“What does it mean to test the spirits?” 7/25/2016 Posted by www.gotquestions.org

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

 Posted by www.gotquestions.org

Original post @   http://www.gotquestions.org/QOTW.htm

Question: “What does it mean to test the spirits?”

Answer: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

In this verse believers are commanded to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” This same command is echoed in other parts of Scripture as well. For example, in 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 we find Paul exhorting the Christians to not “despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.”

These two passages are just a few of the many that warn Christians to test the message that people or spirits proclaim. This is true in all situations but most importantly when a person or spirit is claiming to speak for God. Christians are to be discerning hearers and readers of all messages. The reason for the admonition to “test the spirits” or “test all things” is that there are “many false prophets” or “wolves in sheep’s clothing” that try to lead Christians astray. Sadly, there are many people who claim to speak for God who are presenting a false gospel that is powerless to save. Such errant teaching leaves people with a false hope of salvation and, in a way, inoculates them from the true message. People who are deceived into thinking everything is fine will be more resistant to the truth.

Second Corinthians 11:13-15 warns us that “such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” So the reason for testing the spirits, for testing all religious teaching, is to see if it is truly from God or if it is a lie from Satan and his servants.

The test is to compare what is being taught with the clear teaching of the Bible. The Bible alone is the Word of God; it alone is inspired and inerrant. Therefore, the way to test the spirits is to see if what is being taught is in line with the clear teaching of Scripture. In Acts 17:10-11 the Berean Jews were commended because, after they heard the teachings of Paul and Silas, they “examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” The Bereans were called “noble” for doing so.

Testing the spirits means that one must know how to “examine the Scriptures.” Rather than accept every teaching, discerning Christians diligently study the Scriptures. Then they know what the Bible says and therefore can “test all things and hold fast to what is true.” In order to do this, a Christian must “be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The Word of God is to be “a lamp” and “a light” to our path (Psalm 119:105). We must let its light shine on the teachings and doctrines of the day; the Bible alone is the standard by which all truth must be judged.

Recommended Resource: How to Study the Bible, Revised Edition by John MacArthur

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Are Allah and the God of Christianity the Same? Nabeel Qureshi Answers

Excellent answer to this question of One God for both Christianity, and the Islamic faith !!

Blessings in Christ,  bruce


Looks like Nabeel Qureshi is coming out with a new book related to the topic of this video that responds to the question, “Are Allah and the God of Christianity the Same?”

Source: Are Allah and the God of Christianity the Same? Nabeel Qureshi Answers

Posted in Daily Devotion | Leave a comment


“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Published by Jeffery Poor  @

Original post @  https://rethinknow.org/2016/07/18/what-does-the-bible-really-say-about-smoking-drinking-and-getting-tattoos/



There are many hot-button topics that Christians like to debate their freedom in today. Smoking, drinking, and getting tattoos seem to be near the top of that list. Many people have dug their trenches and are planted firmly in their camp. But what does scripture say about these topics? What if there is a better question to ask than are these things acceptable?


Scripture Talking Specifically About Tobacco: None

I have heard many Christians quote 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 to say why you should not smoke (or drink or get tattoos). The verse says Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

But there’s a couple problems with this argument. First, there’s a massive inconsistency in this argument. We like to argue that smoking is damaging God’s temple, therefore it’s a sin and we need to stop. But what about sugar? If this argument is true shouldn’t we cut that out? How about driving, fast food, dangerous hobbies, and whatever the last cancer causing thing is? Our lives are full of things that are killing us; in fact one day we will all die.

The second problem is the context of this verse. There is a huge danger in looking at one verse and applying it to our lives before we look at what the surrounding context says. In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul is talking about sexual immorality. He is telling us to honor God with our sexual choices. Not our diet, whether we smoke, or put tattoos on our body. It’s about honoring God with our sexuality. The argument with this verse is invalid because it’s not even close to what the verse is actually pointing to.

So is it okay for a Christain to smoke? Well there is nothing in the Bible that points one way or the other. Is it a sin? No. Let’s not add rules that God did not put in the Bible.


Scripture Talking Specifically About Drinking: Ephesians 5:18, Proverbs 20:1, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Corinthians 6:10, 1 Timothy 5:23, Proverbs 23:20-21, Romans 14:21, Isaiah 5:22,Leviticus 10:9, Ecclesiastes 9:7, 1 Timothy 3:8

The above list is far from exhaustive, but it shows a good variety of the various things scripture says about drinking. If we were to sit down and read every verses that talks specifically about alcohol you would find that scripture dances around the issue never giving a straight answer.

