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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Change Your Thinking - Change Your Life

January 20

(Psalm 8 NIV) “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. {2} From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. {3} When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, {4} what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? {5} You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. {6} You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: {7} all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, {8} the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. {9} O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

(Genesis 1:26-28, 31 NIV) “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” {27} So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. {28} God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground. {31} God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”

What we think, drives our lives. Change your thinking and you can change your life. Living as though our biological, psychological, and economic status were the most important things about us is the ultimate mistake. Following Darwin, Freud and Marx is what got us into the mess we’re in today. Consider following Jesus instead. Christ says we were all created, along with the universe, by a God who loves us. But something has gone terribly wrong. God created us to live like kings, but we live like animals. We were created to rule over creation; instead, it rules over us. Yes, something has gone terribly wrong. We have listened to the wrong teachers. We have stopped asking the right questions. We keep making the same mistakes. But we can change. We can begin to think like created beings again. Change your thinking and you can change your life! Why not start today? -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Second Most Important Question

January 19

(Psalm 8:3-4 NIV) “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, {4} what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”

(Matthew 16:15) ““But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?””

(Matthew 22:42 NIV) “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”

The most important question for man today is, “Who is Jesus Christ?” Who do you say that He is? Our answer has eternal consequences. The second most important question is found in Psalm 8: “Who is man and why should God care about him?” Our answer to this question has profound earthly consequences. Darwin, Freud, and Marx gave their answers and our children today are immersed in their evolutionary, psychological, and political models. Their philosophies saturate the curriculum of our modern educational system. The majority of graduates today would echo one of them when answering the question, “Who are we”? But this unholy trinity left God out of their answers, and once we begin to answer the most important question incorrectly, we will always arrive at the wrong answer to the second most important question. Don’t make that mistake. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Friday, January 18, 2019

Justice and Mercy

January 18

(Psalm 7:9-16 NIV) “O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure. {10} My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart. {11} God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day. {12} If he does not relent, he will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow. {13} He has prepared his deadly weapons; he makes ready his flaming arrows. {14} He who is pregnant with evil and conceives trouble gives birth to disillusionment. {15} He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made. {16} The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head.

(Zechariah 7:9 NIV) “This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.”

Our world is indeed “pregnant with evil”. Trouble was conceived in the once perfect Garden, disillusionment was born, and it now thrives in our thick jungles of sin. Everywhere one looks there is violence, theft, and dishonesty. We fall into the pits we have dug and trouble comes raining down. Goodness can be found, but it is scarce and is purposely obscured by those who market chaos. Our only hope is that God will be merciful. Our prayer is that justice will come soon. But are you really ready for God’s justice? Are you among those counted as righteous? Does God’s mercy cover your soul? Is Jesus your Lord and Savior? Unless we are shielded by the Most High God, we too will feel the heat. We all have sinned. If we received only God’s justice, we would be in as much trouble as the enemies we call on God to vanquish. We are blessed to have a merciful God. Praise the Lord! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Meanwhile, We Wait

January 17

Psalm 6:8-10 NIV) “Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. {9} The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer. {10} All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed; they will turn back in sudden disgrace.”

(Habakkuk 3:16-19) “I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. {17} Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, {18} yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. {19} The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”

God always hears us, even in our doubt and despair. God’s love is especially strong for those who suffer. In His time, He will lift us up. Meanwhile we wait and follow an ancient three day pattern. First comes Friday… the trial and the cross; the pain and the suffering. Then comes Saturday, and we experience the darkness of the tomb. There is no light, but something is stirring. Then comes Sunday! With a word from God, light floods the darkness and we rise up in victory. This is God’s three day pattern -- even for his Son. Some think they can skip the pain of Friday and go directly to Sunday -- bypass the trial and go directly to the acquittal. They want to skip the cross and get right to the resurrection; to forgo the darkness of Saturday’s tomb and glide right into Sunday’s triumphant light. But that’s not how it works. We all spend some time in the darkness of the pit. Meanwhile, we wait. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Light at the End of the Tunnel

January 16

(Psalm 6:1-7 NIV) “O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. {2} Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony. {3} My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long? {4} Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. {5} No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave? {6} I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. {7} My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.”

