Category Archives: Sodomy

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

Standing at the Precipice of God’s Judgment

Friday, January 6, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Isaiah 1-6

The Book of Isaiah is the first prophetic book in our yearlong “Read-Thru the Bible” challenge. The prophet Isaiah lived in the 8th century BC during the final days of Israel before the armies of Nebuchadnezzar conquered the nation and the Jews were taken captive to Babylon.  His prophetic ministry was directed to a rebellious people who had maintained an outward formality of religion; however, whose hearts had turned to idols and rejected God and His Law.

Isaiah stands out as the foremost among the Old Testament prophets; however, in his lifetime his people viewed him as a traitor. He was a fearless preacher, courageously confronting the sins of Judah’s kings and boldly calling the Jews to repent.  His preaching was powerful, his style soaring, and his prophesies vivid.

isaiah-5-20Isaiah foretold the judgment of God in a series of “Woes” pronounced against the nation should the people not repent of their sins (Isaiah 5:20-23, 26-30). In a parallel to our own day, the first “woe” condemned the nation for rejecting God’s Laws leaving the people with the dilemma of no moral absolutes. We read:

Isaiah 5:20 – “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Such is the condition of our nation and world. I will illustrate with one example, “Gay Marriage”. Our nation’s leaders, judicial courts, secular schools and liberal churches have rejected God’s definition of marriage, condemned those who embrace the biblical and historical definition of marriage between one man and one woman, and now promotes the lunacy of men marrying men and women marrying women (Romans 1:26-27)! Condemning moral virtue, our society has embraced wickedness and depravity.

A second “woe” describes the people as unteachable.

Isaiah 5:21 – “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent [wise, shrewd] in their own sight!”

Paul’s letter to Christians in Rome described the same in these words, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).

A third “woe” illuminated the narcissistic nature of the people and the “pay to play” sin of 21st century politicians.

Isaiah 5:22-23 – “Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine [drunkards], and men of strength to mingle strong drink [boasting of their drunkenness]23 Which justify [acquit] the wicked for reward [bribe], and take away the righteousness [innocence; justice, rights and liberties] of the righteous from him!”moral-absolutes

I close with a fourth “woe” stated by Isaiah of himself.  Shaken by a vision of the LORD sitting on His heavenly throne (Isaiah 6:1-4), the conviction of his own sinfulness overwhelmed the prophet:

Isaiah 6:5“…Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

When God asked, “Who shall I send [i.e. to preach to the nation], and who will go for us?” Isaiah answered God’s call, “Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8).

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

Good morning and Happy New Year! – A Bible Reading Challenge for a New Year

daily-bible-reading-planJanuary 1, 2017 –  Daily reading assignment: Romans 1-2

I am challenging my church family to take up the discipline of reading through the Bible this New Year. There are several Bible reading plans and programs available; however, the one I am following will study the Scriptures under seven divisions corresponding with the days of the week. The divisions are: 1) Sunday – The Epistles; 2) Monday – The Law; 3) Tuesday – History; 4) Wednesday – Psalms; 5) Thursday – Poetry; 6) Friday – Prophecy; 7) Saturday – The Gospels.

As a pastor, it is my goal to shepherd the flock God has entrusted to my care and use this “Heart of a Shepherd” blog as a platform to amplify and write a devotional thought or challenge that corresponds to each day’s devotional assignment. I invite you to join me in this daily discipline.

Today’s devotional reading is Romans 1-2. Rather than write a devotional, I will amplify a few verses from Romans 1 that paint a portrait of man’s rebellion and sinful depravity.

romans-1-20Romans 1:20  For the invisible things [those things which cannot be perceived with the physical senses] of Him [God] from [since; by means of] the creation of the world are clearly seen [General or Natural revelation; manifest perceived], being understood [His person and power understood by the evidences of His creation] by the things that are made [Creation is a display of God’s power and gives testimony of God’s person], even His eternal power and Godhead [deity; divine nature]; so that they are without excuse [no excuse for idolatry; reveals the folly or worshipping dumb idols – Isaiah 44:8-20]:

Romans 1:21  Because that, when they knew [had a knowledge of the Person, Power and Presence of God] God, they glorified him not as God [refused to honor and reverence Him as God], neither were thankful [ingratitude; hard hearted]; but became vain [full of pride; conceited] in their imaginations [thoughts; reasonings; exercising foolish opinions because of their unwillingness to acknowledge God], and their foolish heart [mind; lacking understanding] was darkened [incapable of comprehending Truth].

