God’s truth

The Anointing of Light

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” – 1 John 2:20 Yesterday, we learned that our anointing in Jesus is one of power and protection. For the next few days, I want to explore three additional aspects of authority that come through the covering of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The first one is light. Have you ever been engaged in a busy evening at home when the power suddenly goes out? It’s amazing how quickly a bustling pace can come to a halt in the absence of illumination. Left in the dark, we must scramble to find candles, flashlights, and other temporary sources of brightness to see us through. Though nothing replaces the intensity of a return to full power, each little flicker helps us find our way in otherwise black rooms and halls. And this is exactly how

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Deception

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8 While it’s not pleasant to think about, it’s important to remember that there is a kingdom of darkness surrounding us and that as Christians, we have an adversary named Satan who is serious about wreaking havoc in our lives. Though we often envision the forces of hell warring in acts of blatant evil, violence, or malice, the primary strategy of the devil is always deception. The enemy is an angel of light, and he is really good at slyly deceiving us so that we begin to fall away from abundant life. He knows that if he can get us to doubt the Lord’s love in any fashion, he gains a foothold, and we start to suffer. By convincing us ever-so-subtly that our best existence is

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The Words of Jesus

“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” – Matthew 4:4 Yesterday, we talked about solitude, the first of three habits we observe as we study the life of Jesus. Today, I want to introduce the second discipline we see our Savior exercising consistently, and that is Scripture memorization. Committing the Word of God to heart was a practice that was deeply embedded in Hebrew culture, and for good reason. Unlike today, when nearly everyone has a Bible in their possession, the scrolls were kept at the synagogue, so memorizing them was the primary way to carry them into daily life. Perhaps this is why every Jewish child was required to commit to their minds the Torah — or the first five books of the Old Testament — while they were still young. If they

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Forgiving Pharisees

“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.” – Luke 7:36 For the past couple of days, we’ve looked at two of the four groups of “untouchables” whom Jesus willingingly touched — lepers and Samaritans, and today, I want to look at the third — Pharisees. Interestingly, when we read the gospels, the religious leaders and teachers of the law often appear more villainous than the most violent criminals. Perhaps this is because they were constantly trying to trap the Lord. Yet despite their general hostility toward Him and His teaching, He wanted them to understand the truth, so He welcomed them to learn of His heart. He responded to their accusations with bold words, yet He went out of His way to let them know that He cared about them. For instance, He met

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Wealth in God’s Way

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” – Matthew 6:24 Yesterday, we discussed how God wants to prosper us. However, when I talk about this concept, it’s important to clarify what I mean when I use the word. Unfortunately, the idea of prosperity has been distorted and taken out of context by a number of teachers through the years and this has given rise to something called the “Prosperity Gospel,” which centers around worldly wealth. When I was attending Oral Roberts University, I listened to a guest speaker who had the entire audience put their hands up in the air, grab some imaginary riches, and say “Money Cometh!” Somehow, he claimed, if you spoke a fortune into existence, it would divinely find

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