Let’s look at a few examples. 1 Timothy 3:8 says, Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. Paul here is giving instructions to Timothy on how to choose leaders in the church. And he says that they should not drink “too much wine.” He doesn’t say they cannot drink wine, just not too much.

In Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit. Here Paul seems to be condemning the drinking of wine. And instead of drinking to focus on God.

Now at first glance you might think that the Bible is saying contradictory things about drinking. However, I think the better way to think of it is to see the Bible as pointing us to do the wise thing in every circumstance.

So is it okay for Christians to drink? Yes, when you read the verses about drinking in context it doesn’t say that we cannot drink. However, I think there is a warning for those that drink too much too often. There’s no verse that says Thou shalt not have more than 3 drinks a day. We’ve probably all heard Christians say drinking is a sin. But Biblically that claim cannot be backed up. And we ought to be very careful to not add rules to the Christian life that God did not put there.


Scripture Talking Specifically About Tattoos: Leviticus 19:28, Isaiah 49:16, Revelation 19:16

Again this is a gray area in scripture with only one verse pointing directly to tattoos and a few others that indirectly talk about tattoos. Some will again point to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 claiming that tattooing is damaging our body which is God’s temple. But the same problems with this argument come up that came up in the smoking section. We don’t apply this to our lives anywhere else, and it’s ripped out of context.

In order to fully understand what the Bible says, let’s look at the one verse that stands against tattoos: You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:28

The tattoos that are being spoken of in this verse were part of a pagan ritual. Not like the tattoos we get today. I have several tattoos, with plans for more, and all of them point to something with my relationship with God. They remind me of something good, not pointing to something bad. To take this verse and apply it to say it’s a sin to get a tattoo you would have to rip it out of context. It’s just doesn’t mean that.

So is it okay for Christians to get tattoos? Yes. Scripturally I can see nothing, that is in context, that points us to steer away from getting inked up.


I think the above questions are ultimately the wrong questions to ask. Often we like to figure out how close we can get to sin without sinning. But that’s the wrong way of viewing our life choices.

Here’s two better questions to ask:


I hate this question because it challenges me. When you are trying to decide if you should or shouldn’t do something ask yourself this: In this circumstance what is the wisest step for me to take? I think that is a much better question to ask. Life isn’t all black and white, right and wrong; there’s a lot of gray. This question will help you discern and navigate that gray.


In my time in leadership I have learned that I may have the freedom to do something, but if I do it I may lose influence, in other words my leadership will suffer. The further I go into leadership, the more freedom I must give up so that I can gain more influence. So while some things might be okay, not a sin, I must choose to not do them if I want to make an impact.

You might be saying that’s not fair! or I have the freedom to do that! And you would be right in saying so. But listen, you will never change the world around you if you just hold onto your freedoms. Sometimes you have to give up some thing so that you can gain influence in someone’s life to help them see the change they need to make. You will never change someone’s mindset by yelling that you have the freedom to do {fill in the blank}. That’s why Paul said I will become all things to all people so that I may win a few (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). In order to change someone you must first gain influence in their life which often requires you to give up your freedoms.

So are these things a sin? Within reason no, they are not. However, we must each look at our lives and decide if it’s the wisest thing for us to do. We must look at who we are influencing and decide if it will gain or lose us influence in their life. We might have the freedom to do something, but that doesn’t always make it the best thing for us to do.


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“How to Worship in Spirit and in Truth” 7/23/2016 Written by bruce r. mills

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by bruce r. mills @  www.Godsmanforever.com

“How to Worship in Spirit and in Truth”



Ephesians 5:18-20And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (NKJV)

At our men’s Bible study the other day, we discussed how best to worship the Lord in church… Several thoughts were proposed, including the comment that proper worship has to be learned…   I call this spiritual maturity, as the Christian spends time in the Word, in prayer, and gathers in a local church body to gain spiritual wisdom and knowledge in a process called “Progressive Sanctification” [ see 4. Below]

At the close of our Bible study, we looked at this scripture…

John 4:23-24But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (NKJV)

Here is the key to worshiping the Lord… “and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”     As the apostle Paul pens in the opening scripture, Christians should seek to continuously…be filled with the Spirit

Once we are filled with the Holy Spirit by God Himself, to become Christians through God’s grace and mercy [see 1. below]…we are just beginning our spiritual journey… Walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), or being “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18-20), requires submitting one’s life to God; allowing the Holy Spirit to take total control of our lives…  This is an ongoing, day by day (sometimes moment by moment) endeavor, for the Christian to remain “ filled with the Spiriton a more or less consistent basis…

We as Christians will never be free from sinning, until we breath our last breath here on earth…  But when we do sin, we are to confess our sins before the Lord, and turn and repent of them, to regain the sweet fellowship with the Lord as Spirit filled Christians…  We see the apostle John pen this need to confess our sins, in this scripture…

1 John 1:9…   If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (NKJV)

Our ability to love others (even when they show us anger or hate – Matthew 5:43-44), and to have joy in all situations (James 1:2-3), comes from a heart filled with the love and the joy of the Lord… We read this in…

John 15:9-11“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” 11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (NKJV)

When the Holy Spirit is in total control of all that we say and do, He will give us the ability to sing praise songs with a heart filled with the Love of Christ…  This is true worship through singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”

The Holy Spirit will urge us to use our spiritual gift/gifts God has given to each Christian (1 Corinthians 12)…to become part of the working body of Christ, in our church…   When we are urged to serve in our church by the Holy Spirit…step out in faith, knowing that if God asks us to get involved, He will give us all that we need to complete what we have been called to do…

Ephesians 4:15-16    but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.   (NKJV)


And when the Holy Spirit has control of our hearts and minds, we will be able to listen to a sermon at church, and focus on the Word…without letting our mind wander…  This is true worship in the Word…

Indeed the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit has to be experienced in one’s life to be believed !!  Why try to accomplish anything in your own strength…when God tells us to let Him carry our burden, in…

Matthew 11:29-30…  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  (NKJV)

Heavenly Father, I thank You and praise You for who You are…  I thank You Father, that You promise never to leave nor forsake Your redeemed children…[see 3. Below]  Help us Father, to do our best to live “Christ-centered” lives…allowing the Holy Spirit to control all that we say and do…  I thank You even now for how You will change the hearts and lives of those who humble themselves, and turn to You for help…  I pray for the fullness of Christ in all of our lives, in Jesus’ most precious and holy name…  Amen…

Blessings in Christ,  bruce

References for further reading:

  1. Understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, to become a Christian in God’s eyes… http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

  2. “Get plugged in”  https://godsmanforever.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/get-plugged-in-7052015-by-bruce-r-mills/

  3. I will never leave you Bible verses…  http://www.thejourney2grace.com/index.cfm?i=11059&mid=1000&id=324730

  4. “Progressive Sanctification”…  http://www.gotquestions.org/progressive-sanctification.html

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“Absence of the Mind” 7/22/2016 Written by Joe Butler

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Joe Butler @   https://faithandfootsteps.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://faithandfootsteps.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/absence-of-the-mind/comment-page-1/#comment-930

Absence of the Mind

imageI can see it on their face.  It’s a look of distance, a sure sign that although they are physically right in front of me, their mind is a million miles away.  I can’t be too judgmental though.  We all do it at times.  We all, in our busy lives, fail to live in the moment, to give our undivided attention to the task at hand or the person in front of us.  We excuse it as using our time wisely or that we can’t help it.  But truthfully, it’s an absence of the mind that hurts relationships and stifles contentment.

Mindlessness is not necessarily done on purpose.  In fact, it’s a fault of many busy people who have so overwhelmed their lives with stuff and activities and responsibilities that they fail to know what it’s like to live in the moment.  It’s a habit that’s developed and over time, it steals the joy you could experience if only we would delight in the here and now.  Instead, we plot and worry about things.  Decisions that have to be made.  Tasks that need completing.  Our minds are free and with freedom comes great responsibility.

Our minds have the freedom to wander while our bodies must operate in the present situation we are in.  It’s wonderful that our minds are capable of processing all the information that they do, but a wandering mind is an absent mind.  For the Christian, mindfulness is essential to live in the peace God so desperately wants us to have.  Our marriages are more rewarding when our mind is focused on our spouse.  Our work is more fruitful when we dedicate our minds to the task at hand.  Our ministry is more effective when our thoughts are centered on God.

All of this sounds wonderful, and indeed it is, but how exactly do we become more mindful?  With all the distractions in our complicated, busy lives, how do we learn to live in the present and find contentment with what is right in front of us?  The words of James ring especially true:

 “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—  yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

(James 4:13-14)

It’s so easy to treat our lives as if they will last forever.  In reality, our life is very short.  We cannot make up for lost time later on when we’re not even promised a “later on.”  That conversation you’re having with your husband needs your undivided attention.  Your child actually needs you to pull your mind away from work and give them your focus and love.  The friend you’ve neglected needs to hear your voice and know you care about him or her.  Tomorrow is not promised and now may be your only time.

Living in the present requires that we trust God.

If we are worried about the future or regretful of the past, our present is stolen away from us before we ever have a chance to enjoy it.

“Do not be anxious about your life.  Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? (Matthew 6:25a, 27).  Being mindful means giving God the disappointment of our past, by trusting him with our future and by taking pleasure in Him, our loved ones, and our surroundings in the present.

We have the ultimate freedom to set our minds on what we want to think.  “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2a).  The world tells us our minds must be busy.  The world teaches that multitasking is the only way to accomplish things.  But God teaches a different way.  He wants us to control our minds, to delight in the blessings he has given us.  Doing so is a great way to show thanks for his goodness and provision.


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“A Word from the Lord to Rescue America” 7/21/2016 Written by Pastor Mike Campagna

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Pastor Mike Campagna @ http://www.aheartforgod.org

Original post @   http://www.aheartforgod.org/2016/07/03/a-word-from-the-lord-to-rescue-america/

A Word from the Lord to Rescue America

Declaration of IndependenceAMERICA’S FOUNDATION

Thomas Jefferson writes:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

He goes on:

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

This is America’s foundation – the Declaration of Independence (and the Constitution).


But America has strayed from its founding.

She is a like a careening and rudderless ship lost at sea (but there is still One who walks on the water!). (Matthew 14:22-33)

It is a time of great delusion in America. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

A delusion is “a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact.”

(Common delusions in America include, but are not limited to: A fetus is not a human being; Islam is peace; Same-sexes can marry; Government shall redistribute wealth; Christians are responsible for terrorism.)


So does God have a message to rescue America?

Yes, He does…


It’s a good word for a nation whose lost its way (and for people, too).

It’s time to return to God, America!

(Declaration of Independence via wikipedia)

You might also be interested in:

About Pastor Mike

Pastor Mike is making the most of web technologies to encourage disciples. A self-proclaimed “twitterholic,” one twitter follower describes him as the “jogging, blogging, tweeting Pastor.” Visits to Pastor Mike’s blog (A Heart For God) number in the hundreds of thousands. His video blogs have been viewed over a half a million times.

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“Let None Escape” 7/20/2016 Posted by Alister Begg for www.truthforlife.org

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Posted by Alister Begg   for   www.truthforlife.org

Original site  @   http://info.truthforlife.org/devo-july17-2016?ecid=ACsprvtSTlvZfeu8KCtqN330v16sV8HP6W4jrWN9sFXUXo4M1zarfJv9FT3qnfGbcXLKug0Nzhwg&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=31714610&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8sUcOqBKIn-rkf8FOVNZ6qYj-r0f6pDlfZ9CqmNbUN51KK4vms4QZiqtfnCNA-RSTRLw-16lTMnYfA5CIls8DDwXIeQ9LlaXFoOoOTx34fT23W63s&_hsmi=31714610

Let not one of them escape.
1 Kings 18:40

When the prophet Elijah had received the answer to his prayer, and the fire from heaven had consumed the sacrifice in the presence of all the people, he called upon the assembled Israelites to take the priests of Baal and sternly cried, “Let not one of them escape.” He took them all down to the brook Kishon and slew them there. So must it be with our sins—they are all doomed; not one must be preserved.

Our darling sin must die. Do not spare it because it cries. Strike though it be as dear as a beloved son. Strike, for God struck at sin when it was laid upon His own Son. With stern unflinching purpose you must condemn to death that sin that was once the idol of your heart. Do you ask how you are to accomplish this? Jesus will be your power. You have grace to overcome sin, given you in the covenant of grace; you have strength to win the victory in the crusade against inward lusts because Christ Jesus has promised to be with you even unto the end.

If you would triumph over darkness, set yourself in the presence of the Sun of Righteousness. There is no place so well adapted for the discovery of sin and recovery from its power and guilt as the immediate presence of God. Job never knew how to get rid of sin half as well as he did when his eye of faith rested upon God, and then he abhorred himself and repented in dust and ashes.

The fine gold of the Christian is often becoming dim. We need the sacred fire to consume the dross. Let us fly to our God. He is a consuming fire; He will not consume our spirit, but our sins. Let the goodness of God excite us to a sacred jealousy and to a holy revenge against those iniquities that are hateful in His sight. Go forth to battle in His strength and utterly destroy the accursed crew: “Let not one of them escape.”

Family Bible Reading Plan

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.


“Copyright Truth For Life. Used with Permission. www.truthforlife.org.”

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