Romans 1:22  Professing [asserting; declaring] themselves to be wise [“philosophers” – lovers of wisdom; wise in their own estimation], they became fools [void of understanding; lacking any moral sense; incapable of discerning between good and evil],

Romans 1:26  For this cause God gave them up [commended; delivered] unto vile [disgraceful; dishonorable; shameful; degrading] affections [passions; lust; i.e. evil desires]: for even [also] their women did change [exchange; transform] the natural [instinctive; physical; inborn] use [employment; occupation; i.e. sexual intercourse] into that which is against [opposed to; contrary] nature [mankind; the nature of things as God created]:

Romans 1:27  And likewise [similarly; moreover] also the men, leaving [cease; forsake; romasn-1-27abandoned] the natural [instinctive; physical; according to nature] use [employment; occupation; i.e. sexual intercourse] of the woman, burned [inflamed; to set on fire; i.e. raging lust] in their lust [desire; longing; craving] one toward another [continually]; men with men working [doing; performing; committing] that which is unseemly [shameful; indecent; obscene], and receiving [what is due; retribution] in [quickly; shortly; afterwards] themselves [in their own bodies and/or souls] that recompence [penalty; compensation] of their error [straying; delusion; deceit] which was meet [due; binding; necessary; required; inevitable; i.e. must needs be as an exacting of God’s justice].

Romans 1:28  And even as [insomuch as; that] they did not like [refused; did not approve; i.e. were not able] to retain [possess; have; hold] God in their knowledge [memory; recognition], God gave them over [commended; delivered] to a reprobate [worthless; rejected; unworthy; abandoned] mind [thought; feeling; will; understanding], to do those things which are not convenient [becoming; proper; fit; right];

Romans 1:29  Being filled with [satisfied; saturated with] all unrighteousness [wrong; iniquity], fornication [all manner of sexual immorality, including adultery and incest], wickedness [depravity; malice; evil desires], covetousness [greed; extortion; desire to have more], maliciousness [evil; desire to injure]; full of envy [jealousy; wishing ill on another], murder, debate [quarreling; contentiousness; strife], deceit [guile; craftiness; lie], malignity [bad character; dishonorable; attributing to others evil intent]; whisperers [gossips; slanderer; ],

Romans 1:30  Backbiters [slanderers; speaking against another], haters of God, despiteful [insulter; violent aggressor; treating others shamefully], proud [haughty; arrogant; treating others with disdain], boasters [braggart; i.e. swaggerer], inventors of evil things [harmful; depraved; morally wrong], disobedient [hard; not pliable; unteachable] to parents,

Romans 1:31  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Romans 1:32  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

“REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE”?

christians-under-attackA recent article published in the Evangelical magazine Christianity Today and titled “Fairness for All: Evangelicals Explore Truce on LGBT and Religious Rights”, evidences why I refuse to be associated with the label “Evangelical”.  The Evangelical crowd is rife with compromise and many of its members are at best nominal Christians.

I am not at war with members of the LGBT crowd, but only a fool believes there is room for compromise when the leaders of that movement oppose and are at war with Biblical Christianity, traditional marriage and family values.

I have engaged with members of the LGBT movement on a personal level and in political skirmishes.  Contrary to the assertions of LGBT militants, I have the same love for them that I do for all sinners.  My heart goes out to their struggles with their sin as much as it does to those struggling with other enslaving sins.militant-gay-houston-mayor

However, the militant LGBT crowd is another story!  They have a fervent passion for their “cause” and an unbridled hatred for any who will not bow to their demands.  Make no mistake, militant members of the LGBT movement will accept nothing less than capitulation and accommodation of their sin, even at the sacrifice of your moral values, innocence of your children, Christian family owned businesses, and Constitutional liberties (freedom of religion and free speech).

Adherents of the militant LGBT crusade are seeded in all levels of government, including judicial activists who will punish and annihilate any who dare oppose their demands (including Christian family-owned businesses that refuse to participate in “Gay weddings”).  While politicians trumpet the LGBT cause under the guise of “Rights”, liberal educators rob our children of their innocence using secular classrooms as a platform for opposing Biblical moral values.

