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POPULAR THEOLOGY AND UNPOPULAR PROPHETS

1 Daily Devotional Monday

“Thus says the Lord, ‘Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls.’ But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ And I will set a watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen’” (Jeremiah 6:16-17).

Spoken some 2600 years ago to those who would be the people of God, the words of the prophet sound strangely contemporary. God’s people have a long history of being captured by the trendy and novel offerings of their given culture. Popular prophets preach a popular theology and will always draw a crowd. True prophets, like Jeremiah, and their truthful, unrelenting heralding of the narrow way are never popular until after-the-fact. Unfortunately, there are no after-the-fact opportunities when it comes to choosing the narrow path. Take it now!

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A LEGACY OF FAITH

7 Daily Devotional Sunday

“For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well” (2 Timothy 1:5).

Think of all those that have a vested interest in your life; that have played a role in bringing you to a place of faith in Christ and the shaping of your life. As we become to the life of others what these were to ours, a rich legacy of faith is perpetuated through the generations.

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A FOUNDATION TEST

6 Daily Devotional Saturday

“So I will tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation is laid bare; and when it falls, you will be consumed in its midst. And you will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 13:14).

Every life is built upon some kind of foundation that offers security and peace of mind to the individual. The wise person builds upon the Rock; the foolish person upon the sand. Today’s text offers the reminder that when life sometimes shakes us to our very foundation, it may well be that God is doing the shaking.

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UNHEALED BROKENNESS

5 Daily Devotional Friday

“They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14).

A false prophet will scratch the religious itch of the masses with words they want to hear; offering to them a false sense of security. In their messaging, no accountability is required, no repentance necessary, no call to conversion, no new birth accomplished and, thus, no salvation experienced. Coming down the aisle of a church, filling out a membership card, and being baptized are inadequate and un-atoning substitutes for a life committed to following Jesus. When someone has actually entered into that pursuit, the desire to join with God’s people and to be initiated into the life of faith through baptism cannot be restrained. However, until such actions are precipitated by an actual conversion, it’s just misleading religious pretense.

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A DISCERNING EAR

4 Daily Devotional Thursday

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves” (2 Peter 2:1).

A discerning ear recognizes the message of a false prophet not so much in what they say, but what they leave out. If not careful, you will find yourself nodding in agreement; even offering an amen because their message is pleasing, inviting, and accommodating to the cultural lifestyle desired by the masses. There will be, however, a clear absence of the narrow way that leads to life (Matthew 5:14).

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LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING

3 Daily Devotional Wednesday

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15).

For Western Christians, the greatest threat to one’s faith isn’t persecution but false prophets; the many competing personalities and voices that seek to draw us away from the narrow way, prescribed by Jesus, to the broad path that leads the masses to their ultimate destruction (13-14). A wolf in the wild is not a scary encounter; but a wolf in sheep’s clothing is a frightening scenario that requires a constant vigilance.

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THE HINGE OF ETERNAL LIFE

2 Daily Devotional Tuesday

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me. he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).

The life of faith is hinged not upon religious performance but, rather, the committed pursuit of following after Jesus. It is a life that looks different, acts different, and makes life choices differently than the masses. It’s not a religious spasm that reveals itself on Easter morn, or Sunday mornings when no other more “entertaining” alternatives present themselves. Biblical faith is a 24/7 preoccupation we are desiring to fill every corner of our existence. It has been said by men of ancient wisdom that “truth is one; error is many. As a result we should not be surprised that truth is so difficult to find.” I disagree. Truth is not hard to find; it’s difficult to accept. The discovery of absolute Truth, embodied in the person of Jesus Christ, transforms everything. If such is not the case, it’s because it has yet to be accepted.

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