Archive for the ‘Devotional’ Category

Spiritual Darkness

By Hal Lindsey

A pall of darkness enshrouds our planet — spiritual darkness. It is not new. It has been here a long time. Even so, reminders of its presence and its depth can be startling. A good example can be seen in the reactions to Israel’s battle with Hamas.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega may not seem to be a particularly significant character on the world stage. The former Marxist is a long-time friend of the communists in Cuba, and was an ally of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. Ronald Reagan described him as a “little dictator.” Though Ortega no longer claims to be a communist, he still openly avows socialism. He’s significant because he represents the thinking of lots U.N. countries and their leaders.

Ortega said, “Prime Minister Netanyahu appears to be possessed by the devil. He needs Pope Francis to exorcize it, to become appeased.” He accused Netanyahu of trying to “annihilate the Palestinian people.” He compared the Israelis to Nazis and accused them of genocide.

There are almost 2 million people in the Gaza Strip. Even the most severe propagandist from Hamas claims less than 2 thousand Gazan deaths. We don’t know how many of the dead were intentionally set up by Hamas to be killed in order to give Hamas a boost in the propaganda battle. Even using their figures, 2,000 is one-tenth of 1 percent of 2 million. And these people are calling it genocide — the attempted annihilation of an entire race.

That’s darkness. And it is a darkness that has been long predicted to explode into a global crescendo in the years shortly before Jesus returns.

Penelope Cruz

A hundred luminaries from the film industry in Spain wrote an “open letter” to the European Union, calling on it to step in and stop Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” in Gaza. Among the letter’s signers were the actors, Penelope Cruz and her husband, Javier Bardem. Both of them have won Academy Awards.

The letter speaks of “the genocide perpetrated by the Israeli occupation army.”

In an op-ed piece, Bardem said, “In the horror happening in Gaza right now there is NO place for distance or neutrality. It’s a war of extermination… It’s hard to understand and impossible to justify. And it’s disgraceful that western countries are permitting such genocide.”

“Extermination”? “Genocide”? It’s an open secret that Israel has nuclear weapons. If they really wanted to exterminate the people of Gaza, they have the means. If they didn’t want to go that far, there are ways of using conventional bombs that are deadly efficient at wiping out populations. And if they were simply less careful during their bombing runs, they could easily have killed a hundred thousand people in an operation like this.

After receiving negative publicity for their remarks, Cruz and her husband decided to clarify their stance. Bardem said, “While I was critical of the Israeli military response, I have great respect for the people of Israel and deep compassion for their losses. I am now being labeled by some as anti-Semitic, as is my wife — which is the antithesis of who we are as human beings. We detest anti-Semitism as much as we detest the horrible and painful consequences of war. I was raised to be against any act of violence.”

It’s almost funny to see a man who has taken part in several brutally violent films proclaim himself to be a paragon of anti-violence — funny like seeing someone in a blindfold stumbling around. But not really funny because the stumbling isn’t the result of a blindfold, but blindness itself.

In her clarification, Cruz said, “I don’t want to be misunderstood on this important subject. I’m not an expert on the situation and I’m aware of the complexity of it. My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza. I am hopeful all parties can agree to a cease fire and there are no more innocent victims on either side of the border.”

Cruz admitted that she doesn’t know much about it, but still she accused the Israelis of genocide, and even after the outcry, felt no need to take it back. Neither her clarification nor her husband’s retracted or apologized for the damning accusation that Israel is trying to “exterminate the people of Gaza.” Neither of them seems to understand that wrongly accusing one side of genocide is hardly a peaceful, diplomatic way to solve the problem.

She said she wanted there to be, “No more innocent victims on either side of the border.” What about innocent Israelis being labeled as war criminals and mass murderers?

Spain has a long history of severe and violent anti-Semitism. That Cruz and Bardem could so casually make such horrible claims against the Jewish state seems to indicate that, despite their disclaimers, they are well infected with the disease.

Relativity Media CEO, Ryan Kavanaugh, said, “It makes my blood boil. As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, anyone calling it Israeli ‘genocide’ vs. protecting themselves are either the most ignorant people about the situation and shouldn’t be commenting, or are truly anti-Semitic.”

“You Can Taste the Toxins . . .”

The Obama Administration has seen fit to bomb thousands of people using remote control drones in faraway Afghanistan because it rightly believes that what goes on there threatens U.S. national security. Regrettably, many of those drone strikes took civilian lives. Yet this same Administration cannot grasp that Israel is fighting a next door neighbor that doesn’t just threaten them in abstract ways, but actually shoots missiles into their homeland.

Imagine how Americans would feel if they learned that Canada was planning an attack through a vast tunnel system that would kill more people than died on 9/11? That’s what Israel was facing from Hamas.

