You have put in my life each day, many who will die and burn in hell for all eternity for rejecting Christ, and use me as a vessel of Your love and hope. I Thank You for sending Jesus to die for my sins that I might know the free gift of everlasting life, and I ask today that You help me to lead others to that wonderful eternal relationship with Christ. For it is in HIS name I pray...AMEN!
***THE DAILY LIVEPRAYER TV NUGGET: Todd Tilghman is a pastor from Mississippi and he just won the most recent season of THE VOICE. THE VOICE is FOX network program that is similar to American Idol. It gives a platform to singers who are extremely gifted, but haven’t been able to translate that gift into a professional career. In the final round, Pastor Tilghman sang the well-known Mercy Me hit from 1999, “I Can Only Imagine” that has recently been turned into a docudrama. Other than for the personal accomplishment, why does this matter? First, credit to Pastor Tilghman for putting stepping up and competing. Second, credit the production team of THE VOICE for allowing him a fair shot and not censoring his choice of songs, especially in the finale. For the record, over the years American Idol often made the artist change the lyrics of Christian songs so people would not be offended by them. Third, credit the judges for not being biased against the pastor and penalizing him for his faith, judging him simply on the merit of his artistic efforts. Sadly, since we as Christians self-censored ourselves OUT of the secular marketplace for the love, adulation, safety...AND MONEY of the Christian subculture we created in the 80s, with each passing year it is more difficult to get our message to the lost and hurting masses in the marketplace. Of course, reaching the lost masses in the marketplace has been the focus of our work here Liveprayer over the past 21 yrs. So on those rare occasions when our faith is given a national spotlight on a secular platform like THE VOICE, they are moments to be celebrated. GREAT JOB BEING FAITHFUL PASTOR TILGHMAN...AND TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY!!!
*Don’t miss the Liveprayer TV program, airing “LIVE” every Monday thru Friday from 11pm EDT to Midnight! For details on viewing options for the Liveprayer TV program, “LIVE” or “On Demand,” go to: https://liveprayer.com/liveprayer-show-about.cfm
ON MEMORIAL DAY, I WANT TO DEDICATE THIS DEVOTIONAL TO ALL OF THOSE WHO HAVE BRAVELY AND HONORABLY SERVED OUR NATION. TO THOSE WHO MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE, OUR NATION THANKS YOU! TO THOSE WHO SERVED AND ARE STILL ALIVE, NEVER DOUBT HOW SIGNIFICANT GOD USED YOUR LIFE IN HIS PLAN AND PURPOSE. TO THOSE WHO ARE SERVING OUR NATION IN THE ARMED FORCES, ALLOWING US TO ENJOY THE FREEDOMS WE OFTEN TAKE FOR GRANTED. THANK YOU! YOU ARE REAL-LIFE HEROES AND WE PRAY FOR GOD'S RICHEST BLESSINGS ON YOUR LIFE! LIVEPRAYER EXISTS ONLY BECAUSE OF THE SACRIFICES OF THOSE WHO HAVE DEFENDED OUR NATION FROM DAY ONE!
The Biblical case for war. As we have been engaged in war against those who would love to destroy our nation, the debate continues as to whether war is a proper response. The proponents of "peace without war" use the Bible as their key defense of their position, even though many in the "peace without war" movement are avowed atheists and find the Bible to be little more than a book of stories. Interestingly, these same people run to God's Word to defend their views.
However, many Christians also adopt this view of "peace without war". I realize that this is a very divisive issue, and my goal is never to divide, but unite the Body of Christ. However, I cannot shy away from the tough issues, and ultimately we all must find peace on each issue, not in our own thoughts and ideas, but from the Word of God. That MUST be our final authority in ALL matters. Please pray as you read these words today.
To properly discuss war from a Biblical perspective, we have to understand the theological context from which war exists. God created man in perfection. Man was perfect, never to die. The creation God made for man to exist in was perfect. However, man's sin changed all of that. We have to understand that war is a byproduct of man's sin. God did not create war. God does not approve of war. God even prevented David, a man after His own heart, not to finish the Temple because he was a man of war.
War stems from man's sin and became part of the human condition from the very beginning. Because of man's sin, because of the sin that is in every part of our world, until God brings this world as we know it to an end, war will ALWAYS be part of the human experience. THERE WILL BE NO PEACE UNTIL THE PRINCE OF PEACE HIMSELF RETURNS!!!!
We are then faced with this situation. War is a result of man's sinfulness. It will be part of this world until Christ returns and God brings this world as we know it to a conclusion. The question becomes, what is the proper response of a Christian to war. We all know that one of the 10 Commandments is "thou shalt not murder". War involves killing. On the surface, the issue seems to be pretty simple. As Christians, we should not be involved in war since it involves killing. However, God Himself, ordered His children to war and specifically ordered them to kill on many occasions. This seems to be a gross contradiction. No matter what anyone leads you to believe, the Bible does NOT contradict itself...EVER!!