A warning to Evangelicals:  “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32)?  Moving his family into Sodom and sitting among the elders of that wicked city did not work out so well for Lot, did it? (Genesis 19)

2 Peter 2:7-8 – “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)”

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

Warning: This devotional is not a “safe space” for Millennial Rioters (nor their clueless parents)

 

safe-spaceDear Millennial Rioter and clueless parent,

Your cry for “safe spaces” and the symbolic Diaper pens worn by some to identify themselves as “safe persons” (an appropriate symbol for your self-indulgence) is an embarrassment to your grandparents and great-grandparents.   normandy-d-day

You see, three generations ago your 18-year-old great-grandfathers were assailing the armies of the Third Reich to liberate Europe from facists dictators.  Two generations ago your grandfathers were fighting Communism in the jungles of Vietnam.  You, on the other hand, have been raised by parents who failed to teach you the virtue of self-sacrifice.  You are spoiled and, like your parents, clueless that this world will inevitably to teach you a harsh lesson…no one cares how you feel.  Your fancy of a “safe world” will sooner or later confront an enemy that will either enslave you or destroy you.

The following devotional, taken from Psalm 12:1-8 and written a year ago, offers insight into what is happening in our nation’s cities as the Millennial Generation riot over having been denied, at least temporarily, their right of entitlement in the recent elections.

November 12, 2015

Make no mistake; “political correctness” is neither new nor correct.  Psalm 12:1-8 exposes “political correctness” for what it is—a vehicle for attacking Truth and silencing those who believe God’s Word and accept its morality as just and right.  The tragedy of our day is too many believers are more concerned with a “Like” on Facebook than they are with standing for what is right!  Because the godly have been silent, the wicked are empowered and the dominance of a political movement that is atheistic, socialistic, intolerant, and anti-Christian is driving our nation down a road of destruction.  It will soon be too late if preachers in the pulpit and believers in the pews do not awaken to the nature of wickedness that is inspiring riots in our cities, protests in our schools, and assaults on our liberties as Americans.PC

Psalm 12:1 – “Help [deliver; save; avenge], LORD; for the godly man [saint] ceaseth [come to an end]; for the faithful [true; people of faith; believers] fail [disperse; disappear] from among the children of men.”

Psalm 12 is the cry of a king witnessing the retreat of a godly remnant that, in the king’s words were all but extinct.  David lamented, “the godly man ceaseth” and “the faithful fail” (12:1).   David cried out to the LORD to save the godly and the faithful and avenge those who obey His law and revere Him.

Psalm 12:2-4 – “They speak [say; declare] vanity [deceit; evil] every one with his neighbor [friend; companion]: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
3  The LORD shall cut off all flattering
[smooth] lips [language; speech], and the tongue that speaketh [declares; tells] proud [great; magnify] things:
4  Who have said
[declared; tell], With our tongue will we prevail [strengthen; act insolently]; our lips are our own: who is lord [master; sovereign; owner] over us?

hope and changeDavid identified the smooth lips and double-tongued nature of the wicked who, with insolent lips assailed the godly (12:2, 4).   The believers of our day would do well to take a page out of David’s “playbook” and realize the nature of man has not changed!  The wicked are emboldened by their peers (12:2a) and, should they go unchecked by the righteous, will prevail against those in authority (12:4b).

Though the wicked revel in their lies and boast with their lips, David assured the godly the LORD would “cut off”, expose and take vengeance against those who denied Him and railed against His people.

Psalm 12:5-7 – “For the oppression [spoil; destruction] of the poor [afflicted; depressed; needy], for the sighing [groaning; cries] of the needy [beggar; destitute], now will I arise [stand up], saith the LORD; I will set [array; appoint] him in safety [salvation; safety; liberty; prosper] from him that puffeth [scoffs; kindles as a fire] at him.
6  The words
[speech; commands] of the LORD are pure [clean; fair] words: as silver tried [refined] in a furnace of earth, purified [purged; refined] seven times.
7  Thou shalt keep
[preserve; guard; protect] them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve [guard; protect] them from this generation [age] for ever.

I remind you that God is patient, longsuffering, and merciful toward sinners; however, He is just and will exact vengeance on the wicked who oppress the poor and needy.  The LORD extends liberty to sinners for a season; however, He declares He will rise up against the wicked and pour out His wrath on those who “puffeth” and scoff at the poor and afflicted (12:5).

Unlike the wicked whose lips are full of lies and deceit, the LORD’s words are pure like refined silver that has passed through the furnace seven times (12:6).   The words of the wicked are full of lies and their promises vain and hollow; however, the Word of the LORD is sure, faithful and true from generation to generation (12:7).

Psalm 12:8 – The wicked [immoral; guilty; criminal] walk [go; behave] on every side [every place], when the vilest [worthless] men are exalted [raised up; high; emboldened].”

