Daily in the WordAuthor: Lancaster Baptist Church
15 Aug 2018

Daily in the Word

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Daily in the Word is the Radio and Internet ministry of Dr. Paul Chappell, Senior Pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church and President of West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster California. Visit www.lancasterbaptist.org for more information.

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    Reignite Your Race—Part 1

    Being Shocked at Sin

    “Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice. And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God, And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.”

    Ezra 9:4–6

    One of the greatest dangers of sin is the way in which we slowly and subtly become accustomed to it. When there is sin all around us, as is true in our day, it is easy for us to stop thinking that it is shocking and horrible. Alexander Pope wrote:

    “Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
    As to be hated needs but to be seen;
    Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
    We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

    Sin is still just as wicked as ever, no matter how much of it there is or how accepted it may become by society. When Ezra returned from Babylon to teach the Jewish people the law of God, he found that they had ignored the commandments God had given concerning marrying foreigners. This practice was widespread and had become culturally acceptable. But it was shocking to Ezra who had committed his life to live by God’s law and to teach that law to others.

    Because he refused to accept or downplay or normalize sin, Ezra was able to lead the people to repentance and revival. One of the great needs of our day is Christians who are shocked and appalled by sin.

    Today’s Growth Principle: 
    If we find sin acceptable in the lives of others, it will not be long before we find it acceptable in ourselves as well.

  • Posted on 15 Aug 2018

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    Reignite Your Stewardship—Part 2

    The Promise of Power

    “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

    Acts 1:7–8

    One of the biggest trade shows in the world is the annual Consumer Electronics Show hosted by the Consumer Technology Association each year in Las Vegas. More than 180,000 people browse booths filled with the latest gadgets, tools, and toys put on display by hundreds of vendors. The show in January of 2018 featured an unusual and unwelcome interruption—the electricity went out for more than two hours. Without power, none of the devices worked, no matter how advanced and how cutting edge they might be.

    The Christian life and our work for God depend on power, and that power does not come from us. The instruction that Jesus gave to His disciples was to not attempt to begin their work until they had received the promised power. “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me” (Acts 1:4). There are many sincere, dedicated, and devoted people who are not seeing the kind of results they want from their ministry because they are not operating in God’s power.

    The Holy Spirit is given to every believer at the moment of salvation. But there is an ongoing process of allowing His power to flow through us: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). There is no shortage of power on God’s end. His “transmission lines” never go down.

    Today’s Growth Principle: 
    Effective work and ministry can only be accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit on our lives.

  • Posted on 14 Aug 2018

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    Reignite Your Stewardship—Part 1

    Busy or Productive?

    “Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.”

    Luke 5:4–6

    Because of the huge crowd that came to hear Jesus preach, He borrowed Peter’s boat and stood in it while the people gathered on the shore. The water naturally carried the sound of His voice, and ensured that the people could hear what Jesus said. When He was done with His message, Jesus had a plan to repay Peter for the use of his boat—a great haul of fish. Peter pointed out that despite working the entire night, they had nothing to show for it. This was not merely a frustration of a hobby, but rather it was a major problem for a man who made his living catching fish. Peter needed results, not just activity.

    Most of us know the feeling of working all day without feeling like we are getting anything done. There is no benefit in being busy alone. The answer for productivity in our lives is the same as it was for Peter—when God steps in, everything changes. Too many times we labor in our own strength, attempting to accomplish that which can only be done through divine enabling. R. A. Torrey said, “We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity but accomplish little. We have many services but few results.” God wants us to work hard, but He expects us to do that work in dependence on Him. He is the one who transforms our work into a harvest.

    Today’s Growth Principle: 
    Before we labor, we should seek God’s face and God’s power so that our work will be productive.

  • Posted on 13 Aug 2018

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    Reignite Your Life—Part 2

    Avoiding the Stain of the World

    “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

    2 Corinthians 6:17–7:1

    I came across a story from the late 1800s of a group of society young people who decided to tour a nearby coal mine. On the appointed day they showed up and met their guide. While most of them had dressed appropriately for the occasion, one of the young ladies had worn a lovely white tea dress. Her friends questioned her choice of apparel, but she appealed to their tour guide. “Can’t I wear a white dress into the coal mine?” After a moment he replied, “There’s nothing to keep you from wearing a white frock into the mine, but there’s a considerable amount there that will keep you from wearing a white frock out.”

    The notion that we can walk deeply into the things of the world without it having an impact on us is folly. While we are not meant to withdraw from the world and become hermits, we also must not yield to the temptation to get as close to sinful things as we can. Those who think that they have reached a point in their sanctification and growth that they can allow themselves some “small” sins without damage are falling right into Satan’s trap. He loves the self-confident Christian, because the devil knows that it will not be long until sin gains control. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

    Today’s Growth Principle: 
    If we want a close relationship with God, we must cleanse our hearts of the things of the world.

  • Posted on 10 Aug 2018

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    Reignite Your Life—Part 1

    Getting Serious about God

    “Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.”

    Jeremiah 29:12–14

    There are many resources and teachings available for Christians on the subjects of growing in grace and becoming closer to God. I’m thankful for all the ones that are faithful to the Bible and encourage good habits and correct doctrine. But in truth this is not a difficult subject to understand—the difficulty is in the execution, not the education. The bottom line of our Christian life is determined by the condition of our heart. If the heart is not fixed on God, other things will intervene to draw us away from Him.

    A. W. Tozer said, “Come near to the holy men and women of the past, and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. They mourned for Him, they prayed and wrestled and sought for Him day and night, in season and out; and when they had found Him, the finding was all the sweeter for the long seeking…Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth.”

    We do not have to rely on our own strength to fix our hearts on God. He enables and equips us to seek Him as He commands. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).

    Today’s Growth Principle: 
    Seeking to follow God partially is doomed to failure—nothing less than total commitment will do.

  • Posted on 09 Aug 2018

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