Category Archives: Abortion

Ever Wonder Why Wickedness is Parading in Our Cities?

womens-marchWednesday, February 1, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Psalm 12-14

My focus for today’s devotional is Psalm 12:8.

Psalm 12:8 “The wicked [ungodly; evil; immoral] walk on every side [encircle; surround; unrestrained], when the vilest [worthless; weak; i.e. gluttoness] men are exalted .”

madonnaToday, more than at any time in my lifetime, the essence of Psalm 12:8 is on full display for the world to see. Permit me to put the words of Psalm 12:8 in my own words:

The wicked, immoral, and ungodly are embolden, proud, and unashamed of their sin when worthless, undisciplined, narcissistic men and women are applauded, admired, and promoted.

hillaryWonder why lawlessness, depravity, and wickedness parade shamelessly in our cities?   Wonder no longer!  The pleasures of sin and the debauchery of sexual depravity is a consuming passion of the American public because we have put on political pedestals, stage, and theater screens the purveyors of immorality and rebellion.   Wickedness and rebellion are cancers eroding the moral fiber of our homes, churches, schools, communities, and nation. Consider the following as supporting evidence.

When a villainous, lying woman receives the majority of the American vote for president, “the wicked walk on every side”.judd

When Hollywood stars and Rock musicians swear and curse the nation’s leaders, “the wicked walk on every side”.

When college campuses promote the wicked and despise the righteous, “the wicked walk on every side”.

Is the same not true of the church?  When carnality is the entertainment diet of church members and immorality is tolerated in her leaders, “the wicked walk on every side”.

Christian friend, God has called us to be Salt and Light in the world.  Salt is a natural preservative; however, when contaminated, salt becomes in the words of Christ, “good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Mt. 5:13).  light-of-the-worldSadly, I find that statement is true of many church members; too many Christians tolerate sin and have “lost their savor”.

It is easy to condemn the world’s sinful darkness, but I remind you, if the church were Light, there would be less darkness (Mt. 5:14-15)!

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

Warning: A Biblical Perspective on Liberalism and the Women’s March

womens-marchWednesday, January 25, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Psalms 9-11

Today’s devotional reading consists of three chapters, Psalms 9-11. Psalm 9 is a psalm of praise and thanksgiving for God executing judgment upon the wicked and delivering the righteous. The pride and oppressive ways of the wicked is the focus of Psalm 10, reminding us that, though times have changed, the nature of man has not. Contrary to their rhetoric, the nature of the wicked is and has always been to oppress the poor and helpless (10:2-3, 7-11).

madonnaOn a personal note and one not meant as an offense, it is my observation that we have witnessed the unveiled demagoguery of the wicked for the past eight years. The recent Women’s March on Washington, DC put on display for all the world to see, the vented anger of the wicked who call abortion a virtue and whose mouths are vile. Such has always been the way of the wicked.

Psalm 10:7-8 – “[The wicked’s] mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. 8  He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.”

I am uncertain of the historical context of Psalm 11; however, David was certainly facing the threat of an enemy and weighing the counsel of his advisers who urged him to flee.

There are times that retreat and flight at the threat of assault is a wise choice.  David fled from the presence of Saul when the king attacked him.  David fled Jerusalem after his son Absalom stole the affections of the people and led an insurrection against his father the king.   We do not know if the enemy David faced was a foe within or without his kingdom; however the threat was significant enough for the king’s counselors to advise him to flee (11:1b-2). David asserted his faith in the LORD and asked his frightened counselors, would you have me flee like a frightened bird? (11:1)psalm-11-3

Psalm 11:1 – “In the LORD put I my trust [confide; flee for protection; make refuge]: how say [speak; command] ye to my soul [life; person; mind], Flee [disappear; remove] as a bird to your mountain?

The king’s counselors reminded David the plot of the wicked was to destroy the just and upright (11:2) and as king, he was the moral pillar, the foundation of the nation (11:3a).

Psalm 11:2-3 – “For, lo, the wicked [ungodly; immoral; guilty] bend their bow, they make ready [prepare; set up; fix] their arrow upon the string, that they may privily [secretly in the darkness] shoot at the upright [right; just; righteous] in heart [mind]. 3  If the foundations [purpose; support; moral pillars] be destroyed [thrown down; pull down; broken in pieces], what can the righteous [just] do?”

The counselors reasoned not only was the king’s life at risk, but also the lives and future of the nation (11:3b). In other words, what would become of the righteous should the king, representing not only human authority, but the nation’s spiritual relationship with God fail?

Psalm 11:4-7 is David’s answer to the questions and counsel of his frightened, faithless advisors.

