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Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Last evening Brooksyne, along with a couple of our young neighbors, walked our four dogs. Three of the dogs may be small but they gave the children a good work-out. She snapped a photo of the sunset at the start of the trail across from our house. Due to wildfires in Canada the air in Lancaster County was hazy last evening and forecast to last through Friday.
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"Man's Plans or God's Plans?"
Message summary: Today in the midst of this age of lawlessness let us stand up for truth and righteousness and pray for a Holy Spirit sent revival to descend upon our world! Rather than thinking up evil and planning wickedness let us seek to live by God's plan for our lives as we study and obey His holy Word.
Listen to our message on your audio player.
"Woe to those who think up evil and plan wickedness as they lie in bed. When morning comes, they do it, since they have it in their power" (Micah 2:1). “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work" (2 Thessalonians 2:7). "Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4).
Today we continue examining mega themes in the book of Micah. As I studied the book in preparation for my teaching last Sunday I noticed a contrast between man's plans and God's plans.
The second chapter begins, "Woe to those who think up evil and plan wickedness as they lie in bed. When morning comes, they do it, since they have it in their power". This ancient woe is also a current woe. The human race continues to "think up evil and plan wickedness". Romans 1:30 sums this up, "They invent ways of doing evil". What a tragic description of the human race unrestrained by God's Spirit and God's Word.
Yesterday in reading some cultural commentary I came across the example du jour of inventing new ways of doing evil. One of the most evil organizations in our age is misnamed "Planned Parenthood". They have a series of videos on their YouTube channel celebrating abortion. One is of a woman pretending to be a man who needed an abortion to proceed with her "transition". The link is below but proceed with caution as it is absolutely repulsive.* Our age is indeed in a hectic pace to invent new ways of doing evil.
In life we are all confronted with a personal mega decision: will we live by our own plans or seek to live by God's plans? The Lord's ancient word to God's people in captivity is an expression of the unchangeable God and His plans for each of us in every generation, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
The spirit of lawlessness is rapidly increasing in our time. Here in America we are dealing with issues practically unimaginable a generation ago (or for that matter, even five years ago!) These issues surely signal a return to the turbulent Biblical period of the Judges when the people became their own authority and acted on their own opinions of right and wrong. The writer portrays the spiritual climate with these words: “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). It is also descriptive of our own time period today, man-determined morality.
“Man-determined morality” is expressed in our third daily text, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). It is a sin-based infection wreaking havoc on a society; rejecting God, His Word and His holy standards. Mankind raises a defiant fist to God declaring, "I’ll do it my way". But God will not be mocked and we will reap from that which we sow (Galatians 6:7-9).
An interesting aspect of our third daily verse is that it’s repeated twice verbatim in the book of Proverbs (see also 16:25). It seems that the Holy Spirit wants to make doubly sure we get this one right! It’s a clear and straightforward saying with a timeless truth.
“There is a way that seems right to a man.” The Benson Commentary states, “There are some evil actions or courses which people may think to be lawful and good, either through gross ignorance, or self-flattery, or through want of necessary diligence in examining them by the rule of God’s word".
“But in the end it leads to death.” Man's way always leads to death. Sometimes this judgment is meted out visibly on this side, otherwise at the final judgment.
We pray that God will give each reader deep discernment to understand our times as the spirit of lawlessness abounds in our age. Firmly resolve your decision to remain faithful to God and walk in His ways. In a remarkable prophetic statement in Daniel 12:10 we read, “The wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand".
Today in the midst of this age of lawlessness let us stand up for truth and righteousness and pray for a Holy Spirit sent revival to descend upon our world! Let us seek to live by God's plan for our lives as we study and obey His holy Word.
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Daily prayer: Father, we know there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. That’s why we cannot choose a man-based law that stands in contrast to the Bible, for it will lead us to spiritual death and we will ultimately spend eternity apart from You and all the untold blessings You have prepared for us in heaven. For those of us who seek to follow Your word help us not to cave in to the spirit of lawlessness by cleverly invented arguments that permits the law of man to supercede the law of God. Through Christ we come to You in prayer with a firm resolve to remain faithful and fruitful. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Sovereign Over Us" Click to listen on YouTube Worship Initiative
Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You're with us in the fire and the flood
You're faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us
"The Goodness Of God" Click to listen on YouTube Triumphant Quartet
* Here's the story mentioned in our message today on "Not The Bee" where I first read about it, along with some insightful commentary, Planned Parenthood says "any reason is the right reason" to get an abortion and introduces "Lucky," who got one because she wanted to start identifying as a man
Here's the actual Planned Parenthood video. Caution, this is sheer, unadulterated evil. I use the actual Planned Parenthood link on their YouTube channel because you might think I was being duped. It's not satire! It's in a series of recent videos from women who have had abortions talking about how great and wonderful their experience was and why "any reason is the right reason" to get an abortion.
This morning we are meeting up with the Lapp family who have been spending several days at a cabin near Rough and Ready PA which is not far from Fearnot. We will take them to a mountain lake to swim at RB Winter State Park and then to Woodward Cave for a tour before we head back to Lancaster County. Jesse rented this large 15 passenger transit van that I can practically stand up in. Notice how large it is compared to our minivan in the background. Also notice how dry our grass is as we sure need rain!
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