The Obama administration lashed out at Israel for a deadly attack near a U.N. school in Gaza that they called “horrifying” and “disgraceful.” Sickening as it is, such “collateral damage” has been unavoidable in Gaza, just as it has been in Afghanistan. That is the terrible nature of war. And reasonable people know it.

The United Nations just announced that they are forming a commission to investigate Israel for human rights violations and war crimes. The U.N. statement said they would investigate “all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law… in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014.”

It is a shroud of darkness that prevents even the United Nations from seeing the difference between war crimes and self-defense.

During the 2008 battle between Israel and Gaza, British author Howard Jacobson wrote that in his own country, “The air has been charred not with devastation but with hatred. And I don’t mean the hatred of the warring parties for each other. I mean the hatred of Israel expressed in our streets, on our campuses, in our newspapers, on our radios and televisions, and now in our theatres. . . . A discriminatory, over-and-above hatred, inexplicable in its hysteria and virulence . . . an unreasoning, deranged and as far as I can see irreversible revulsion that is poisoning everything we are supposed to believe in. . . . You can taste the toxins on your tongue.”

He was describing something that goes beyond differences of opinion. He was describing spiritual blindness.

What he saw six years ago has only grown worse, not only in Great Britain, but all over Europe. Bitter, unreasoning hatred of Jews has now reached a level not seen in the last seven decades.

Hitler Worship

Israel’s critics can’t seem to decide whether to compare Jews to an evil Hitler, or to call Hitler a hero for trying to exterminate Jews. Many have settled on the later. The twitterverse has been ablaze with hashtags like, “Hitler was right.” That one is often accompanied by a false quote from Hitler — “I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was killing them.”

Here are some other popular tweets spreading around the globe: “Hitler did a sterling job #gas chambers needed” . . . “I wish Hitler was alive and his gas chambers were still in use” . . . “I regret Hitler didn’t clean sweep, poor Palestinians have to do it now” . . . “Hitler did right to kill these cockroaches” . . . “Jews are pigs. I think we should kill you Jews and kill your kids and let you know what the Palestinians are feeling” . . . “Let me salute Hitler the Great.”

The last time Planet Earth saw this level of anti-Semitism was in the years leading up to World War II. But when the world watched Germany take Jew-hatred to its logical conclusion, there followed a time of shame and repentance. In Europe and the United States, the flame of anti-Semitism largely died down.

But the embers continued to smolder.

In recent years, Europe’s media has been laying tinder on the embers, and then blowing on it with the great billows of hot air only media can produce. They got the fire going again, started burning sticks, then logs, and now they’ve pulled out the gasoline.

It’s so bad that, where a couple of years ago there was once only a trickle of Jews leaving Europe for Israel, it has now become a flood. Jews are leaving Europe because they’re afraid. They and their children are being harassed on the streets. They look out their synagogue windows and see gathering crowds of angry protestors. And then the protestors begin to chant, “Death to Jews!”

Their grandparents told them about this. The Jews have seen it many times before. The holocaust lives in their collective memory. In previous generations, they might have tried to come to America. Not anymore. The land of their forefathers beckons them. They and the land are tied together at the heart, and they know it. If they must leave their homes, businesses, friends, and extended families, then it ought to be to go home — to go where their citizenship is written into the very earth beneath their feet.

“To You and to Your Descendants Forever”

In 2006, Yale researchers, Edward Kaplan and Charles Small, did a study of anti-Israel feelings and how they relate to feelings of anti-Semitism. They concluded, “Even after controlling for numerous potentially confounding factors, we find that anti-Israel sentiment consistently predicts the probability that an individual is anti-Semitic, with the likelihood of measured anti-Semitism increasing with the extent of anti-Israel sentiment observed.”

That’s not to say that criticism of specific Israeli policies makes you anti-Semitic. I have publicly criticized some of Israel’s actions and policies through the years. No one is more aware than the people of Israel that their government has made an abundance of errors. The Kaplan-Small study was not talking about specific policies, but strong, general feelings of anger at the nation of Israel.

Right now that anger is sweeping across Europe. In fact, if you see a public protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza, it will probably be in Europe or the United States — and not in an Arab country. The anti-Israel rage of this century is rooted in the anti-Semitic rage that once made Europe a fertile ground for the Holocaust.

Unreasoning fear of and hatred for Jews is a result of spiritual darkness.

Jews are not better than the rest of us. Just like everyone else, their eternal destinies depend on whether they accept God’s salvation through their Messiah Jesus. Through the centuries, most Jews have rejected Jesus, and some Christians have used that as an excuse for hate. But Jews are not alone in rejecting the Lord. Lots of people-groups mostly decline His offer of salvation. So why single out Jews?