(Isaiah 60:19-20 NIV) “The Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. {20} Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.”

Every great saint of God has struggled through times when God seemed distant, silent or uncaring. Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ruth, Elijah, Moses, Job, David, Mary, Peter, Paul: all these saints experienced not only the mountaintop of glory, but the valley of the shadow of death. The writer of Psalm 6 describes this condition. He was faint, agonized, anguished, groaning, weeping, sorrowful, and crying out for mercy. This is a song of spiritual, emotional, and physical despair. Sometimes we can slide so deep down into the pit, we cannot see out. The proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” can go out as hope disappears. But listen, if that light does go out, it was not God’s light. God’s light is everlasting. God’s light never goes out. Something has blinded you. Ask God to heal your eyes. Don’t give up. Go a little further. Trust in Jesus when you cannot see. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A Psalm of Descent

January 15

(Psalm 6:2-3 NIV) For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to “sheminith. A Psalm of David. - “O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. {2} Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony. {3} My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long?”

(Luke 8:11-15 NIV) “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. {12} Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. {13} Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. {14} The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. {15} But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

As we read through the Psalms we come to the “Psalms of Ascent” (Psalms 120-134). They were songs of praise, sung as people climbed the steps going up to the house of the Lord. But for every Psalm of Ascent, there is a Psalm of Descent; for every Psalm of praise there is a Psalm of grief. These are songs about real life, written by real people. You find as many Psalms of despair as Psalms of hope. Many Psalms were written in a minor key. They probably sounded more like the blues than happy songs. Life has a way of taking the wind out of our sails, doesn’t it? Trials and tragedy kick us in the gut and we’re left gasping for air. We double over, collapsing in pain or sorrow and we can’t get up. Agony and anguish become our companions and we cry out with David, “How long O Lord?” Times of severe testing will come. Persevere! Cling to your faith! Never let go! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Fruit of “Praying-In”

January 14

(Psalm 5:11-12 NIV) “… let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. {12} For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”

(James 4:8 NIV) “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

When we consistently take refuge in God, our regular and dedicated communication produces fruit. Gladness can grow in us through concerted and intimate prayer. Gladness is internal. It is the root of true happiness. Joy can also grow in our heart. Joy supersedes our current circumstances. It promotes consistent worship, even when times are tough. God’s protection covers and shields our hearts when we take shelter in his arms. The Lord blesses heartfelt prayer. Divine favor graces those who seek God’s face. Gladness, joy, protection, and blessing… all life enhancing fruits of “praying-in” on a regular basis. Do you have these qualities in your life today? Have you given your heart to Jesus? If there is a prayer-blocker in your life, confess it and give it up. Surrendering it can help pave the way to a real “pray-in”. God wants to come near to you. Come near to Him now. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Ingredients of a Pray-In (Part 2)


January 13

(Psalms 5:3-8 NIV) “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. {4} You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. {5} The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. {6} You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the Lord abhors. {7} But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple. {8} Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies-- make straight your way before me.”

(Isaiah 1:15) "When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong and do right!"

Powerful “pray-ins” are scheduled. The Psalm writer approached God in the morning. Do you have a regular time of prayer? Committed prayer also waits on the Lord in expectation. It prays in faith. “Pray-in” prayer springs from a pure heart, a heart with no secrets from God. Prayer is about relationship. That makes sin a prayer killer. So pray in obedience. Pray from the “straight way”. We should always pray in truth. Whenever we attempt to lie to God, we only deceive ourselves. Humility is also a part of the effective “pray-in”. Arrogant people seldom participate. In the presence of the Lord, we should stand, walk, sit, or kneel in humility. He is Almighty God -- we are human. He is eternal -- we are dust. He is omniscient -- we know little. Pray in reverence. God is not our “buddy” -- He is the Alpha and Omega. Come before Him with respect. Now, it’s time for the “pray-in” to begin. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Ingredients for a Pray-In

January 12

(Psalms 5:1-2 NIV)  "Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing. {2} Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray."

(Hebrews 10:22 NIV) “… let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

(Romans 10:9 NIV) “… if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

In the 1960’s, the “sit-in” became popular. A “sit in” was not intended for rest, but to make a statement about an important cause; a priority people felt strongly about. “Sit-ins” lasted more than a few minutes. They involved commitment. Psalm 5 applies this concept to prayer and gives us some ingredients for a “pray-in”. A “pray-in” involves prayer that calls attention to a great need; prayer that seeks God’s face; prayer that calls for a commitment; prayer that makes a statement to God. “Pray-in” prayer worships Christ as God and King. It begins with praise and worship. “Pray-in” prayer is often desperate prayer - prayer that sighs and cries out for help. It’s prayer that comes from deep within the heart. The heart is the key to powerful prayer, because the heart is where God lives. It’s where our relationship with God begins and grows. Pray to the Lord from your heart of hearts today. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Friday, January 11, 2019

Advice for the Set Apart

January 11

(Psalm 4:3-8 NIV) “Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him. {4} In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. {5} Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord. {6} Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?" Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. {7} You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. {8} I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

(2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NIV) “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? {15} What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? {16} What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." {17} "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." {18} "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.””

It is God’s will that we be “set apart” for His work. But it is our will that keeps us set apart. God and man partner in being separate so as to rise above the muck of the world. Psalm 4 has some advice for being set apart. First, do not sin when you’re angry. Wrath comes and goes. It’s a basic human emotion. But spiritual self control should reign in our actions when angry. Second, when quiet times come, we should stay away from the noise for a while and search our hearts. Third, our sacrifice should be worthy of God. Don’t give Jesus your second or third best. He deserves the best we have. He gave you His very life. Fourth, abandon the anxious lifestyle and trust God. Trust the Lord in all things. Only Christ has the light, joy, and peace that your heart needs so badly. Only Jesus offers the security and serenity of the Lord. Call on Him. He will hear. He has set you apart for Himself. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day     

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Loving the Delusion

January 10

(Psalm 4:2b NIV) “How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?

(2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 NIV) “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, {10} and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. {11} For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie {12} and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”

(Romans 1:18-25 NIV) “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, {19} since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. {20} For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. {21} For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. {22} Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools {23} and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. {24} Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. {25} They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised.”

Spiritual delusion comes in many forms today: New Age, Pantheism, Polytheism, Monism. All the above are indeed “spiritual”, but the question is: “Whose spirit?” Hollywood promotes “circle of life” language: we never really die, our spirit is just recycled or reincarnated. This contradicts the one soul, one life, one death, and one judgment teaching of Jesus. We often hear “all is God, all is one, there are many paths to truth and all paths arrive at the same God”. But Scripture teaches one God and only one way to that God. It’s just a short step from “all is God” to “we are all gods”, and we have within us divine potential that only needs to be realized, visualized, or unleashed through “higher consciousness”. But Scripture teaches we are born sinners, not gods. So eventually we have to decide: will we love the delusion? Or will we love Jesus? You cannot really love both. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Glory to Shame

January 9

(Psalm 4:1-2 NIV) “Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer. {2} How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame?

(Proverbs 20:1 NIV) “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.”

