Secular Humanism, Part 5

Today’s Word from God:

Psalm 118:6-8 (ESV)

6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

7 The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.

http://bible.com/59/psa.118.6-8.esv

Today’s Eagle Walk:

Today, we’ll continue our discussion of SH (secular humanism) on campus & in class. SH is hard to define because the beliefs are so relative to the individual; it means too many different things to too many different people. But there are some general beliefs that the tend to share in common. And we’ll look at those in comparison to what the Bible says.

Elevation of Reason & Science: Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis. Reason and science are to be applied to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems. Scientific discovery and technology can contribute to the betterment of human life.

While humanism focuses on human understanding & ability to learn, the Bible clearly teaches that our intellectual abilities ultimately come from God & that He is the only One deserving of our faith & trust. Today’s passage also lets us know that when secular humanists attack us for our faith, the Lord stands with us & has promised us the final ultimate victory!

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Peer Pressure, Part 5

Ephesians 6:10-19 (NLT)

Today’s Eagle Walk:

In today’s passage, I want to point out that in the original Greek New Testament books, there was not only no chapter & verse notations, but there was also no punctuation & no space between words. So sometimes, verses make better sense with altered punctuation. First, read the passage as it is punctuated in most English translations…

Today’s Word from God:

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. 19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.”

http://bible.com/116/eph.6.10-19.nlt

Today’s Word from Dad (Part 2):

Now let’s look at verses 10-11 a little differently with a slight change in punctuation…

“A final word: Be strong in the Lord, [and in his mighty power put on all of God’s armor] so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil….”

Noice the change it makes to remove the period & insert a comma earlier. In the first version, the emphasis is on you. YOU be strong, YOU be in His power, YOU put on the armor of God, so that YOU will stand firm. And that’s why so many Christians fail & fall away from the Lord when faced with prolonged times of pressure to conform to the world like when you’re in college.

But when you change the punctuation, the emphasis shifts from you to the Lord… we are still called to BE STRONG, but only after we have first put on the “under armor” of the MIGHTY POWER OF GOD & then through that power put on all of God’s armor… or actually by resting in that power, letting God put His armor on us. That’s the only way you’ll be successful against the pressures to conform to the world.

Moving on, it is important to keep verse 12 in mind. When you face peer pressure, remember it’s not the people who are pressuring you who are the enemy. The enemy is Satan & his worldly, ungodly influences. He’s just using the people already under his control to advance his agenda on the righteous in the world.

Finally, the key that activates the armor of God & keeps it active is prayer & remaining in a spirit of prayer. And those prayers are amplified when you pray for others as well as yourself. So pray for me as I continue to try to lead at wsbc while also seeking a new place of service. And pray for your mom & your brothers as they face their own pressures of life in church, school, keeping Myles, & the stress on our whole family as we seek God’s new direction for us. Be assured, we are always praying for you.

Secular Humanism, Part 4

Today’s Word from God:

Psalm 127:1-2 (ESV)

1 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”

http://bible.com/59/psa.127.1-2.esv

Today’s Eagle Walk:

One of the contrasting principles of SH is the elevation of human reason & scientific study paired with the rejection of religion & belief in anything supernatural. The humanist says, “I have no need for any god.” The Christian understands from the Bible that they need God for everything in life because everything in life — and even life itself — comes from God (John 15:5, 1 Cor. 8:6).

The humanist strives for fulfillment in life through their own understanding & stressful hard work, but the Christian rests in the knowledge that God cares for their needs & gives them peace. Sometimes Christian students find themselves falling into this humanist trap by focusing so much on their own academic efforts that they neglect their spiritual development. We must always prioritize our relationship with Christ if we want to be successful at honoring Him in anything else. Keep that in mind as you get plugged into a campus ministry & find a church to call home.

Peer Pressure, Part 4

2 Corinthians 6:3-4, 6, 8 (NLT)

Today’s Eagle Walk:

When we live our lives for Christ, it is not only for our own benefit; it is for the benefit of those we live before every day. Our faithfulness to Christ is a testimony to others: 1) as encouragement to other believers who struggle to live out their faith or feel alone in their beliefs, 2) as an exhortation to believers who have fallen into worldliness to return to their first love in Christ, & 3) as a witness to non-Christians that the Holy Spirit can use to convict them of their sin & need of a Savior.

Today’s Word from God:

  • 2 Corinthians 6:3-4, 6, 8, 10 (NLT)

3 We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.

6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.

