Daily Devotionals For September 2006
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Daily Devotional for Friday September 1st/06
I have been posting a series of devotionals from various passages in the Song of Solomon. (Click here for the whole series so far - this link also contains a list of older studies and poems that are also based all or in part on this book of the Bible.)
The two newest studies in this series are:
A Well Of Living Waters - 4:15 - Is living water flowing out from you to others?
His Banner Over Me Was Love - 2:4 - What banner are you rallying under?
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Daily Devotional for Saturday September 2nd/06
The following was a Sunday School lesson taught on August 13th/06 by Bobby W.
How To Get The Most Out Of Church
The text was Genesis 35:1-3, where God told Jacob to go back to Bethel (House of God).
I. Get right with God
A. Put away strange gods (v2)
1. Rachel had gods (Gen 31:19)
2. Simeon & Levi probably picked up gods in the spoils of Shechem (Gen 34:27)
B. Be clean (v2)
1. By the Word of God
Psalms 119:9, John 15:3, Eph 5:26,
2. By confession
I John 1:9, Psalms 51
C. Change garments (v2)
1. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ
2. Put on Christian graces
3. Put on the armor of God
II. Dwell there (v1)
Attend church faithfully. Be at church every time the doors are open.
III. Visit the altar (v1)
The altar is a place of sacrifice. It's a place to lay down some things spiritually or physically if necessary. The altar is not just a place of confession, but a place for seeking guidance, getting direction, and interceding for others. Don't let Satan discourage you from using the altar. Remember Abram in Gen 15:11 (fowls are symbolic of the devil and his demons).
IV. Bring your family & others to church with you (v3 "let us")
"Us"=household & all that were with him (v2)
If we can apply these steps set forth by Jacob in Gen 35:1-3, then we will get more out of church than ever before.
Used With Permission.
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Daily Devotional for Sunday September 3rd/06
Sinful Praying - When Praying is Wrong
Most praying is sinful. No, this is not a typo. The staggering fact is not all prayer is good. Most, if not all, religions embrace a lofty concept of prayer. But prayer, in and of itself, is not necessarily good.
Wrong praying is just as sinful as not praying at all. The lost art of biblical prayer is so rarely practiced that hardly anybody would ever think prayer could be sinful. But the psalmist writes, "How long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?" (Ps. 80:4). Here God was not angry because they didn't pray. God was angry because of the prayer they offered Him. Moreover, David says of the wicked, "Let his prayer become sin" (Ps. 109:7). The true and living God is not pleased with all prayer. He is even angry at some prayers.
Let's examine some types of sinful praying.
PRAYING WITH ONE'S BACK TOWARD GOD
Many individuals and churches that were once on their faces before God have now turned their backs to God! Such was the case in Ezekiel 8. There were 25 men in the inner court of the Lord's house "with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun" (v. 16). While their bodies were in the inner court of the Lord's house, their hearts were set on idolatry. These men were in the right location, but they were facing the wrong direction. They had turned their backs toward God.
God said to the idolatrous Israelites in Jeremiah 2, "They have turned their back unto me, and not their face" (v. 27). The essence of idolatry is setting one's gaze on something other than God. Such was the case at the foot of Sinai when Israel worshipped the golden calf. Moses' face shone with radiance because he had looked on the glory of God on the mount. In contrast, the calf worshippers turned their backs to God. Lot's wife, in order to look back at Sodom, had to turn her face from the Godward direction and directive. Desiring Sodom rather than God, she was turned to a pillar of salt.
How often do we show much love with our mouths, but our hearts are far from God? Our talk talks and our walk talks, but our walk talks louder than our talk talks! To pray while defying God's commands and ignoring His standards, hoping that God will overlook disobedience, is to turn our backs to God. This is SINFUL PRAYING!
