December 5

Today's Bible Reading
     II Chronicles 5-6: 1- 11
     I John 4
     Nahum 3
     Luke 19
 
MEMORIZE TODAY 
            ''saying,  'If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace!  But now they are hidden from your eyes'."  (Luke 19:42)   ·
 
STRANGE GODS AND STRONGHOLDS
            Jesus did, indeed, lead His Disciples ''uptoJerusalem." What a magnificent and wonderful entry that was. Today, we call it the TriumphalEntry." The city was stirred to its very foundation, but a strange god wasthere - the pride of the Pharisees. It was a god that seemed religious and upright, but Jesus compared it to ''whitewashed tombs which indeed appeared beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness '' (Matthew 23 :27).
            Everywhere I have ever served the Lord; there was an outstanding stronghold and a strange god that prevailed. It seemed in every place they were different. In one place, there was the god of immorality and paganism and a stronghold was lewdness and lasciviousness. In another place, the demonic stronghold was a false religion and a religious tradition that bound the people and they refused to allow it to be broken. In another place, the stronghold was materialismand the people were in bondage to their money and to things. There were others at different places, but at Jerusalem it was religious pride and tradition.
            What is it that blinds you to the peace of God in thisyour day? Do you have a strange god  that controls your life?More than once, God has brought me face to face with a strange god in my life,and I knew I should give it up, but I didn't do it. I got through the crisis by the ''skin of my teeth'',only to find myself still under the control of that strange god. I am bound to the very things that make for my own peace . It is a shocking thing that we can be in the exact place where the Spirit of God can be having His completely unhindered way with us, and yet we only make matters worse, increasing our blame in God's eyes.
            It seems that the tears of Jesus are behind His words when He says, ''If you had known . . ." God's words here cut directly to the heart ''with the tears of Jesus behind them." These words imply responsibility for our own faults. God holds us accountable for what we refuse to see, or are unable to see becauseof our sin.
            Please consider the seriousness of this next statement.   God never again opens the doors that have been closed.  He opens other doors, but He reminds us that there are doors that we have shut - doors that have no need to be shut. Never be afraid when God brings back your past. Let your memory have its way with you. It is a ministry of God bringing its rebuke and sorrow to you.  God will tum what might have been into a wonderful lesson of growth in the future. Never again close doors that God has opened, no matter what the flesh desires.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
            The greatest need in the island of Jamaica is the training of national leaders for the Christian church. The Luther Rice Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia is doing a phenomenal work in many parts of the world, and particularly in Jamaica in the training of national pastors and evangelists. Pray for Dr. Ron Long who is the international director of Luther Rice Seminary,and for all those who assist him in teaching and training these national leaders.
            As you pray for Jamaica, remember the poor,and especially remember the Rastafarians. This is a group that began as a spiritist group. Black power and black consciousness ideas were their theme, and they worshipped the Ethiopian Emperor RasTafari . They are well-known for their left-wing politics, Reggae music, and their hairstyle (dreadlocks). They also are well known for their use of ganja (marijuana). This group has considerable influence in Jamaica. Pray for their conversion.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
''Doubt is the vestibule which all must pass before they can enter the temple of wisdom."
Colton