8 We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors.

10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.

http://bible.com/116/2co.6.3-4,6,8,10.nlt

Time Management, Part 2

Today’s Word from God:

Psalm 90:12 (CSB)

Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.

James 1:5 (HCSB)

Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.

Today’s Eagle Walk;

In a lot of ways, college is all about a balancing acts between your general academics, your major, extracurricular activities, social life, spiritual life, & time for yourself to just unwind… and of course, time to do your own laundry. I thought I should go back to time management & priorities for another lesson. Like Isaid in part one on this subject, you have to set your own priorities the way you need them to be so that you can be successful in all that you do. Your professors, friends, & extracurricular leaders can‘t set them for you. If you let them dictate your schedule, you will be the one to pay the consequences. And you need to remember that everyone has different abilities & aptitudes, so don’t try to compare yourself to anyone else.

However, your major classes are of a slightly higher priority than your basic classes, but only slightly because you need them all to graduate.The successful Christian student will seekthe Lord’s help through scripture & prayer to do all things properlyto the glory of God.

Secular Humanism, Part 3

Before diving into today’s devo & discussion about secular humanism, let’s talk about one of the most important aspects of campus life for Christians: Campus Ministries.

When I was in college, I checked out or got involved in 3 different ones:

But there are several more depending on your church affiliation:

The right campus ministry will change your life. It did for me. Almost all of my college friends (friends that I stay in touch with to this day) I met in BSU. Plus you can find out about churches in the area that have good college ministries. It is so important to start attending church while at college as soon as you can, or you might get used to not going and become a part of the statistic about how many college students walk away or fall away from their faith. My prayer would be that you find a good Christ-centered, Spirit-filled, Word-preaching church that you can plug into & that you can even join. Now, let’s get to the devo…

Today’s Eagle Walk:

Secular Humanism, Part 3: The Secular Humanist View of the Church

If I could characterize the way secular humanists perceive & portray Christianity in one word, that word would be “scoffing.” Today’s passage explains that the church is experiencing such scoffing because we are living in “The Last Days.” (But don’t be overly alarmed; according to Apostle Peter in Acts 2, we’ve been in the “last days” since the day of Pentecost shortly after Jesus had ascended to heaven after His resurrection from the grave. So maybe here he’s talking about the last, last days.) Jesus told us in Matthew 24:14 that the Father would hold off on sending Him to return for His church until the Gospel is preached throughout the whole world. Until then, we will be fighting an escalating battle against the forces of Satan, & secular humanism is one of his latest & greatest delusions to attack the church with.

Today’s Word from God:

2 Peter 3:3-14 NLT

3 Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4 They will say,  “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.

5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. 7 And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.

8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.

11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.

14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.”

http://bible.com/116/2pe.3.3-14.nlt

Today’s Eagle Walk: Secular Humanism, Part 3 (continued)

Verse 5 tells us, “They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command.” That’s the normal way of thinking for people who cling to or are infected by SH as their worldview. To “deliberately forget” is to deny vehemently, to choose to reject what should be a simple, foundational truth upon which all academic study should be based. Education used to be founded upon such biblical truth. In America, all of our elite ivy-league, private, ultra-selective universities — like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Duke — they all were started by churches as conservative Christian schools & seminaries for the purpose of training ministers. But over time, liberal secular humanism crept in at a slow & virtually undetectable pace until before anyone could realize it, it had taken root in every department & the Christian foundation of each school was ripped out & replaced by a false foundation of SH. And as the ivy-league schools went, so went every public university in America. Many Baptist & other conservative Christian universities were also infected too in the late 20th century, but thankfully Southern Baptists fought to expel the liberals & their SH, and have reclaimed many of their universities. Those colleges that refused to return to their foundation ultimately withdrew themselves from the conservative Baptist faith and went their own way. So as you go to class whether in a private or public university, weigh everything that every professor says against the foundation of scriptural truth in your heart & that you keep discovering in your personal study of the Bible.

Peer Pressure, Part 3

Today’s Eagle Walk:

The decision to receive God’s gift of salvation is easy & simple at that moment when the Holy Spirit has done the work in our hearts to awaken us to our sin & our need for a savior. (Without that initial regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, that decision is impossible.) But beyond the moment when we receive Christ, our decision to remain fully connected to Christ & growing in that relationship is often difficult or costly from an imperfect human perspective. That momentary response to Christ’s sacrifice of His life for us is followed by a lifetime of sacrificing our lives for Him. But keeping in mind how great Christ’s sacrifice & how great are the Father’s mercies in our lives helps us continue to make sacrifices for Him in this earthly life, knowing that our reward of eternity with God will be worth whatever we have to deny ourselves in our daily lives.

Today’s Word from God:

Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Luke 9:23 (NIV)

“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

http://bible.com/111/luk.9.23.niv

http://bible.com/116/rom.12.1-2.nlt

Time Management, Part 1: The Tyranny of the Unimportant

Today’s Word from God:

Ephesians 5:15-16 (NASB)

15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV)

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

Colossians 4:5 (NLT)

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.

1 Corinthians 10:31b (NIV)

… whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Today’s Eagle Walk:

After a month or so in college, you will have come to see what your normal weekly schedule will look like for the semester. And you will be keenly aware that the combination of striving for personal academic excellence along with a social life, student organizations, campus ministries, plus being sure you take care of yourself with the proper sleep, nutrition, & exercise doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for error in your schedule. On top of that, every professor of every class will probably have an expectation of preeminence. Nearly every college, school, and department at almost any university will expect to be the top priority in the lives of their students. Whether it’s a basic class that all students must take, or a major-specific course, or an elective, your professors will expect you to do whatever you have to do to give them the effort the demand.

So it’s up to you to determine what you can and can’t do, to know your own limitations, to not allow yourself to get overextended, and to F.R.O.G. (Fully Rely On God) to help you do it all for His glory.

In order to keep everything in balance, you have to manage your time wisely. And believe it on not, good time management is actually a biblical concept (as seen in the verses above).

One of the best ways to implement the truths of these Bible verses is to use “The Time Management for Students Matrix”.

Here’s another version from UT-Chattanooga’s website.

… plus a little pic to remind you to F.R.O.G.

F-R-O-G

Secular Humanism, Part 2

Today’s Eagle Walk (Part 1):

Last time I introduced you to the prevalent danger of secular humanism (I’ll abbreviate it as “SH” from this point forward) on college campuses. I wonder today how much, if any, you’ve already encountered in your classes or just around campus. Today’s passage reveals the evil root of SH and contrasts it with characteristics of true wisdom rooted in God. Read James 3:13-18, & then I’ll write more…

Today’s Word from God:

James 3:13-18 ESV

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

http://bible.com/59/jas.3.13-18.esv

Today’s Eagle Walk (part 2):

This passage reveals that “human wisdom” (which is really no wisdom at all) is rooted in selfishness. Human attempts at wisdom without basing it in God’s wisdom come from a basic desire to be our own god, a basic delusion that we are or can be like God, which dates all the way back to the fall in Genesis 3. That’s why SH is so antagonistic to the Truth of the Christian faith. When sinful people claim to have the highest degree of wisdom apart from God, it reveals their underlying jealousy of God’s ultimate wisdom & their own selfish ambition to be their own god. But the godly know that all true wisdom is from God & that it looks completely opposite than the “wisdom” of man found in SH.

Try to keep in mind the characteristics of the wisdom of God & live them out in every aspect of your life. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

Peer Pressure, Part 2

Today’s Eagle Walk:

The cost of being a true follower of The Way (disciple of Christ) is always high. It’s never easy. On the other hand, just going with the flow of culture in college has always been and always will be the easy way out. Swimming with the current is always the fastest way to go the farthest distance, but it’s the worst decision when the destination you want to reach is the opposite direction… upstream instead of down. Today’s passages contrast the 2 basic directions one can take in life: to follow God’s narrow, challenging path toward righteousness & eternal reward, or to follow down the tempting, easy wide path toward corruption & eternal destruction. Even when people at first take the path of the wicked & then realize their error through the awakening work of the Holy Spirit, it is never too late to get on the path to life. But just like the person who swims the wrong way with the current, it’s an increasingly difficult task to get back to the journey they were destined for the further downstream they ended up. So stay strong as you stay faithful to the narrow way you have remained on since you were first saved from the destruction to which others now try to drag you down.

Today’s Word from God:

Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

(http://bible.com/59/mat.7.13-14.esv)

Proverbs 4:14-16,18-19 (GW)

14 Do not stray onto the path of wicked people.

Do not walk in the way of evil people.

15 Avoid it. Do not walk near it.

Turn away from it, and keep on walking.

16 Wicked people cannot sleep unless they do wrong,

and they are robbed of their sleep unless they make someone stumble.

18 But the path of righteous people is like the light of dawn

that becomes brighter and brighter until it reaches midday.

19 The way of wicked people is like deep darkness.

They do not know what makes them stumble.”

(http://bible.com/70/pro.4.14-16,18-19.gw)