People hold signs as they listen to speakers at a protest against the election of President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

People hold signs as they listen to speakers at a protest against the election of President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

You need only read Psalm 12:8 to understand what has become of our nation!  America has invited God’s wrath and is under His judgment because her citizens would rather entertain an empty promise like “Hope and Change” than believe God’s Word and obey His law.  We have “exalted…the vilest men” and wickedness runs unchecked in our streets.   A spirit of rebellion has seized upon the spiritual vacuum in our youth and our college campuses and communities have become forums for fanning the flames of anarchy.

If we continue to elect men and women who have no fear of God and allow their lies and abuses to go unchecked, we have only ourselves to blame as America descends into a cesspool of ungodliness, violence and moral depravity.

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith

P.S.  For a half-century, secular schools and institutions of higher-learning have served as vessels of progressive indoctrination.  While the November 8, 2016 presidential election offers the hope of a reprieve from 8 years of excessive socialist ideology and activism; post-election protests and rioting has unmasked the hypocrisy of the Left’s cry for tolerance.

The overwhelming majority of the voting public might tolerate the intolerable, but few have any desire to celebrate it.

gay flagDear Heart of a Shepherd Readers,

The following is my public statement read before the Hillsborough County Commissioners this Wednesday, July 20, 2016, opposing the motion of County Commissioner Kevin Beckner who is once again promoting the militant LGBTQ agenda in our communities, city, and county.   His latest attempt is to designate the month of June as “Gay Pride Month”; to my knowledge, the county has no other such designation for any cause, group, or organization.

Hillsborough County“For several years I have observed members of the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners, past and present, accommodate the escalating demands of the LGTBQ community.  I have witnessed this board’s courtship of that community, and watched as you slighted the moral sensibilities of the majority of your constituents.

Unless you are deaf, you know there is a growing spirit of concern and anger among voters who are sick of watching elected officials placate the demands of militant groups.

I have charted the rationale of the LGTBQ community for years and long ago recognized their crusade is not for rights, but acceptance of the abnormal, or in the words of the Bible, “vile affections…against nature… unseemly” (Romans 1:26).  The overwhelming majority of the voting public might tolerate the intolerable, but few have any desire to celebrate it.

This board has entertained the LGTBQ community’s argument they want their privacy and the public and government have no business invading the privacy of their bedrooms.  Privacy”, however, was never the goal of the Homosexual Community.Gay Parade

The Homosexual Community demanded the right to revel in their sexuality and the County once again supported vulgar and lascivious behavior parading in the streets violating Florida Indecent Exposure Laws and offending those who adhere to traditional family values.

The homosexuals demanded the “right to marry”, attacking an institution that for 6,000 years was the foundation of civil and moral society

The Homosexual Community demanded the civil rights of a “protected class”, and this board again bowed to its demands. Now, every private, family owned business that embraces traditional moral values faces the threat of crippling lawsuits should any dare not capitulate to the invasive demands of the homosexual community.

Today you are asked to consider a resolution that perpetuates and promotes the sexual exploits and expressions of the homosexual community as though their sexuality deems them worthy of special honor and designation in our county…it does not!

It is one thing to tolerate homosexuality, it is quite another to ask Hillsborough County citizens to dedicate a month of our County calendar to celebrate moral decadence!

Finally, the terrorist attack in Orlando on June 12, 2016 that left 49 dead was a tragedy; however, to memorialize it as anything other than what it was, the murderous actions of a militant Islamic terrorist, is disingenuous. The 49 who died in the attack were not martyrs; they were victims of an Islamic terrorist.Hillsborough Fire and Rescue

Tampa PoliceIf you want to dedicate the month of June, dedicate it to First Responders who have died in the line of duty serving their communities…16 County Sheriffs, 30 Tampa police officers, 16 Tampa firemen…those men and women, and the ones who risk their lives everyday, are the heroes whose lives should be celebrated and whose deaths should be memorialized.”County Sheriff

Travis D. Smith

Senior Pastor

Hillsdale Baptist Church

Tampa, FL

Are you suffering from “Spiritual PTSD”?

Spiritual MinutemenYou are invited to go to today’s blog post on my political website, SpiritualMinutement.net, and consider the reality we are living in a post-Christian world more interested in “controlling the narrative” than in defining and adhering to morality and Right vs. Wrong.

Isaiah 5:20-21, 2320  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  21  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! …23  Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith