Today is September 20, 2018

Verse of the Day — James 4:3

You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.


Pray with the right motives.


Most of us have read the verses about answered prayer like “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14, 16:23) and Jesus proclaiming that anything we ask, “believing,” it will be given to us (Matthew 21:22; John 14:14; Luke 11:9). There’s also the verse that if any two agree on earth, about anything, it will be done.

Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. —Matthew 18:19

Sadly, too many Christians think they can “claim” a house or a car or a situation by “believing” that they can ask God to give it to them or by “agreeing” with another that they desire a certain situation. This is a form of what is referred to as the “prosperity doctrine”—which is simply twisted Scripture from Satan.

You can’t order God around because if you could, He wouldn’t be God. And you can’t take one verse by itself without considering the other verses discussing the same issue. God does want to give us good gifts.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! —Matthew 7:11

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” —Luke 11:13

But only if you have the correct motives, and only then if it is according to His divine will.

. . . if we ask anything according to His will . . . —1 John 5:14


Dear Compass,

In the GML regarding tattoos, I believe you were not as consistent as you normally are in your biblically based answers. You defended tattoos by saying that we are not under OT law, but rather we are now under grace. Amen! However, how then do you possibly argue capital punishment, homosexuality, and other issues which have their roots in the OT? It seems convenient to use the OT when we want to say something is wrong, but then use the NT when we want to rationalize something by saying we are “under grace.”


We covered this answer in detail previously, but here’s a brief recap . . .

We are living in the Church Age, which is a different time period, or dispensation, than those living in the Old Testament. God never changes, but He changes how He deals with people on earth. As such, we can gain great insight into the attributes of God, history of the world, practical living, etc., by studying the Old Testament laws. We have to be careful to weigh carefully Jesus’ words and instructions to the Jews under law because sometimes Paul’s instructions to those living in the Church Age are different.

As an example, Jesus said to the Jews under the Law that it was permissible to divorce their wives for adultery. But in the Church Age, that time period between the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 until the departure of the Holy Spirit at the Rapture, Paul said to love your wives as Christ loves the Church. Since Christ would never divorce the Church, men should never divorce their wives, even if they are adulterous. Men in the Church Age have the power, through the Holy Spirit living in us, to forgive and forget. Men can do all things through Christ, something those living in the Old Testament didn’t have. But there is much in the OT that can still be used by Believers in the Church Age.

Looking at the Old Testament today, you realize that there are three types of laws: civil (government), ceremonial (pointing to a Messiah—Jesus), and moral. Of all the OT laws, only about 6% can be applied outside the State of Israel. That fact, along with all the laws that were fulfilled with Jesus’ death on the cross, basically eliminates all the civil and ceremonial laws. That leaves us with the moral laws to ponder.

Moral laws applied to pre-Israel, Israel, and post-Israel. The NT Epistles confirm that the moral laws are still in effect (homosexuality, adultery, etc.). All of the Ten Commandments were repeated again in the NT except keeping the Sabbath (the principle of one day of rest still applies, just not necessarily on Saturday). Jesus also raised the bar explaining that it isn’t just the action that is judged, but also the “thought” behind an action.

You have heard that it was said, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY”; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. —Matthew 5:27-28

Never forget that the law can’t save you.

I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. —Galatians 2:21

Yet Believers will be judged according to its righteous standard as it applies to us.

each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. —1 Corinthians 3:13-15

But, praise the Lord, we have Jesus to thank for paying for each and every sin.


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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.

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