Revelation 2:14 Claiming God While Living In Sin

Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. Revelation 2:14

The world does not live by any concrete, eternal rules. They live in a way that is do what feels good in the moment, living only for the moment and for pleasure.

All the rules and standards that the world implements changes on a regular basis. Rules change according to their feelings at the moment.

An angel spoke to the church in Pergamum saying that they remained faithful in claiming Jesus, but they also held onto the false teachings of Balaam–pleasing themselves.

It is easy for a person to begin to believe in Jesus and claim that. All it takes is saying a few things. Across America, there are millions who claim to believe in Jesus. However, at the same time, many of those same people are holding to the teachings of Balaam or the world.

Balaam had taught to eat food sacrificed to idols because they were sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality. Today people are taught to listen to, watch or participate in things that are offered as sacrifices to idols. They are also taught how to live sexually immoral lives as though it is normal and acceptable to God.

Inside the church there are many who have chosen to follow the ways of the world, while claiming to believe in Jesus. They are willing to follow the same idols that the world follows and live the same sexually immoral lives that the world lives.

Although God appears to allow this for now, there will come a day of severe judgement. Every believer is to live separate from the world, fleeing all sin.

As you claim to believe in and follow Jesus, you must examine yourself to see if you are also following the teachings of Balaam, the teachings of this world.

How willing are you to eat of the food sacrificed to idols because they were sacrificed to idols? How willing are you to live a sexually immoral life?

Turn away from all sin and pursue God and God alone. Do not allow yourself to be enticed to live a sinful life, but live a holy life unto God, otherwise you will have to face the judgement of God’s wrath.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know how God wants you to live; that God will strengthen you to turn away from sin; that God will open your eyes to the sin the world promotes; and that you will live a true and holy life unto God.

Acts 17:23 Meet Them Where They Are

For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: To An Unknown God. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship–and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. Acts 17:23

Although most won’t call it worship, the world does worship a lot of things. They worship money, position, talent, things, power, fame and more.

All of these things are placed at an extreme high priority in their lives. Time, money and abilities are all focused upon these areas, worshipping them.

As Paul was going through Athens, he noticed that they had objects of worship for every god imaginable, including an unknown god. Paul says he will proclaim information about that unknown god.

Believers often stick with other believers and really don’t see where the world really is or what the world is doing. It is often expected for unbelievers to walk into the church and present themselves to the church seeking information about God. However, very few people will go to a church seeking information on their own.

Jesus told the believers to go into all of the world and preach the gospel. As a believer is going out, he must go to meet the people where they are and in a way that they are already thinking and believing. One can seek opportunities to use what the world is seeking or desiring to open doors to present the gospel message.

The idols that the world are seeking and worshipping are false and dead. As believers take the idols that the world is worshipping and use them to point out the need for Jesus, people’s eyes will be opened to the truth. Both Paul and Jesus met people right where they were at in their thinking and actions.

God is willing to open doors for you to be His witness every day. The world is starving for the truth and seeking it. You have the answer that they are seeking in all of the false idols of this world.

Go out and use the wisdom of God to meet them where they are. Show the world what they are really seeking is found in Jesus and not in the false, dead idols they are already worshipping.

Not everyone will listen to you, but there will be some who will hear the truth and change. Seek to find those.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the truth of God’s word in your life; that you will be a witness of Jesus to the world; that you will boldly proclaim God’s truth; and that God will draw many to Christ through you.

Daniel 3:6 Pressure

Logs on fire

Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. Daniel 3:6 

Everywhere a person goes there is always pressure being applied to get him to do something. Advertisements bombard a person daily to get one to purchase some item that he ‘needs’ to really live life. Pressure for a person to vote a certain way. There is pressure to like or accept certain things or lifestyles.

When a person does not give into those pressures, there is often some type of consequence. Unwritten, unofficial punishment occurs, a shunning, a push-back.

King Nebuchadnezzar had built a statue of gold of himself and wanted everyone to bow down and worship it. Several Jews chose not to bow down. Pressure was put upon them to bow down. The pressure was that if they chose not to bow down, they would be thrown into a furnace to be burnt alive.

While there are many things that are put upon a person to do that are not directly sinful, such as purchasing a new car, or buying a certain type of soda, there is a lot of pressure to do things that go against God’s word. Pressure is put upon a person to choose and accept sin in his life.

Most will not tell a person to lie, but pressure will be put on a person to ‘bend the truth’ a little. Or they will be asked to hide a situation, rather than call it out. In the individual life, one often feels pressure to overlook the ‘little’ sins in his life.

Although most won’t have to pay with their life in a furnace, there is a cost to compromising God’s holy standards. Sin is sin and leads to death.

Every believer must be willing to stand up for the standards of God in his own life and not give in to the pressures of this world to sin.

You will have pressure come against you to sin. Threats will be made that if you do not live, act, or speak a certain way there will be consequences against you.

In your heart you have to make a choice as to who you will serve and obey. Will it be God or will it be self and this world?

Allow yourself to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit and power to overcome the pressure to sin. Be willing to go into the furnace, rather than sin against God.

I pray today that you will know God’s holy standards to live by; that God will give you strength to stand up to pressure to sin; that you will seek God when being pressured to sin; and that you will trust God to preserve you when punished by this world. 

Ezekiel 44:9 Restricted Entry

Restricted area

This is what the Sovereign Lord says: No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and flesh is to enter my sanctuary, not even the foreigners who live among the Israelites. Ezekiel 44:9 

All over the world there are places that people have set up that have restrictions as to who is allowed to enter. Nearly every business has places within it where the majority of people are blocked from entering the area. The location is only allowed for those who work there or have special permission to enter, everyone is blocked from it.

Often the block is due to protection for the company and for the outsider. Some places require special equipment to enter. Other places have information in that is not to be released to just anyone.

God had just shown Ezekiel a vision of the restored temple. He then tells Ezekiel that no outsider is allowed into the temple.

The temple was the holy dwelling place for God to be among the people. In order for one to enter, he had to be purified and be a true follower of God. No one else was allowed to enter.

Since the time of Ezekiel, God has set up His temple in the hearts of believers. God is still telling people that no outsider is allowed to enter His temple.

Instead of just being physical beings entering, today it is false idols, greed, pride, anger, and sin that are to be not allowed to enter. People allow these things into their hearts and lives. When sin is allowed into the heart, one is pushing God off of His throne in the heart, which is His temple, His dwelling place.

The heart is the dwelling place for God, and nothing else should be allowed in that place. Nothing spiritual, physical or emotional should be allowed into the heart that does not honor God. The heart belongs to God and to God alone.

Take a moment to examine what is allowed into your heart. Think about what things you allow your heart to follow and hold on to. Are these things the things of God? Or are they the things of this world?

When you became a follower of Jesus, He gave you a new heart, because your heart became God’s dwelling place, a holy temple. Keep it pure and holy for God to dwell in. Do not allow sin or this world to move God off of His throne in your heart. Restrict access to your heart to God alone.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will give your entire life to God; that you will allow God to reign in your heart and life; and that you will serve God alone.