PUBLIC PRAYER WITHOUT PRIVATE PRAYER
Our Lord denounced the hypocrites who loved to pray "in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men" (Matt. 6:5). Jesus taught that prayer is for the closet (secret place), not the concourse. I wonder if a lot of the praying on the Capitol steps is really more about hoping the television networks will lay down on tape our kneeling frames for the evening broadcasts than prevailing with God?
I have attended very few "Prayer Breakfasts" that were really concerned about making contact with heaven's throne. Most, if not all, were concerned about making a political statement, impressing others with a worthy cause, drawing attention to an agenda, or just plain making a "fair shew in the flesh" (Gal. 6:12).
One reason local church prayer meetings have fallen on hard times is because it is impossible to have meaningful public prayer corporately when there is little or no private time of prayer alone. To pray in public while neglecting private prayer is SINFUL PRAYING.
PRAYING AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR OBEDIENCE
There is a time to pray. There are also times when prayer is sin. Prayer is never a substitute for obedience. Joshua and the elders of Israel were moaning and complaining before God after the Israelites were defeated at Ai. They were putting on quite a show tearing their sackcloths, throwing dust in the air, and griping to God. God broke in on this spectacle and said to Joshua, "Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned" (Josh. 7:10-11).
God's people were defeated because Achan had partaken of the accursed (forbidden) thing.
Disobedience in the camp, disobedience in the church, and disobedience in the heart hinder the blessing of God. More prayer was not the remedy on this occasion. Their great need was to get the sin out of the camp!
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Daily Devotional for Monday September 4th/06
I don't think I have ever sent out a link to listen to a sermon before as part of these devotionals, but I listened to this one earlier today and believe it is worth passing on.
It is one of the most hard hitting sermons I have heard on Revival, based on Isaiah 59:
Why Revival Tarries by Alan Cairns
If you love listening to online sermons, this one is a must!
The speaker is Alan Cairns - the speaker I most listen to when I visit SermonAudio.com. Christ is always exalted and the Word of God is declared as the sole authority for faith and practice. He is a Free Presbyterian, associated with Ian Paisley. In many ways, this denomination is very close to Independant Fundamental Baptists in beliefs, and they are KJVonly. Yes, there are some things we would differ on, but this sermon does not get into any of those areas of difference.
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Daily Devotional for Tuesday September 5th/06
"The Lord trieth the righteous." --Psalm 11:5
All events are under the control of Providence; consequently all the trials of our outward life are traceable at once to the great First Cause. Out of the golden gate of God's ordinance the armies of trial march forth in array, clad in their iron armour, and armed with weapons of war. All providences are doors to trial. Even our mercies, like roses, have their thorns. Men may be drowned in seas of prosperity as well as in rivers of affliction. Our mountains are not too high, and our valleys are not too low for temptations: trials lurk on all roads. Everywhere, above and beneath, we are beset and surrounded with dangers. Yet no shower falls unpermitted from the threatening cloud; every drop has its order ere it hastens to the earth. The trials which come from God are sent to prove and strengthen our graces, and so at once to illustrate the power of divine grace, to test the genuineness of our virtues, and to add to their energy. Our Lord in His infinite wisdom and superabundant love, sets so high a value upon His people's faith that He will not screen them from those trials by which faith is strengthened. You would never have possessed the precious faith which now supports you if the trial of your faith had not been like unto fire. You are a tree that never would have rooted so well if the wind had not rocked you to and fro, and made you take firm hold upon the precious truths of the covenant grace. Worldly ease is a great foe to faith; it loosens the joints of holy valour, and snaps the sinews of sacred courage. The balloon never rises until the cords are cut; affliction doth this sharp service for believing souls. While the wheat sleeps comfortably in the husk it is useless to man, it must be threshed out of its resting place before its value can be known. Thus it is well that Jehovah trieth the righteous, for it causeth them to grow rich towards God.
