20/20 Spiritual Vision: Being "Farsighted"

As an introduction to the 20/20 Series, read Asking God for 20/20 Spiritual Vision


If we want 20/20 spiritual vision, we need to see beyond our present circumstances. This 1-minute devotion explains. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #Devotions

Life can bring injustice, injury, sickness, financial loss, untimely death, and thousands of other difficulties.

Christ never promised us sorrow-free lives (John 16:33). 

Sadly, we usually overestimate earthly hardships and underestimate eternal blessings.

But Christians with 20/20 spiritual vision are "far-sighted"—able to look beyond their present circumstances. They consider these earthly hardships "light and momentary troubles," so they fix their gaze on what's unseen and eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). 

Like Old Testament saints, they look forward to the promises of heaven, realizing they're "foreigners and strangers" here on earth (Hebrews 11:13).

They have confidence in what they hope for and assurance about what they do not see (Hebrews 11:1).
 

Let's make sure we're seeing our present treasures and hardships for what they are: temporary. Let's make sure we're seeing our future in Christ for what it is: eternal!
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To improve your 20/20 vision, to be able to look beyond your earthly circumstances, check out these 1-minute devotions:
Homesick 
Tent-Life  
Aliens and Strangers  

If we want 20/20 spiritual vision, we need to see beyond our present circumstances. This 1-minute devotion explains. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #Devotions

Bible Love Notes

The Fulfillment Of Old Testament Laws

Be informed about Old Testament laws so you can address false teachings like the Hebrew Roots Movement. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #Devotions #HebrewRootsMovement

Dear Christians, we must be careful not to be "taken captive" by false philosophies (Colossians 2:8). 

One false teaching which is gaining popularity in the modern church is the Hebrew Roots Movement. This movement teaches that Christians must follow Old Testament dietary and ceremonial laws.(1)

It's absolutely essential that we understand that we are no longer under Old Testament law.

Sacrificial laws were fully satisfied by the ultimate sacrifice of Christ (Hebrews 10). 

Dietary laws ended because they proved it's not what goes into our mouths that makes us unclean (Acts 10:9-16; Matthew 15:10-11).

Cleansing laws proved that only Jesus can give us clean hearts (Ephesians 5:25-27). 

Ceremonial laws foreshadowed the coming of Christ (Hebrews 9).

No one could be made right with God through these external Old Testament laws (Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16).

But these laws weren't abolished. They were fulfilled in Christ. See Christ's Complete Fulfillment of Old Testament Laws.

Old Testament laws had an important purpose in mankind's spiritual history, but in Christ that purpose has been revealed, fulfilled, and completed.


Please read, pin, or bookmark my longer article on the Hebrew Roots Movement: All or Nothing: Christ's Fulfillment of the Law. If you haven't been confronted with this false teaching, you probably will be. So be prepared!


Be informed about Old Testament laws so you can address false teachings like the Hebrew Roots Movement. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #Devotions #HebrewRootsMovement

Bible Love Notes

3 Ways of Looking at Popular Pagan Practices


There are three ways that Christians view pagan and occult practices:

1. They legalistically attach pagan roots to everything.(1)

2. They incorporate or modify pagan practices without discernment.

3. They carefully research pagan influences and Scriptures about paganism.

The first group listens to unsubstantiated claims and associates harmless practices to paganism.

The second group gets involved in things that compromise their faith.

The third group does careful research and avoids legitimate forms of paganism out of respect for God.

Old Testament Scriptures warn against worshiping God in the same way pagans worship their gods (Deuteronomy 12:1-4), and 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 warns us against any partnership with pagan practices.

I propose a wager similar to Pascal’s: Suppose you avoid things tainted by paganism (see the questions below) and some of the things you avoid are harmless. You're no worse off because none of these things are essential to life. But what if they compromise your relationship with the Lord?

Is anything worth that risk? 

Please read the full text of the Scriptures linked in this devotion.  

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Questions to ask in regard to any practice associated with paganism.  
I've based these questions on: 
2 Cor. 6:14-18 
Deut. 12:3-4 
Deut. 18:9-14

1. Does it have a pagan name?
2. Does the pagan religion associated with it still exist? 
3. Does the pagan religion still use this ritual or object to worship their false god? 
4. Are you mimicking their false worship and simply substituting God's name? 

If you only answer “yes” to #1, it's probably not a problem. Wearing Nike tennis shoes is an example. If you answer “yes” to #1 and #2, you need to pray about the practice. If you answer yes to the questions beyond that, please avoid the activity. For resources about specific practices, see Pagan Influences and Examining Yoga.

Footnote:
(1) For example, some people teach that Christmas and Easter are pagan, claiming they have pagan origins, even though they don't violate any of the principles addressed in the questions above. Much of their research is faulty or questionable, and the current holidays bear no resemblance to these ancient pagan religions (e.g. no one "worships" their Christmas tree). If Christians feel personally convicted about these holidays, they should avoid them; but they should not expect all Christians to agree with them (Colossians 2:16).
See Was the New Testament Influenced by Pagan Religions?

Regarding Christmas:
Is Christmas a Pagan Holiday? (Got Questions), No, Christmas is Not Pagan (Ancient Faith Ministries), Is Christmas a Pagan Holiday? (R.C. Sproul), Should Christians Celebrate Christmas? (John Piper), Is Christmas Pagan? (Stand to Reason)

Regarding Easter:
Is there is there any connection between Ishtar and Easter? (Got Questions), What are the origins of Easter? (Got Questions), Was Easter Borrowed from a Pagan Holiday? (Anthony McRoy), Is the Name Easter of Pagan Origin? (Answers in Genesis)

Regarding Halloween (Halloween is not in the same category as Christmas and Easter): 
Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? and Different Ways Christians Handle Halloween (Bible Love Notes), Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? (Got Questions)    

Bible Love Notes
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