Psalm 11:4-5 – “The LORD is in his holy [sacred; hallowed] temple, the LORD’S throne [seat] is in heaven: his eyes behold [perceive; look; gaze], his eyelids try [examine; prove], the children of men. 5 The LORD trieth [proves; examines] the righteous [just; law-abiding]: but the wicked [ungodly; immoral; guilty] and him that loveth violence [cruelty; injustice] his soul hateth [as a foe].”

isisFor the sake of application to current events, I invite you to consider the violence, reign of terror, and wickedness afflicting the world in the Middle East in the name of Islam. Beheadings, burnings, rapes, and a swath of destruction perpetrated against humanity in the name of Allah is an example of the depraved nature of man.  Rather than condemning and calling for the annihilation of these zealots of evil, liberal politicians, educators, religious leaders, and the media cultivate a tone of political correctness, but are swift to condemn any who point out the wickedness of this 21st century crusade against humanity.

David reminds the righteous that God is on His throne and the wicked will not escape His wrath (11:6). Not unlike the weapons of modern warfare, David describes the terror of God’s judgment raining down upon the wicked who oppose Him and despise the righteous.

Our devotion ends with an assurance the LORD’s love for the righteous never wanes and His eyes are ever upon those who are moral, just and upright (11:7).  There are times that flight and retreat from an adversary is prudent; however, too many preachers in America fear to speak the Truth and cater to the wealthy and powerful in politically correct terms lest they raise the ire of a few.  Sadly, the occupants of the pulpit and the pew seem ambivalent to the wickedness that has painted the Middle East in blood and is slowly being assimilated into our schools, communities, churches and government.isaiah-40-31

Christians in America still have freedom to speak against enemies who wish to drive the Gospel underground and silence any who dare speak the Truth concerning the moral decadence of our nation.  Don’t be blind to the reality that liberal media, educators, politicians, and a generation of spiritual rebels who have rejected God (Psalm 14:1, 53:1) are foes of righteousness and intent on intimidating and silencing any who dare speak Truth.

The challenge for believers and the true church is whether or not we will trust the LORD, confident He is Sovereign of creation, and seek our refuge in Him.

Isaiah 40:31 – “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

The Case for Capital Punishment

case-for-death-penaltyTuesday, January 24, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Joshua 16-20

The patriarch Joseph, the 11th of twelve sons born to Jacob the father of Israel’s twelve tribes, was abundantly blessed for his faithfulness to the LORD when the descendants of his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, both born in Egypt, were each given their own inheritance in the land (Joshua 16:1-4).  The inheritance of the tribe of Ephraim, Joseph’s youngest son, is delineated in Joshua 16:5-10.  Joshua 17 defines the geographical lands that were assigned to the tribe of Manasseh, Joseph’s firstborn son (17:1-13).

12-tribesTwo phrases reveal a failing of both tribes descended from Joseph.  Of Ephraim we read, “they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer” (Joshua 16:10).  The same malady is stated of Manasseh, for we read, “the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land… did not utterly drive them out” (Joshua 17:12-13).  The failure to drive the pagan, idol worshipping Canaanites out of the land would become a major spiritual stumbling block to the generations to follow.

When both tribes of Joseph boasted they were a “great people” (17:14) and complained they had not been given enough land for their inheritance, Joshua challenged them to go to war against the “Perizzites” and the “giants” in the land and claim the land for their children (17:15).  Instead of trusting God’s promises and rising to the challenge to conquer the enemies of the land, the “children of Joseph” (the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh), objected the enemy was great (17:16-18).joshua-18

The narrative concerning the dividing of the land among the twelve tribes of Israel continues in Joshua 18 revealing seven tribes who had failed to drive the pagan nations out of their inheritance (18:1-3).  Joshua devised a new plan for dividing up the remaining territories among the seven remaining tribes (18:4-28).  Joshua 19 continues with the work of dividing and assigning the land to the seven tribes who had yet not conquered their lands.  After assigning all the tribes their inheritance, Joshua is given his inheritance, “Timnathserah in Ephraim” (19:50) where he built a city.

joshua-20-cities-of-refugeIn Joshua 20 we read that the LORD commanded Joshua to establish six “cities of refuge” in the land (20:1-2).  Reflecting the “sanctity of human life” and the principle of capital punishment established by God in Genesis 9:5-6, the cities of refuge afforded a safe place for those who had unintentionally taken the life of another man (20:3-4).  Because there was no law enforcement, the cities of refuge provided a place where a man’s case could be judged by the elders of the city and his life protected from those who felt compelled to avenge the death of a loved one (20:5).

Several thoughts come to mind as I close.  The first is the justice and deterrence that capital punishment brings to a society. The tragedy of violence and murder in our world today is a reflection of our government’s departure from God’s law.  Long before the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”, God established that those guilty of willfully murdering another should pay for their crime with the forfeiture of their own life (Genesis 9:5-6; Exodus 20:13).  Finally, realizing we are all guilty of breaking God’s law, Christians can take comfort in the knowledge that Jesus Christ is our refuge.

