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September 5, 2017

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Reading along with us in Deuteronomy? Here’s today’s reading:

Deuteronomy 13 (ESV)

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst… Continue Reading

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This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. The strong warning here about those who will tempt God’s people to follow after other gods, and what must be done to stop them, reminds me of 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12: “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

    People often read 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 and are astonished by God’s role in allowing the delusion. But note Deuteronomy 13:3b – “For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Will we be found faithful when the testing of our faith comes? Or will we fall away?

    Note what Paul writes in Galatians 1:6-9. His warning echoes Moses’ across time. “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”

    Moses warns us in Deuteronomy 13:6-11 that these tempters may come by way of those closest to us. While the New Testament leaves the death and condemnation of unbelievers to God (thankfully, right?!), Paul warns us in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 to not be yoked (partnered) with unbelievers, because we cannot possibly be of one accord with them. If I find it easy to be in a close relationship with an unbeliever, I would be very concerned about my spiritual state, and therefore my spiritual welfare.

    How can we be sure that we will stand firmly in Christ and not be led astray? ABIDE IN HIM.

    1 John 2:18-27 – “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us — eternal life.

    “I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie — just as it has taught you, abide in him.”

  2. We have to be so careful of the influence of other people in our lives. Are the people in our lives drawing us closer to God or farther away? If farther away, do we need to separate ourselves from them physically because the temptation is too great for us or separate ourselves in our hearts where we make sure the influence is going just one way, from us to them? It is knowing and living out the balance between being in the world but not of it. It is the privilege that comes with shining light in the darkness but making sure the darkness doesn’t overtake the light in us.

    By following God and loving and fearing Him, we will see it is only His opinion that matters. As we grow in the Word we will grow in the discernment of recognizing the subtle ways that people can lead us astray and be able to guard our hearts against it. And how challenging that is when it is your own family. You may not be able to separate physically, but you can moderate the influence they have on your walk with God. Let’s keep our eyes on Him and our nose in His Word!

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