(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)
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Daily Devotional for Wednesday September 6th/06
"The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth." (Psalm 11:5)
As I was reading some psalms yesterday, this verse jumped off the page at me. Lately, I've been dealing with a decision I have to make, something that the Lord seems to be leading me on, but which has been nevertheless difficult to accept or understand that He really is doing the leading. It's been frustrating and cause for quite a bit of soul-searching. But this verse reminded me, and I hope it will remind you, of an important truth, one which is summed up in that well-known verse,
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
See, the idea of being "called according to his purpose" is not just about salvation. As with everything else, justification is the first step in a lifetime of Christian living. God's purposeful call upon us is not just to get saved, but to then proceed on in His will, finding what He wants us to do at each step of the way, and then doing it.
So, how does this relate to the text verse above? Well, we should note that the verse is one of those poetically-constructed parallelisms that characterise much of the content of the Hebrew wisdom books. In this case, it is a contrasting parallel - one which draws a distinction between two concepts, and in a sense defines each by their contrast, the one is NOT what the other one is, and vice versa. The verse says that the Lord "trieth the righteous". The contrast with the latter part of the verse makes it clear that this is a trial of love - the parallel draws the contrast with the wicked and lovers of violence whom the Lord hates.
Thus, when the Lord tries the righteous, it is because He loves them. This is the tough love my title speaks of. Nobody likes to go through trials, I would imagine. Nobody likes financial difficulties, or medical conditions, or family troubles, or any thing like these. Sometimes, trials may have us in such a valley that we cry out like the psalmist did,
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?" (Psalm 22:1)
But we know that the Lord will not leave us without comfort and support. Sometimes, He may bear long with us, but He hasn't forgotten us. He allows us to go through these trials so that we can be strengthened. Remember what James said about counting it all JOY when we fall into divers temptations (James 1:2). Joy? Yes, because the trial, when you pass the test and learn the lesson, will work together for good in your life to the furtherance of God's plan and purpose for you. He exercises us now, so that we can be fit to do a job later. It's like the kids who used to get sent to military school for being troublemakers. They learned discipline there, and when they came out, they were better citizens. They were disciplined people who performed useful functions in society because of how they had been exercised. If they hadn't of gone to military school, they might have ended up in gaol, or on the streets, wasting their lives.
We're the same way. We don't like discipline, we want to do things our way, and we want to do what we want to do. But if we were actually left to our own devices, spiritually speaking, we'd end up being more or less useless in God's service. God puts us through trials where we have to grow, where we have to step out of our comfort zone, where we must rise to the challenge by faith because He will keep on us until we do.
"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." (II Peter 3:18)
This verse is not a suggestion, it is a commandment. We are mandated with the duty to both learn from God's Word, and then to apply what we've learned to our lives. God wants us to grow spiritually. He DOES NOT want us to remain where we're at presently. He wants us to continue to purge ourselves and to study to shew ourselves approved. Paul (I believe) wrote to the recipients of the letter to the Hebrews,
"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God: and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." (Hebrews 5:12)
He was reproving them for not having gone on in growth. They had, for whatever reason, stagnated and forgotten the significance of much of what they had learned - enough so that Paul feared some of them might apostatise. Maybe they had began to faint in times of trial or chastisement (which might be why we have Hebrews chapter 12 where it is). Maybe instead of growing in grace and knowledge, they let themselves get discouraged, and turned back, and stopped learning the lessons God wanted them to learn through trial and temptation. Let us not do so. When we are tried, it is because God is using it as part of His plan for our lives. We don't see what He sees. We don't get why we had to get cancer now, we don't know how God will use it five years down the road. Why did I lose my job? Why did my house burn down? Why did my son die in that car wreck? Hard questions, to be sure, ones which will often only be answered in eternity. But through it all, the Lord trieth the righteous - because He loves them.
Used With Permission
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Daily Devotional for Thursday September 7th/06
In the Gospel of John there are constant references to the types.