Romans 8:1 – “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

The Tragedy of Ambivalence When Innocent Lives Are Lost

CreatorToday’s devotional commentary is from Proverbs 24:11-12.  To appreciate the context of these proverbs requires us to remember they are the wise sayings; the proverbial teachings of a king instructing a son who will one day sit on the throne of Israel as both king and judge.  Solomon knows that life and death will rest in the hands of his son and he impresses upon him both the sanctity of human life and the responsibility of being just in one’s judgments.

Proverbs 24:11-12“If thou forbear [restrain; hold back; spare] to deliver [rescue; save] them that are drawn [take away; seize] unto death, and those that are ready [removed] to be slain [executed; put to death]; 12 If thou sayest [boast; certify; Holocaustpromise], Behold, we knew [know; understand; discern] it not; doth not he that pondereth [weigh; measure] the heart [inner nature] consider [discern; regard; understand] it? and he that keepeth [guards; preserves] thy soul [being; life; person], doth not he know [know; understand; discern] it? and shall not he render [restore; return] to every man according to his works [deeds]?”

The sacredness of all human life, from womb to tomb, is a fundamental doctrine of Judeo-Christianity.   Theorists who project evolution on our society see human life as having no more value or dignity than fish in the sea or an otter in a lake.   The humanist sees himself as his “god” and master, but he does not recognize man as having an eternal soul and spirit.  Islam enslaves its adherents, murders its rivals and robs humanity of the dignity of conscious and free will choice.  The Word of God; however, teaches that God created man in His image and man bears the likeness of God in his spirit—a consciousness of self and His Creator (Genesis 1:27; 2:7, 21-22; Psalm 139:13-16).

infantIt is the sacred value of human life that is the central truth of Proverbs 24:11-12.   Solomon impresses upon his son the tragedy of ambivalence when we observe injustice and the loss of innocent lives.

Solomon warns, “Don’t presuppose you can protest you knew nothing” (24:12) when you have failed to intervene to save innocent lives.  God ponders the heart; He judges the motive and He will judge “every man according to his works” (24:12b).

I end today’s devotional with a personal note of “thank you” to my beautiful wife as we celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary this July 24!  Our lives are blessed beyond measure with three children, their spouses and a beautiful granddaughter whom we love and treasure.  The Lord is good and He does indeed work “all things together for good” (Romans 8:28-29).   I love you, Sheilah!

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

“We Shall Stand” (part 1of 2)

Memorial Day

Today, Monday, May 30, 2016 is the day these United States pay tribute and reflect on those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.  Before you rush out into activities that give little time for reflection, permit me an opportunity of challenging you with questions I put before my church family on Sunday.

How can we, the living, repay the debt we owe for the liberties we have inherited?  How can we express our gratitude to those who died defending the sovereignty of our nation?  What can we give in memory of those who gave their all that we might be free?

soldier's widowMany will answer those questions quoting John 15:13;  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  Indeed, a wonderful verse of self-sacrifice that acknowledges Christ is the model of sacrifice, in that He “commendeth His love for us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

But what is the practical application of that verse to the questions I proposed?   What can we give in service to our country?   What can we sacrifice to preserve this nation and the freedoms others bought with their own blood and lives?

We must cherish our liberties by standing our ground against all who threaten them!

We must embrace and exercise our freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States:  Freedom of Religion; Freedom of Speech; Freedom of the Press; Freedom of Assembly; Right to Bear Arms; Right of Equal Justice; Right to own private property; and Freedom of Petition to request our elected representatives oppose proposed laws or request protection under the law on our behalf.

We must sacrifice our time, talents, and strength to stand and defend our liberties!   We must refuse to be silenced by those who would shout us down.  We must remember that, contrary to the actions of our elected officials and federal government agencies, these United States are a Republic, not a dictatorship!

freedoms

We must recognize the greatest threat to our nation and freedoms is not Islamic terrorists, but our own government.   

For more than a half-century, our public schools and secular colleges have indoctrinated America’s youth in a liberal, socialistic ideology.  Our children are woefully ignorant of our nation’s history and know little about the sacrifices of those who have gone before them.  Inflaming a rebellion against their elders that is often a natural passing of youth, secular schools, activists preachers (i.e. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson), liberal politicians, spineless conservatives, and the encouragement of liberal media have fostered a generation of youth that reflect the thoughtless mob rationale of Brown Shirt Nazis and Communist youth threatening to usher in an era of anarchy inflamed by our own government.  Given the immoral trajectory of our nation and its betrayal of God’s Law and Commandments, our government and society threaten to silence us all if we do not awaken.  I am afraid the “Silent Majority” of the early 1980’s has become the emaciated “Moral Minority” of the 21st century and the proponents of wickedness have risen to the highest offices in our nation.Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has become a terror to Constitutional Law and the Commandments of God.   The Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 and its decision to legalize “same-sex marriage” in June 2015 were direct assaults on traditional marriage and family.  Added to the moral erosion of America is President Obama’s mandate to open restrooms, showers and locker rooms to those declaring they self-identify with the sex opposite their biological gender.  The president’s action is not only morally reprehensible, it is a declaration of war on the moral innocence and character of our children.  Evidencing the maniacal extremity of the left is the threat to withhold federal funds from school meals programs if schools do not comply with the president’s edict!

Wake Up America!  The President’s heavy-handed enforcement of his ideology against school children should send a warning to every American—the government will inevitably crush us all if we remain silent.

(part 1 of 2)

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

Proverbs 18:3, 5 – Do Right!

do rightThe wicked are a frequent topic of Solomon’s proverbs to his son.  Because he would one day be king, it was important that the prince of Israel be discerning of the person and ways of the wicked.  For today’s devotional, we will focus on two parables that address the wicked, Proverbs 18:3, 5.

Proverbs 18:3 – “When the wicked [ungodly; morally corrupt] cometh [enters; abides]then cometh also contempt [disrespect; shame; i.e. mocking of the righteous – Ps. 31:18], and with ignominy [disgrace; dishonor] reproach [reproach; imputing someone’s character].”

Solomon warned his son when the wicked have a place of influence and corruptionprominence, they bring with them contempt for the law, righteousness, moral goodness and honor.   One need look no further than the moral corruption of our nation to realize the fruition of Solomon’s warning.  Immoral leaders, contemptuous of moral judgment, now occupy every branch of government and the result has been an open assault on morality.

In Proverbs 18:5, Solomon offers an elementary lesson in justice by stating two things that are not good.

Proverbs 18:5 – “It is not good to accept [carry; take; bear; support] the person [face; presence] of the wicked [ungodly; morally corrupt]to overthrow [stretch; bend; put aside; turn away] the righteous [lawful; just] in judgment [passing sentence or judgment; verdict].”

justice deniedThe first lesson: It is not good to enable or support the ungodly in their sin (18:5a).  Compromising with the wicked and their ways is never right!  This truth applies to every walk of life.  It is not good for a parent to enable a child’s sin and rebellion.  It is not good to be unequally yoked, in partnership, with the ungodly (2 Corinthians 6:14, 16-17).  It is not good to abide the murder of the unborn (Exodus 20:13) or the depravity of homosexuality (Romans 1:26-28) in the name of political correctness.

The second lesson: It is not good to deny the righteous justice (18:5b).  The sad reality of our nation is that our judicial and political systems are tilted in favor of the criminal.  Too often the victims of crime bear scars that will follow them the rest of their lives, while the criminal is slapped on the wrist and set free to wrong again.

Regardless of what the rest of the world is doing, let God’s people be committed to Bob Jones Sr“Do Right” regardless of the cost.  Let us determine to never deny the innocent justice.

The late evangelist, Dr. Bob Jones Sr. said: “It is never right to do wrong!”

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith

Proverbs 14:34 – The morality of a nation determines its destiny

righteousness exalteth a nationProverbs 14:34 – “Righteousness [justice; moral uprightness] exalteth [lifts up; elevates] a nation [people; i.e. – group; community; family; generation]: but sin [offence against God or man’s law] is a reproach [shame] to any people [nation; community].”

World history supports Solomon’s observation that those nations whose laws fundamentally aligned with the moral absolutes of God’s Word and principally the Ten Commandments, have been blessed and flourished.  It is my observation that where the Gospel has been preached and Christianity has held a strong influence, people have evidenced a respect for law and order, a spirit of charity and a common decency towards their fellowman that is both good and noble.

As is true of the nations, so it can be said of a family, church, community and city.  When a people choose to embrace righteousness and are exercised by both the Laws of God and the laws of man, there will be present a moral innocence, kindness and benevolence that is indicative of biblical charity (1 Corinthians 13).

While righteousness commends a nation to God’s blessing, a people who reject God, turn from His Law and choose to follow the path of sin and wickedness will come to disgrace.  Too many examples come to mind when I consider the tragic realization of this proverb in the lives of friends, families and ministries I have known over the years.  Shame, humiliation and disgrace scar the lives of those who forsake God’s Law.unprincipled politicians

I close with a political observation that is suitable to today’s proverb.  The decline of America’s power and presence in the world parallels her national sins and the disdain with which we are held as a people.  We have butchered the unborn and celebrated it as a woman’s right; we have embraced gross immorality and defined it as a civil right; we have betrayed Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East and befriended those who would destroy us.  We have become a “reproach” and, in the words of U. S. Senator Ted Cruz, “Our friends no longer trust us, and our enemies no longer fear us.”

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith