Bible Lessons/Reminders

👨‍🦯 The spiritually blind 👨‍🦯

Spiritual blindness is when we’re unable to SEE God or to comprehend His message. This is a grievous condition that affects not only the spiritually blind individual but also his followers. Look at the condition and state of many churches today! The Gospel has been watered down so much that preachers are now preaching chocolate-coated lies thus weaving a sinister deception.

We’re in serious trouble if we don’t sit and read/study the Word. We’re in serious trouble if we wait for the preacher to tell us how to act, think, or feel. We’re in serious trouble if we continue to follow along the yellow-bricked road with this sweet-tongued preacher, for a spiritually blind person cannot lead God’s sheep into a spiritual relationship with Christ.

It’s time to wake up and open your eyes to deception, for Jesus is returning soon.

Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

Matthew 15:14

Devotional Nuggets, Testimony Thursday

Devotional Nugget #11: A lesson in restoration

For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.

2 Corinthians 13:9

2019 flew by so quickly! At the beginning of the year, God provided me with the word “restoration” and He showed me the power of restoration in several areas of my life for NOTHING is too hard for Him. He restored health, family, peace, joy, and even finance! I am very thankful for what He has done and what He is going to do in all departments of my life. Proverbs 18:10 and Psalm 91 are my go-to’s for every situation and I’ll continue to claim God’s promises through them.

Related: He restoreth my soul

Sin corrupts, blinds and cripples us, but God wants to restore us spiritually, mentally, and physically. He wants to give us the gift of peace and joy. He wants our lives to be filled with purpose. Being in a relationship with Him can restore what sin stole for He is our sole source of restoration.

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Reflection

God can take something old and make it new and shiny. Nothing is ever too hard for God so don’t give up on praying. Make it a daily routine and trust God.

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Devotional Nuggets

Devotional Nugget #10: Did you spend time with God this morning?

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Psalm 5:3

What do you do when you wake up first thing in the morning? Do you pick up your phone to check your missed calls and messages? Look at Twitter, Facebook or Instagram? Read the newspaper? Catch up with your favorite celebrity? Make the first cup of coffee? Or do you spend quiet time with God first? 

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I get that we’re busybodies, but worship should be the most important part of our mornings. When we spend time in prayer with God, it prepares us to meet the demands of the day, brings us closer to our Maker and gets us in the habit of praying throughout the day. It also keeps temptation away.

Honoring God with our lips is one thing, but putting words into action is another.

This applies to me as well. I’ve been lacking in spending quiet time with God lately during the day while I’m at work. I do read my morning devotion, meditate on a scripture or two and pray before work begins, but I lapse during the day at times. I’ve prayed about getting into the proper habit of spending more quiet time with Jesus. I don’t want to be far away from God; I want to be closer to Him. The excuse of being busy to find the time to sit quietly with Him reminds me of ‘The Prayerless Poem’.

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When we’re distracted by the world, we cannot hear God’s voice. Be still and set your mind on God in the morning. Even Jesus needed quiet time with the Father (Mark 1:35-37; Luke 5:15-16). What finer example do we need? We were created to worship the Creator (Isaiah 43:7). And when we spend quiet time with Him through prayer, singing praises, meditating on scripture or simply talking to Him, we’ll find a purpose to live, rejoice, and enjoy. 

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Reflection

Spending quiet time with God transforms our way of thinking for we must remove ourselves from the world. If we can make time for our favorite TV shows and social media, we can very well make time for God.

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Bible Activity/Discussion

Walking alongside our Guide 👣

the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121:8

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As a Guide, God leads us down paths that we’ll never envision; not even in our wildest dream! The walk down the path was not promised to be an easy one, but once we trust God, He’ll watch over us as we continue to walk alongside Him. 

Origins

Halloween: a celebration of darkness 🎃

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

Ephesians 5:8

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It’s close to midnight, and something evil’s lurking in the dark

Thriller by Michael Jackson

Yes, the foul stench of Halloween. 

When we look at many of the traditions, holidays, rituals, and practices today, it’s clear to see why we shouldn’t be of this world, but we still cling to worldly traditions especially where it concerns holidays: we pick which one/s we want to celebrate and try to justify it. Have we ever sat down and think for ourselves why holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Halloween get pushed on us when there is nothing of the sort in the Bible? Are they Godly-appointed festivals? And why are they always marketed as fun and harmless?

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A celebration of darkness

No matter how much this holiday is commercialized, Halloween has its roots in pagan origins. This day celebrates darkness, evil, death, and witchcraft annually on October 31st. But how did this holiday come about? The origin of Halloween dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (sow-in) when the Celts celebrated their new year on November 01st. They believed that on the night before the new year, ghosts of the dead returned to earth so on October 31st, they celebrated Samhain when the boundary between this world and the otherworld was at its thinnest. 

The Celts believed that on this night it was made easier for the Druids or Celtic priests to make predictions about the future due to the presence of the otherworldly spirits. They built bonfires and the people burned crops and offered animals and human beings (especially firstborn children) as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. It was during this event that the Celts wore costumes in an attempt to blend in with the evil spirits. They even attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. 

The Celts also celebrated many holidays including spring fertility rites (it became Easter later on) and the winter solstice (later transformed into Christmas). They worshipped Bel or Baal (sun god) and Baal is also a synonym for the devil hence why Halloween glorifies death.

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Customs and practices associated with Halloween

Trick or treating: It was believed that the wandering spirits will get hungry and so, the people set out “treats” for the spirits to appease them from playing tricks on the living.

Bobbing for apples: This was a form of divination (fortune-telling) to learn of future marriages. The first person to bite an apple was predicted to be the first to marry in the coming year. 

Jack-o’-lantern: The original Jack-o’-lantern was not a carved spooky pumpkin, but a severed human head. 

The costumes: The living feared the wandering spirits so much that they came up with a brilliant idea to dress up in ghostly or ghoulish costumes. In this way, they thought that the wandering spirits might mistake them for one of their own and leave them alone.

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Halloween has always been a celebration of death. It promotes every wicked and imaginable evil under the sun. 

Although modern celebrations of Halloween may appear to be harmless on the surface, it doesn’t change the meaning of this celebration. Ouija boards, fortune-telling, grotesque horror movies, and black magic are related to the occult that is Halloween.

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Revelation 18:4

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Should Christians celebrate the holiday of darkness?

Halloween is a culturally encouraged tradition that Christians shouldn’t even think of celebrating. You cannot have one foot in the world and the other in eternal life. Why do we know about the worldly holidays, but not God’s feast and holy days?

The devil is the father of lies (2 Corinthians 11:14) and as Christians, we can’t lead people to Christ if we look like the world for we’re not supposed to be imitating what is evil despite the attraction (3 John 1:11). However, with our freedom as Christians, we have to decide how to act. We can’t continue to provoke the Father to jealousy and to grieve the Spirit. 

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Ephesians 5:11

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Does it matter to God?

God has set us apart for Himself hence the reason why He warns us not to have nothing to do with the world (1 John 2:15). Halloween is not of God regardless of how man twists it. When it comes to this dark holiday, I think of these things:

God is a God of life, not death. Should I celebrate a holiday that glamorizes death? A holiday that emphasizes the macabre and the morbid? (Isaiah 8:19).

We’re to avoid practices that pertain to evil spirits for witchcraft is detestable to God (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). Why would I want to dress up as a witch and glorify witchcraft when it should be detestable to me as well? After all, we’re supposed to be putting away all deeds of darkness (Romans 13:12). We cannot claim to be of the light and walk in the dark at the same time for they have NOTHING in common (2 Corinthians 6:14). 

Does Halloween bring glory to God? Nothing about this dark holiday glorifies the God of Light and Truth.

What do witches, tombstones, magic, dressing up in scary or pretty costumes have to do with Jesus or Christians? Nothing. The scriptures tell us to keep the Passover and consider all of God’s feasts, but 95% of Christians today don’t have a clue about what they are and what they mean, but they’ll gladly tell you all about the man-made holiday and tradition and claim to be doing it for Christ.

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.

1 Corinthians 10:21

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Bible Activity/Discussion

Our walk with God is not the same path 👣

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

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Never envy another person’s walk with God. He has called us to do different, but wonderful things in His Name and we should always be focused on our walk with Him to bring honor and glory to His Name always.