The 10 Commandments were given to people, to individuals. In every case where God ordered His people to war, it was against an enemy who had no desire for peace, had no desire to settle their disputes amicably, and actually had the goal of destroying God's people from the face of the earth. War became a defensive measure against the destruction of God's people. There are many examples I can use, but does anyone think Adolph Hitler would have been stopped had it not been for the military effort that defeated his armies?
When studying the Bible, context is critical. When studying the Bible, taking the whole counsel of God into consideration is vital to properly understand it. That is why I share often that you have to read the entire book so you get a feel, an understanding for the nature of God. There is no doubt God is a God of peace. Peace was the perfection into which we were created. However, God is also a God of judgment, and often, God uses His people as instruments of His judgment.
We can never know completely the mind of God, or fully comprehend His plans, but it is clear in reading the Bible God often used His people in acts of war to preserve them from destruction. He also used His people to exercise judgment on those who were the enemies of God, and further His plan that all who would believe might know the gift of everlasting life through their faith in Him.
That brings us to today and our current situation. As Christians, how should we respond to the fact our nation is involved in war, which includes the killing of innocent men, women, and children. This of course, is the key argument of those who say we should not be involved in war, since innocent people will die. It is impossible to understand this issue without accepting God and His plan. It is impossible without accepting the Bible as God's inspired, inerrant Word. You must realize that life is everlasting.
This time here on this earth is but for a brief few years. In light of eternity, whether we live 1 day, 1 year, 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, or 100 years, really makes little difference. Our purpose is NOT to see how long we can live, but find our faith in Christ and fulfill our God-given purpose to serve and glorify Him with whatever time we do have.
The fact is, we all will die. Some through natural causes in old age. Some by disease. Some by accidents. Some through war. Regardless of how, we ALL will die one day. Which is why I try to remind you often, tomorrow is promised to nobody. We must treat each day like the gift from God it is. That is why the Bible says "today is the day of salvation". You may not have the chance to repent and come to know Christ tomorrow.
The fact is, people in this world die each day because of wars between nations and people who disagree with each other on a wide array of issues. That is why we must all do our part each day to share the love and hope we have in Christ so that people worldwide have the opportunity to accept Him by faith so their eternal home with God is insured.
My personal belief through the study of the Scriptures is that God hates war, but allows it much like He allows other evils born out of the sin in our world. Romans 8:28 tells us that "..in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose." Does God enjoy the evils that exist in this world due to sin? NO!!! Never forget that God is ALWAYS on His throne and always in control. Nothing happens that God does not allow. He can take the evil of man, and use it to fulfill His plan and purpose.
Also, don't forget that while we look at events in relation to time, God is not bound by time and the events of this world are but a blip in eternity to Him. One day, very soon, God will step in and bring to a conclusion this world as we know it. In the meantime, because of sin, there will always be evil and the byproducts of evil. However, God will always use events, even horrible events to further His plan and purpose for man to know Him by faith.
***We as a nation have every right, and even responsibility to defend ourselves from those who would destroy us. Much like the children of Israel had a right and responsibility to defend themselves from those nations that would try to destroy them, there are evil forces in this world who would love to see the United States cease to exist. Thankfully, our forefathers understood this and defended our country to their death so that we could enjoy the great freedom and liberty we enjoy today. It is now our turn to defend this nation from its enemies to insure that our children have the same freedoms should the Lord tarry in His return.
God has used our nation in a great way in the fulfillment of His plans and purpose. Should we continue to honor Him, and glorify Him as a nation, I have no doubt that we will continue to be part of His plan. That is why I am sure God will be with this nation in wars against any enemy, since we are simply defending ourselves from people in the world who would see us destroyed. *People who have no desire for peace!
I love you and care about you very much. I realize out of the over 2.5 million who get this Devotional worldwide, many will disagree with what I have said today. All I can do is implore you to dig into the Scriptures. Read throughout the Old Testament those passages that involve wars. Be careful in many of the passages both in the Old and New Testaments, to insure the context of the passage is referring to individuals or to nations. There are many places God is speaking directly to nations, and others, where He is clearly speaking to individuals. I know that there will continue to be division on this issue.
The fact is, no matter how you feel, war is with us until God decides to bring things to an end. There will be no real peace, until the Prince of Peace returns. As a nation, we must defend ourselves from those who would destroy us. But in so doing, we must insure that we remain a nation that honors and serves the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As individuals, we must get serious not only about cleaning up our own lives, but doing so in order God can use us to minister to the lost and hurting. I believe deep down time is very short. We must take advantage of whatever time is left to be about our Father's business.
May God continue to richly bless the United States, and all the nations of the world that honor Him. May God bless and instill wisdom in our leaders. May God bless and protect the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to serve our nation in the military. Lastly, may God pour out His love to those who have turned their hearts against Him, that they may know His love and by faith receive the gift of everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,