The hatred has a spiritual cause. More than anything else, Satan wants to stir people up to destroy what God says cannot be destroyed. The Children of Israel are in an eternal, unconditional covenant with the living God

Genesis 13 God gives a Covenant by His sworn oath, promising the land to Abraham and his descendants forever, “And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, ‘Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.’” [Genesis 13:13-14 NASB] God restates that promise and expands on it many times, making it clear that the land and the promise belong to Abraham’s son Isaac, Isaac’s son Jacob, and Jacob’s children forever. No one else in the history of the world has such a title deed that specifies the exact borders of a property forever.

All the predicted signs of the prophets about the coming of the end times of this age are here. Be sure that you have received the gift of pardon purchased for you by Jesus the Messiah when He died for you on the cross. There is no more important decision in this life than to confess that you are a sinner and ask Jesus to come into your life with His pardon. Do it now while there is still time.

I refuse to be discouraged,
To be sad, or to cry;
I refuse to be downhearted,
And here’s the reason why…

I have a God who’s mighty,
Who’s sovereign and supreme;
I have a God who loves me,
And I am on His team.

He is all-wise and powerful,
Jesus is His name;
Though everything is changeable,
My God remains the same,

My God knows all that’s happening;
Beginning to the end,
His presence is my comfort,
He is my dearest friend.

When sickness comes to weaken me,
To bring my head down low,
I call upon my mighty God;
Into His arms I go.

When circumstances threaten
To rob me from my peace;
He draws me close unto His breast,
Where all my strivings cease.

And when my heart melts within me,
And weakness takes control;
He gathers me into His arms,
He soothes my heart and soul.

The great “I AM” is with me,
My life is in His hand,
The “Son of God” is my hope,
It’s in His strength I stand.

I refuse to be defeated,
My eyes are on my God
He has promised to be with me,
As through this life I trod.

I’m looking past all my circumstances,
To Heaven’s throne above;
My prayers have reached the heart of God,
I’m resting in His love.

I give God thanks in everything,
My eyes are on His face;
The battle’s His, the victory’s mine;
He’ll help me win the race.

Written By BJ George, But “Inspired By Our Lord Jesus Christ”
Copyright@ BJ George

Your Loved Ones

Posted: September 6, 2013 in Devotional
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Your loved ones are very safe in My Keeping. Learning and loving and working, theirs is a life of happiness and progress. They live to serve, and serve they truly do. They serve Me and those they love. Ceaselessly they serve.

But their ministrations, so many, so diverse, you see no more than those in my time on earth in human form could have seen the angels who ministered unto Me in the wilderness.

How often mortals rush to earthly friends who can serve them in so limited a way, when the friends who are freed from the limitations of humanity can serve them so much better, understand them better, protect better, plan better, and even plead better their cause with Me.

You do well to remember your friends in the Unseen. Companying with them the more you live in this Unseen World the gentler will be your passing when it comes. Earth’s troubles and difficulties will seem, even now, less overwhelming as you look, not at the things that are seen but at the real, the Eternal Life.

“And this is Life Eternal that we may know Thee, the Only True God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.”

Learning to know Me draws that Kingdom very near, and in Me, and through Knowledge of Me, the dear ones there become very near and dear.

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:31

– from the God Calling devotional

Our Lord, we know that Thou art great and able to deliver us.
I am your deliverer. Trust in Me absolutely. Know that I will do the very best for you. Be ready and willing for My Will to be done.

Know that with Me all things are possible. Cling joyfully to that truth.

Say many times, “All things are possible with My Master, My Lord, My Friend.”

This truth, accepted and firmly believed in, is the ladder up which a soul can climb from the lowest of pits to the sublimest of heights.

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. Daniel 3:17

– taken from the God Calling devotional

See not the small trials and vexations of each hour of the day. See the one purpose and plan to which all are leading. If in climbing a mountain you keep your eyes on each stony or difficult place, as you ascend, seeing only that, how weary and profitless your climb!

But if you think of each step as leading to the summit of achievement, from which glories and beauties will open out before you, then your climb will be so different.

The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. Habakkuk 3:19

– from the God Calling devotional

Oh Jesus, guide our footsteps lest we stray.

For straying, My children, there is no cure except to keep so close to Me that nothing, no interest, no temptation, no other — can come between us.

Sure of that you can but stay at My Side, knowing that, as I am the very Way itself, nothing can prevent your being in the Way, nothing can cause you to stray.

I have promised Peace but not leisure, heartrest and comfort, but not pleasure. I have said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation”; so do not feel, when adverse things happen, that you have failed or are not being guided, but I have said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

So learn of Me the overcoming Power of one who, though spat upon, scourged, misunderstood, forsaken, crucified, could yet see His Work had not been affected by these things, and cry triumphantly from His Cross, “It is finished.”

Not the pain, the mocking, the agony, but His Task.

Let this thought comfort you. Amid failure, discord, contumely, suffering, even now may friends and angels be prepared to sound the chorus, “It is finished.”

And he went a little father, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. Matthew 26:39

– from the God Calling devotional

Rely on Me alone. Ask no other help. Pay all out in the Spirit of trust that more will come to meet your supply.

Empty your vessels quickly to ensure a Divine Supply.

So much retained by you, so much the less will be gained from Me. It is a Law of Divine Supply.

To hold back, to retain, implies a fear of the future, a want of trust in Me.

When you ask Me to save you from the sea of poverty and difficulty you must trust wholly to Me. If you do not, and your prayer and faith are genuine, then I must first answer your prayer for help as a rescuer does that of a drowning man who is struggling to save himself.

He renders him still more helpless and powerless until he is wholly at the will and mercy of the rescuer. So understand My leading. Trust wholly. Trust completely.

Empty your vessel. I will fill it. You ask both of you to understand Divine Supply. It is a most difficult lesson for My children to learn. So dependent have they become on material supply they fail to understand. You must live as I tell you.

Depend on Me.

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

– from the God Calling devotional

Carry out My Commands and leave the result to Me. Do this as obediently and faithfully as you would expect a child to follow out a given rule in the working of a sum, with no question but that, if the working out is done according to commands, the result will be right.

Remember that the commands I have given you have been already worked out by Me in the Spirit World to produce in your case, and in your circumstances, the required result. So follow My rules faithfully.

Realize that herein lies the perfection of Divine Guidance. To follow a rule, laid down, even by earth’s wisest, might lead to disaster.

The knowledge of your individual life and character, capability, circumstances, and temptations must be, to some extent, lacking, but to follow My direct Guidance means to carry out instructions given with a full knowledge of you and the required result.

Each individual was meant to walk with Me in this way, to act under Divine control, strengthened by Divine Power.

Have I not taught you to love simplicity? No matter what the world may think, earth’s aims and intrigues are not for you. Oh! My children, learn of Me. Simplicity brings rest. True rest and Power.

To the world foolishness, maybe, but to Me a foretaste of Divinity. Never be led by the world’s standard. My Standard only is for you.

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3

– taken from the God Calling devotional

Our Lord, with hearts full of joy we thank Thee for Thy marvelous blessings showered on us today and every day.
I am beside you. Follow in all things My Guiding. Marvels beyond all your imaginings are unfolding. I am your Guide. Joy in that thought. Your Guide and your Friend.

Remember that to Me a miracle is only a natural happening. To My disciples, to My chosen, a miracle is only a natural happening. But it is a natural happening operative through spiritual forces, and therefore the man who works and understands through the senses only, regards it as something contrary to Nature.

Remember too that the natural man is at enmity with God. Realize fully, and pray to realize more and more fully, that there is no wonder too marvelous to be with you an everyday happening, if you are guided and strengthened by Me.

My children, the children of My Kingdom are a peculiar people, set apart, different hopes, and aspirations, and motives, and sense of reward.

You see a marvelous happening (as that today), happening so easily, so simply, so free from all other agency, and you wonder.

My children, listen, this has not happened easily and simply. It has been achieved by hours, days, months of weariness and heartache battled against and overcome, by a steadfast, unflinching desire to conquer self, and to do My Will and live My teachings.

The frets and the worries and the scorn patiently borne mean spiritual Power acquired, operating marvelously.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1

-from the God Calling devotional

Never doubt. Have no fear. Watch the faintest tremor of fear, and stop all work, everything, and rest before Me until you are joyful and strong again.

Deal in the same way with all tired feelings. I was weary too, when on earth, and I separated Myself from My Disciples, and sat and rested on the well. Rested — and then it was that the Samaritan woman was helped.

Times of withdrawal for rest always precede fresh miracle-working. Learn of Me. To accept the limitations of human flesh is to be subject, except as far as sin is concerned, to the same conditions as man.

I had to teach renewal of Spirit-force, rest of body, to My Disciples. Then, as your Example, I lay with My Head on a pillow, asleep in the boat. It was not, as they thought, indifference. They cried, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” and I had to teach them that ceaseless activity was no part of My Father’s plan.

When Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, ” he did not mean that he was to do all things and then rely on Me to find strength. He meant that for all I told him to de he could rely on My supplying the strength.

My Work in the world has been hindered by work, work, work. Many a tireless nervous body has driven a spirit. The Spirit should be the master always, and just simply and naturally use the body as need should arise. Rest in Me.

Do not seek to work for Me. Never make opportunities. Live with Me and for Me. I do the work and I make the opportunities.

“I can of mine own self do nothing.” John 5:30

*This devotional was taken from the book “God Calling” for April 26th.