Day 10/7 – Self-Justification

His Peace  – Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)  “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”  Isaiah 26:3

“An understanding of the grace of God results in works. But the works are a response to God — not a means of getting God to respond to them.  ‘I labor more abundantly than everyone,’ Paul says. ‘Because God has been so good to me, I can’t help it.’ So too, if you are one who truly embraces and enjoys the grace of God, you will be more engaged in His service than you were a year ago. You just won’t be able to do otherwise.”     Jon Courson

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A history of these Daily Devotions along with other valuable Resources can be found at: https://lylebrennan.com

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Self-Justification

Day Two Hundred Eighty

“But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?'” Luke 10:29

You must distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate self-justification.  If you are falsely accused of a crime, justifying your behavior is an appropriate response.  “It is true that I have Mr. Jones’ wallet full of money, but I did not steal it; I found it on the street.”  Illegitimate self-justification takes place when you know you are guilty and seek to hide the fact.  Few sins carry the profound ramifications that self-justification does.

Self-justification destroys all ability to reconcile.  This is true in every relationship of life, especially your relationship with God. When the Holy Spirit convicts and you justify yourself, you call into question the Spirit’s right to convict. When you are guilty and refuse to admit it, how can you be reconciled to God?

The insidious thing about self-justification is, as you seek to show your innocence when you know you are guilty, you can easily cross the line into truly believing in your innocence.  The longer and harder you argue the more convincing you sound to yourself, and the more difficulty you have maintaining your ability to distinguish between right and wrong.  Repentance is the key to reconciliation, and the key to repentance is an admission of wrong.

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Isaiah 28-29 Philippians 3 (New King James Version)

Isaiah 28-29

Woe to Ephraim and Jerusalem

28 

Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim,

Whose glorious beauty is a fading flower

Which is at the head of the [a]verdant valleys,

To those who are overcome with wine!

Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one,

Like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm,

Like a flood of mighty waters overflowing,

Who will bring them down to the earth with His hand.

The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim,

Will be trampled underfoot;

And the glorious beauty is a fading flower

Which is at the head of the [b]verdant valley,

Like the first fruit before the summer,

Which an observer sees;

He eats it up while it is still in his hand.

In that day the Lord of hosts will be

For a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty

To the remnant of His people,

For a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,

And for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

But they also have erred through wine,

And through intoxicating drink are out of the way;

The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink,

They are swallowed up by wine,

They are out of the way through intoxicating drink;

They err in vision, they stumble in judgment.

For all tables are full of vomit and filth;

No place is clean.

“Whom will he teach knowledge?

And whom will he make to understand the message?

Those just weaned from milk?

Those just drawn from the breasts?

10 

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,

Line upon line, line upon line,

Here a little, there a little.”

11 

For with stammering lips and another tongue

He will speak to this people,

12 

To whom He said, “This is the rest with which

You may cause the weary to rest,”

And, “This is the refreshing”;

Yet they would not hear.

13 

But the word of the Lord was to them,

“Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,

Line upon line, line upon line,

Here a little, there a little,”

That they might go and fall backward, and be broken

And snared and caught.

14 

Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men,

Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,

15 

Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,

And with Sheol we are in agreement.

When the overflowing scourge passes through,

It will not come to us,

For we have made lies our refuge,

And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.”

A Cornerstone in Zion

16 Therefore thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,

A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;

Whoever believes will not act hastily.

17 

Also I will make justice the measuring line,

And righteousness the plummet;

The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,

And the waters will overflow the hiding place.

18 

Your covenant with death will be annulled,

And your agreement with Sheol will not stand;

When the overflowing scourge passes through,

Then you will be trampled down by it.

19 

As often as it goes out it will take you;

For morning by morning it will pass over,

And by day and by night;

It will be a terror just to understand the report.”

20 

For the bed is too short to stretch out on,

And the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it.

21 

For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim,

He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon—

That He may do His work, His awesome work,

And bring to pass His act, His [c]unusual act.

22 

Now therefore, do not be mockers,

Lest your bonds be made strong;

For I have heard from the Lord God of hosts,

A [d]destruction determined even upon the whole earth.

Listen to the Teaching of God

23 

Give ear and hear my voice,

Listen and hear my speech.

24 

Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow?

Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods?

25 

When he has leveled its surface,

Does he not sow the black cummin

And scatter the cummin,

Plant the wheat in rows,

The barley in the appointed place,

And the [e]spelt in its place?

26 

For He instructs him in right judgment,

His God teaches him.

27 

For the black cummin is not threshed with a threshing sledge,

Nor is a cartwheel rolled over the cummin;

But the black cummin is beaten out with a stick,

And the cummin with a rod.

28 

Bread flour must be ground;

Therefore he does not thresh it forever,

Break it with his cartwheel,

Or crush it with his horsemen.

29 

This also comes from the Lord of hosts,

Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in [f]guidance.

Woe to Jerusalem

29 

“Woe to [g]Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt!

Add year to year;

Let feasts come around.

Yet I will distress Ariel;

There shall be heaviness and sorrow,

And it shall be to Me as Ariel.

I will encamp against you all around,

I will lay siege against you with a mound,

And I will raise siegeworks against you.

You shall be brought down,

You shall speak out of the ground;

Your speech shall be low, out of the dust;

Your voice shall be like a medium’s, out of the ground;

And your speech shall whisper out of the dust.

“Moreover the multitude of your foes

Shall be like fine dust,

And the multitude of the terrible ones

Like chaff that passes away;

Yes, it shall be in an instant, suddenly.

You will be punished by the Lord of hosts

With thunder and earthquake and great noise,

With storm and tempest

And the flame of devouring fire.

The multitude of all the nations who fight against [h]Ariel,

Even all who fight against her and her fortress,

And distress her,

Shall be as a dream of a night vision.

It shall even be as when a hungry man dreams,

And look—he eats;

But he awakes, and his soul is still empty;

Or as when a thirsty man dreams,

And look—he drinks;

But he awakes, and indeed he is faint,

And his soul still craves:

So the multitude of all the nations shall be,

Who fight against Mount Zion.”

The Blindness of Disobedience

Pause and wonder!

Blind yourselves and be blind!

They are drunk, but not with wine;

They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink.

10 

For the Lord has poured out on you

The spirit of deep sleep,

And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets;

And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers.

11 The whole vision has become to you like the words of a [i]book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.”

And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.”

12 Then the book is delivered to one who [j]is illiterate, saying, “Read this, please.”

And he says, “I am not literate.”

13 Therefore the Lord said:

“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths

And honor Me with their lips,

But have removed their hearts far from Me,

And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,

14 

Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work

Among this people,

A marvelous work and a wonder;

For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,

And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.”

15 

Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the Lord,

And their works are in the dark;

They say, “Who sees us?” and, “Who knows us?”

16 

Surely you have things turned around!

Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay;

For shall the thing made say of him who made it,

“He did not make me”?

Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it,

“He has no understanding”?

Future Recovery of Wisdom

17 

Is it not yet a very little while

Till Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field,

And the fruitful field be esteemed as a forest?

18 

In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book,

And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.

19 

The humble also shall increase their joy in the Lord,

And the poor among men shall rejoice

In the Holy One of Israel.

20 

For the [k]terrible one is brought to nothing,

The scornful one is consumed,

And all who watch for iniquity are cut off—

21 

Who make a man an offender by a word,

And lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate,

And turn aside the just by empty words.

22 Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:

“Jacob shall not now be ashamed,

Nor shall his face now grow pale;

23 

But when he sees his children,

The work of My hands, in his midst,

They will hallow My name,

And hallow the Holy One of Jacob,

And fear the God of Israel.

24 

These also who erred in spirit will come to understanding,

And those who complained will learn doctrine.”

Footnotes:

  • Isaiah 28:1 Lit. valleys of fatness
  • Isaiah 28:4 Lit. valley of fatness
  • Isaiah 28:21 Lit. foreign
  • Isaiah 28:22 Lit. complete end
  • Isaiah 28:25 rye
  • Isaiah 28:29 sound wisdom
  • Isaiah 29:1 Jerusalem, lit. Lion of God
  • Isaiah 29:7 Jerusalem
  • Isaiah 29:11 scroll
  • Isaiah 29:12 Lit. does not know books
  • Isaiah 29:20 terrifying

Philippians 3

All for Christ

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.

Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship [a]God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain[b] to the resurrection from the dead.

Pressing Toward the Goal

12 Not that I have already attained,[c] or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have [d]apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already [e]attained, let us walk by the same [f]rule, let us be of the same mind.

Our Citizenship in Heaven

17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

Footnotes:

  • Philippians 3:3 NU, M in the Spirit of God
  • Philippians 3:11 Lit. arrive at
  • Philippians 3:12 obtained it
  • Philippians 3:13 laid hold of it
  • Philippians 3:16 arrived
  • Philippians 3:16 NU omits rule and the rest of v. 16.

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PRAYER REQUESTS 

Please Pray for Jeff from Oregon that has cirrhosis of the liver and has been given only six months to live.  He is unsure of his faith and trying to fill in his remaining days traveling.  Please Pray God awakens Jeff’s spirit to His Salvation.  (Like Jeff, we are all terminal…“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalms‬ ‭90:12‬)

Please Pray for Larry who has been diagnosed to have leukemia.  Pray God would bring Larry and his love ones closer to Him and His Blessed Hope of Glory.  

Brother David Porter requests: “My stepdaughter Brittany and her husband Jose are raising support to go on a Mission trip to Mumbai, India in early November. The focus will be to encourage church planters and share the gospel. They need $2800 each and are about 40% of the way there.” There link is: https://hopechurchonline.focusmissions.com/!/#/12416/south-asia-november-2019/participants/134351/donate

Please continue to Pray for Lisa Long and her family …  UPDATE: as you know, Lisa was scheduled to have surgery Wednesday, September 18, on her eyes… awaiting an update as to the results of that surgery, we found out she did not have the surgery. Prior to the scheduled surgery, she fell out of bed resulting in dislocating her shoulder, and because of the bleeding and swelling, the doctor postponed the surgery. We continue to Pray for His Miraculous Holy Touch on Lisa and those surrounding her. 

Please continue to Pray for Darrell Blalock who has Parkinson’s disease.  Pray for Darrell to become closer to the Lord. 

Please continue to Pray for John LaPorte whose doing ministry at UNLV … a student named Tyler is propaganda machine for the enemy… he continuously interrupts their ministry.  Pray God will intervene and radically save Tyler and that our God will use Tyler to bring many to Christ.  (Please continue to Pray for God’s supernatural strength of the witnessing group members as several are weakening.)

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Brother JohnLaPorte reports… Bryce, a UNLV student who recently received the Lord and came from occult background is engaging Tyler and defending the Faith. Recently, Bryce has come under intense attacks and heckling from unbelievers on campus. Please Pray for God to Grow and Strengthen Bryce and use him in a Holy Mighty Way.    

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Remington, another UNLV student, says he is a new catholic… not a Believer, yet, but says he is a seeker. Pray God reveals His Truth, His Salvation to Remington. 

Please Pray that our families and Brothers and Sisters in Christ will gather together to Pray… Jesus says in Matthew 18:20 (NKJV) “… For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Please pray for Lisa Greene who is having both her hips replaced… Pray for her surgeon and her quickly for coverage and that God will be seen in her.  

Please continue to  Pray for Brother Lance going through perilous times. Pray he would let God’s strength and peace show through his weakness and his testimony be a Blessing to many. 

Please continue to  Pray for our unSaved family members and those around us that we have relationships with.  Or, is that you? … Have questions &/or need Prayer?… If yes, please reply or call (702) 592-4098. 

Please continue to  Pray for family members and those relationships around you who say they are Saved, but their lives don’t show it. And, if that’s happens to be you, the Holy Spirit can change you into a New Creation, Christ in you… but, you must totally surrender everything to Him. (As long as you think you can do it on your own, He’ll let you; and, you will fail.) … Have questions &/or need Prayer?… If yes, please reply or call (702) 592-4098. 

Please continue to Pray for our nation that God would open all our eyes to the sins that are drowning us. Lukewarmness, abortion, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, hatred & divisiveness, greed, pride, rebellion, covetousness, etc.  Please Pray and Fast for our nation to turn from this evil that is enveloping us.   

II Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

… AND YET, God is Sovereign and has called us to live in such a time as this and to be His Light in the darkness… to give Hope to some. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Please Pray for Brother Robert traveling to preach in several churches in several states. 

Please continue to keep Sister Fabiola and her children in Mexico in our Prayers. This Sister and her family, in a short time period, have been hit with a more tragedies (persecutions) than most of us have in our entire life time…  the murder of her husband, x-husband and one of her children. And, recently, her modest home (a shack by any American standard) was burnt to the ground. …Her neighbor’s house caught fire and due to the closeness of her home, it caught fire, too.  Brothers & Sisters, please Pray for God’s Holy touch on Fabiola and her family. 

Please continue to Pray for Geo, a banker, who was deployed by the military to the Mideast. Pray God would keep him safe and that God would bring Geo closer to Him; and, that Geo would share God with all his company and those who come in contact with him. 

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I’ve been told by one Geo’s co-workers, Lorraine Flores, who says she considers Geo a son, that the day Geo was deployed to the Mideast, his girlfriend delivered his new baby. Please Pray Geo would Walk in God’s Light and be a Godly husband and father. And, please Pray for Geo’s family. (Also, please Pray for both Lorraine Flores and her biological son that was deployed the same day as Geo, but to Africa.)

Please continue to Pray for Brother Mark Pedder, a missionary in the Philippines. Please Pray for Mark, Mark’s wife for strength in their trials, tribulations and persecution. 

Please continue to Pray for Gemma that she be delivered from evil and receive Jesus as her Savior. 

Please continue to Pray for Brother Walt to be reconciled with his son and his son’s family. 

Please continue to Pray for Brother John LaPorte’s roommate, Brother Freddy, whose commitment to Christ caused his wife to separate from him for 6 years. The couple have 2 daughters. Both parents has stayed single all this time of separation… Within the recent past, it appears his wife, Arlene, has been Saved and the couple are beginning their reconciliation process. They are planning to reunite the family again under one roof in the next few months.  Please Pray for their total reconciliation with God at their helm. 

Please continue to Pray for a group of well-known Southern Nevada commercial real estate brokers and associates recently in a one-car accident. The occupants had all been drinking alcohol.  One passenger died leaving 3 young daughters, one suffered serious head trauma, two had mild trauma, and the driver has been charged.  Please Pray for the driver and all those effected by this tragedy …that God would direct their eyes to Him, The King of Mercy, Grace and Salvation. 

Please continue Pray for our President and ALL our government leaders of both parties. Pray they would submit their authority to His Authority and ask for His Wisdom in directing the affairs of our nation.  Please Pray that God would open their eyes and they would be obedient to His Will. 

Please  continue to Pray for Brother Frank Sun, a Taiwanese, that owns several businesses in China and Taiwan.  Please Pray Frank will be bold in his sharing Christ in his companies and that he will be faithful to disciple the new Believers.  

AND, let each of us use Frank’s example and share the Love and Salvation of Jesus to our coworkers, employees, family, friends and acquaintances  … Invest in the Eternal!

Please continue to Pray for Brother Walt and His Friday Bible Study.

Please continue to Pray for the Women’s Pro-Life ministries in Las Vegas that they would lead women to the Lord and continue to assist in saving babies’ lives. 

Please continue to Pray for Jim Nelson and family ministering in China. 

Please continue to Pray for Dave Ubank and his family. They are ministering and rescuing children and families in Syria directly affected by ISIS – Pray for their protection and their ministry.  For a short 2 minute video about Ubanks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_htIgIvgDM[/embedyt

Please continue to Pray for our Brothers’ and Sisters’ struggling with various addictions. Pray that God would reveal Himself to them that all things are possible through Him… He can Cure any addiction … He is our Great Creator, He is our Savior, He is our Healer …He is our All and All!  

Please continue to Pray for Alejandro Corral, his son Alejandro Jr.

Please continue to Pray for Brother Steve Venable dealing with ALS. 

Please continue to Pray for our Persecuted Brothers and Sisters and their families that are suffering and giving their lives for our Faith. 

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Please stand with your Brothers and Sisters in Prayer and Support. (See: The Voice of the Martyrs: https://www.persecution.com)

Please continue to pray for Biblical “headship” in families.

Please continue to Pray for all our children. 

Please continue to Pray that there would be a resurgence of Biblical “Fear of the Lord” in the church and in each of us… “to fear the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.”

Please continue to Pray for Brother Ron Brink’s son who had 3+ military tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and who is now suffering brain damage and PTSD.  Pray for God’s Healing Power to fall upon Johnathon. (Ron is a 20 plus year missionary in Mexico with Touch Baja… for info on Touch Baja and how to touch the Mexican people for Christ, see http://www.touchbaja.com.)

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