Thought for Today – Religious Sin

Thought for Today

Religious Sin

“And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned:
for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord,
and thy words: because I feared the people,
and obeyed their voice
1 Samuel 15:24

The above scripture taken from the narrative of Saul’s life is one of a long and sad commentary on his reign in Israel. This event serves as a stern warning to us as to what the Lord considers obedience. Saul’s “partial obedience” is confronted by the Prophet Samuel concerning the Amalekites.

“And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord?”
1 Samuel 15:18-19

“But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal”
1 Samuel 15:21

Saul had partially fulfilled the Word of the Lord to him. He had destroyed the Amalekites, but he kept the king alive and allowed the people to keep the spoils of battle to “sacrifice” them to the Lord.

“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king”
1 Samuel 15:22-23

In God’s eyes partial obedience is sin and disobedience. Religious sin is when His ministers obey the voice of the people rather than God. It is one of the greatest of all sins for when those who are directly responsible for expressing God’s will and way in the earth corrupt their allegiance to Him, God’s name is blasphemed. Religious sin is always cloaked in the pretense of worshiping God, honoring God or serving God. Yet He who weighs the thoughts and intents of the heart sees it as disobedience and rebellion. The religious sin of appearing to serve the Lord (see the sin of Ananias and Sapphira Acts 5:1-11) is ever shrouded in deceit to appear spiritual to those around us. Things which should be destroyed or forsaken are instead offered up to God as a sacrifice.

Religious sin is found wherever and whenever men and women listen to the voice of the people rather than to God. When the appearance of a thing is more important than obedience, when that which the Lord has spoken is compromised with the desire to be pleasing in the sight of the people rather than in the sight of God, the result is rejection and sorrow.

“Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord,
he hath also rejected thee from being king”

Obedience is the highest and purest expression of true worship and sacrifice.

“For do I now persuade men, or God?
or do I seek to please men?
for if I yet pleased men,
I should not be the servant of Christ”
Galatians 1:10

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Victory in Jesus

Thought for Today

Victory in Jesus

“Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine,
and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof,
and slew him, and cut off his head therewith”
1 Samuel 17:51

God’s way of victory is to use the very things of the enemy to defeat and humiliate him. Throughout the history of mankind, we see the wisdom and stratagems of the prince of this world defeated by the higher wisdom of God. The greatest example was the seeming destruction of God’s own Son on the cross. The tactic of stirring up of the religious leaders to coerce Pilate into condemning the Son of God to death on the cross appeared to doom God’s purposes. The sealed tomb of Pilate’s arrogance and the stone of Satan’s apparent victory in His death were vanquished by the very means of that death. The power of the resurrection of Christ defeated His foes and put them to open shame.

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory”
1 Corinthians 2:8

In the continual unfolding of the wisdom of God we are to grow in our trust and submission to His ways. His Wisdom is higher than ours, His ways are past our feeble attempts to comprehend. His end for each of our lives is glorious and certain if we but hold fast to the faith that has been given to each of us.

“Cast not away therefore your confidence,
which hath great recompense of reward”
Hebrews 10:35

The Lord’s promises are anchored in nothing less than the shed blood of the Lamb and the resplendent power of God as revealed in His resurrection. It is this surety whereby the pilgrims of faith can be certain of their victory over the world, sin and Satan himself! Cast not away your confidence! Do not give a moment to thoughts of doubt and despair. This same Jesus is even now at work on our behalf with prayers and intercession to His end in each of us; the fullness of victory in Christ Jesus our Lord!

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen”
Jude 1:24-25

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – John Wesley

Quote for Today

“God would first, by this inspiration of His Spirit, have wrought in our hearts that holy love without which none can enter into glory”
– John Wesley

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love”
Ephesians 1:4

Quote for Today – Corrie Ten Boom

Quote for Today

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength
– Corrie Ten Boom

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life…”
– Matthew 6:25

Thought for Today – The Secret of Righteousness

Thought for Today

The Secret of Righteousness

“I was also upright before him,
and I kept myself from mine iniquity.”
Psalm 18:23

Faith is the divine enablement to walk with God. Righteousness is much more than a gift; it is the result of His Life ruling and reigning within the human heart. The more our life is compatible with His the greater the corresponding relationship with Him. The righteousness of which David here speaks is one of reliance upon God not his own personal strength. True righteousness is not a product of the strength and will of man. It is born of God and sustained by God to the point that we incline our hearts to His will and way. In this wonder of abiding in Him we find the power and the will to keep ourselves free from pride, sin and the world.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”
James 4:7

The secret of righteousness is to live in submission to God.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – The Secret of Relationship

Thought for Today

The Secret of Relationship

“And he that sent me is with me:
the Father hath not left me alone;
for I do always those things that please him.”
John 8:29

They who are sent of God are never alone. Though it be a lonely walk the upright in heart are never alone. The Secret Place of communion with God is ever found in the doing of those things which please the Father. The Son knows the heart and mind of the Father. It is in our yielding to Him and taking on His Yoke that we discover through relationship with the Son the wonder of pleasing the Father. This is a school which will take the disciple deeper than any teaching can convey. It will unfold the mysteries of God far beyond any inspired sermon and it will bring us into the joy of the Lord; His joy becomes ours! His joy is known by those who bring Him joy.

Only the Son knows the Father and it is in our knowing of Him we will know the Father.

“All things are delivered to me of my Father:
and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father;
and who the Father is, but the Son,
and he to whom the Son will reveal him”
Luke 10:22

Obedience is the means to union with Christ.

“Ye are my friends,
if ye do whatsoever I command you”
John 15:14

Union with Christ is the only path to knowing the Father.

“…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father”
John 14:9

Discipleship with Christ is the only way of pleasing the Father.

“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit;
so shall ye be my disciples”
John 15:8

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Quote for Today – Francis Chan

Quote for Today

“We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness”
– Francis Chan

“…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:13-14

Quote for Today – Martin Luther

Quote for Today

“Faith is a living and unshakable confidence. A belief in God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake”
– Martin Luther

“O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer”
– Psalm 31:23

Quote for Today – A.B. Simpson

Quote for Today

“And a certain man was there,
which had an infirmity thirty and eight years…
Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
And immediately the man was made whole”
John 5:5-9

 

“One touch of Christ is worth a life time of struggling”
– A.B. Simpson