(Ephesians 5:18 NIV) “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

There’s a poignant scene in the movie “The Legend of Bagger Vance” where young Hardy Greaves, approaches the hardened alcoholic, Rannulph Junnah in a darkened back room full of gamblers. Junnah expounds on the effects of alcohol and how it affects brain cells. First, the sadness cells die. But they always come back; so you drink more. Then the quiet cells die and we get real loud and arrogant. Then our stupid cells go and everything we say becomes real smart. Finally, our memory cells die and we end up repeating the same stupid behavior over and over again and expecting different results. God created us to glorify His name. But we often spend our lives in one kind of back room or another, drowning ourselves in who knows what. And the glory God gave us at our creation, slowly but surely, turns to shame. There’s got to be a better way. There is! His name is Jesus. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Jesus the Jawbreaker

January 8

(Psalm 3:7-8 NIV) “Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. {8} From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.”

(1 Peter 5:6-8 NIV) “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. {7} Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. {8} Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

(2 Timothy 4:17 NIV) “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth.”

In Psalm 3, David asks God to strike his enemy on the jaw and knock their teeth out. Have you ever thought of Jesus as a jawbreaker? Yet in a way, isn’t that exactly what Christ did to our enemy called Sin? On the cross, Jesus broke the jaw of Satan and took the bite out of sin. When we trust God enough to cross over to the other side by the Way He has provided, the Lord breaks our enemy’s teeth. Sin can no longer hold us. It can no longer grip us and drag us down. That roaring lion called Satan cannot devour us when we are under the protection of the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Sin is toothless when we love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Our only threat now comes from within and only the foolish would return to being bitten. Let God take the bite out of sin in your life. Let God break the teeth of your demons. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Monday, January 7, 2019

Surrounded, Shielded, Shouldered, Sustained, Secured, Saved

January 7

(Psalm 3:3-6, 8 NIV) “But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. {4} To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. "Selah" {5} I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. {6} I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.”… {8} From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.”

Psalm 3 speaks of a life immersed in the Lord. It speaks of a faith that works, and faith in a God who works. David was surrounded by enemies. He also knew he was surrounded by God. God was all around him. David knew he was shielded by God. God was over him, covering him. David knew he was shouldered by God. The Lord was under him, carrying him, supporting him. David knew he was sustained by God. God was in him, filling him, giving him strength. David was also secured by God. God was with him. He needn’t fear. And David knew he had been saved by God. God was for him and had provided deliverance. We who believe have the same God as David. We are surrounded, shielded, shouldered, sustained, secured, and saved by the Lord. God is around us, over us, under us, in us, with us, and for us. Give Him glory. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Lifter of My Head

January 6

(Psalms 3:1-3 NIV) ““O Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! {2} Many are saying of me, "God will not deliver him." Selah {3} But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.””

King David lived in the real world; a dangerous world where haters rise up against you with intentions to harm you; a world where you must continually rely on God’s protection. In this world where many speak against us, it often feels like we stand alone. Many even speak against our God, doubting His ability to deliver us. But we Christians know something the world doesn't know, because we know Someone the world doesn't know. We know that Christ is like a shield around us. He is our protector in life and in death. He stands with us. He stands for us. He covers us with His glory and lifts our head. If you are drowning today, let God lift your head out of the deep waters. If you are sinking in the quicksand of sin, Jesus can lift your head and deliver you from suffocation. Christ came to be the lifter of your head. Let Him lift you up today. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Making God Laugh

January 5

(Psalm 2:4-12 NIV) ““The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. {5} Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, {6} “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.” {7} I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. {8} Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. {9} You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” {10} Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. {11} Serve the Lord with fear and trembling. {12} “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.””

God is not chagrined by our disrespect and unbelief. His power is not diminished when we offer our allegiance to other gods. He laughs at His pompous detractors. If a nation fails to choose Jesus as Lord, they are the losers. Christ is King no matter who or what we worship. Be wise. Put the Lord ahead of all things. This is basic to the Christian faith. If we don’t get this right, everything else will be a struggle. Worship the King. Put your trust in the Son. Take refuge in Him - not in your addictions, your money, your work, or your youth. Give your life fully to Him. Surrender everything to Christ. Put Jesus ahead of all things. This is the big exchange that must take place for us to be a vital and true child of God. Transfer your faith from whatever it is in right now… to the Lord Jesus. This is the way to blessing from God. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Friday, January 4, 2019

A Nation Not Under God

January 4

(Psalm 2:1-3 NIV)  “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? {2} The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. {3} “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.””

(Acts 5:27-29 NIV) “Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. {28} "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood." {29} Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!”

Nations can be blessed or cursed, based on their devotion to God. Several things happen when a nation begins to behave as though it were not “under God”. First, the sovereignty of the nation replaces the sovereignty of God. Government begins to see itself as above God; greater than God. It can actually plot against God. Second, freedom becomes more important than obedience to God. What we want becomes more important than what God wants. We end up obeying and trusting in Government more than God. Government, not God, becomes our Provider and Protector. Third, Politics replaces Piety. We become obsessed and consumed by the political. We end up worshipping politicians instead of God. Politics and politicians dominate our news and thoughts. If one looks honestly at our situation, it would appear that we have indeed arrived as a “not under God” nation. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Thursday, January 3, 2019

One Nation Under God

January 3

(Psalm 2 NIV)  “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? {2} The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. {3} “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.” {4} The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. {5} Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, {6} “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.” {7} I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. {8} Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. {9} You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” {10} Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. {11} Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. {12} Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”

(Romans 14:11 NIV) “It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'"

(Philippians 2:9-11 NIV) “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, {10} that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, {11} and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

In 1954, the words “Under God” were added to our Pledge of Allegiance and at least rhetorically we became “One Nation Under God”. Then in 1956, much to the chagrin of atheists, the phrase “In God We Trust” was declared to be our official national motto. Whether our nation is really “under God”, or actually trusts in God, has been the topic of great debate for the last fifty years. God must get a kick out of our pathetic arguments, because whether or not we are “under God” is not a matter of debate - at least not for God. We’ve actually been “under God” from the moment of our conception. He is Lord of all things. And when Jesus rides in on His white horse, what we think about whether or not we are “under God” will not matter one bit. We will all kneel in his holy presence. Those who have taken refuge in Him will be blessed. Those who have not will be cursed. Which will it be for you? -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Ungodly Counsel

January 2

(Psalm 1 NIV) “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. {2} But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

What does it mean to “walk in the counsel of the wicked”, or as some translations say, “the counsel of the ungodly”? Anytime someone encourages us to act in a way contrary to God’s plan, we have been in the counsel of the ungodly. Sometimes it’s subtle; sometimes it’s blatant. Much of the advertising we are inundated with today brings no glory to God. The sewer pipe flowing from Hollywood directly into our cities and homes is someone’s counsel. Books, TV, music, and art are all promoting somebody’s philosophy… and most of the time it is not a godly philosophy. When we watch that show, read that book, or listen to that song, we are walking in someone’s counsel. We need to be aware of whose counsel we are receiving, for walking in the counsel of the ungodly is not the way to blessing. Maybe it’s time to change channels and get some new counsel! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Watch Where You Walk

January 1

(Psalm 1 NIV) “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. {2} But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. {3} He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf  does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. {4} Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. {5} Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. {6} For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

As we walk through this New Year, it will be important whose directions we follow. If we get our counsel from the wicked and the ungodly, we can eventually end up in hellish places. When we stand with sinners, imitating them instead of Jesus, we have stopped walking with God. When we sit down with mockers who demean God, we are in danger, for God says He will not be mocked. In the end, we never really “fall” into sin. Instead, we walk in it, stand in it, and sit in it. It’s like the old saying that falling into water never drowned anyone - it’s staying under the water that does it. If we get our directions from ungodly sources, we will be blown away like chaff and will not stand with the righteous at judgment. But if we walk with the godly, we will not wither. We will bear fruit and our lives can flourish. The choice sounds pretty simple. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day