In the first chapter our attention is drawn to the Lamb of GOD, and our thoughts go back at once to all the lambs that had before been sacrificed, from Abel's lamb in Genesis 3, to the last offered in the temple. In the closing verse of the chapter there is evident reference to Jacob's ladder. In verse 14, CHRIST is shown to be the Antitype of the Tabernacle, for it tells us how "the Word was made flesh and dwelt (tabernacled) among us"; whilst in chapter 2, He compares Himself to the temple, for He says, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." In chapter 3, we see Him in the brazen serpent; in chapter 4, He compares Himself to Jacob's well; in chapter 6, He tells us that He was the true manna; in chapter 7, we are reminded of the smitten rock, for He Himself was the rock out of which would flow the rivers of living water. In chapters 8 and 9, He is the light of the world; in chapter 10, the Antitype of all the shepherds of the Old Testament; in chapter 12, He is the corn of wheat that brought forth the sheaf of the firstfruits; in chapter 13, we have the laver; and in chapter 15, the true vine in contrast with the vine that He brought out of Egypt.
Thus in almost every chapter an Old Testament type is brought before us. If we compare John's Gospel merely to one type, the Tabernacle, it has been pointed out that it seems to divide itself into the three courts. In the first twelve chapters we have our Lord's ministry on earth, in the outer court to which all the people were admitted; and we have His last words to outsiders in the closing verses of chapter 12.
As in the Tabernacle the first thing seen was the altar and the lamb, so we have in the opening chapter the Lamb of GOD that taketh away the sin of the world. In chapter 13, CHRIST is preparing His disciples for service in the Holy place by use of the laver. In chapters 14, 15, 16, we see Him with them in the Tabernacle; and He teaches them much about the Holy Spirit, typified by the oil for the candlestick; and about prayer in His name, typified by the incense on the golden altar; while in the 17th chapter we have the High Priest alone in the Holiest of all.
(Taken from chapter two of The Study Of The Types by Ada Habershon)
In light of how many references John makes to Old Testament types in his Gospel, seemingly almost in every chapter (according to the author quoted above), it makes me wonder if there are even more pictures/types presented in his Gospel - perhaps there is one in every chapter that she had not found out yet. Makes we want to dig even more into this theme!
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Daily Devotional for Friday September 8th/06
Limp Hands And Feeble Knees
"Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed" (Heb. 12:12-13).
This is God's word of encouragement to us to lift up the hands of faith, and confirm the knees of prayer. Often our faith grows tired, languid, and relaxed, and our prayers lose their force and effectiveness.
The figure used here is a very striking one. The idea seems to be that we become discouraged and so timid that a little obstacle depresses and frightens us, and we are tempted to walk around it, and not face it: to take the easier way.
Perhaps it is some physical trouble that God is ready to heal, but the exertion is hard, or it is easier to secure some human help, or walk around in some other way.
There are many ways of walking around emergencies instead of going straight through them. How often we come up against something that appalls us, and we want to evade the issue with the excuse:
"I am not quite ready for that now." Some sacrifice is to be made, some obedience demanded, some Jericho to be taken, some soul that we have not the courage to claim and carry through, some prayer that is hanging fire, or perhaps some physical trouble that is half healed and we are walking around it.
God says, "Lift up the hands which hang down." March straight through the flood, and lo, the waters will divide, the Red Sea will open, the Jordan will part, and the Lord will lead you through to victory.
Don't let your feet "be turned out of the way," but let your body "be healed," your faith strengthened. Go right ahead and leave no Jericho behind you unconquered and no place where Satan can say that he was too much for you. This is a profitable lesson and an intensely practical one. How often have we been in that place. Perhaps you are there today. --A. B. Simpson
Pay as little attention to discouragement as possible. Plough ahead as a steamer does, rough or smooth -- rain or shine. To carry your cargo and make your port is the point. --Maltbie D. Babcock
(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)
If you have already read my study A Well Of Living Waters and appreciated it, I would encourage you to read the last half, starting from Jeremiah 31:12 on. I rewrote it and added much more to it.
I wanted to further develop the contrast between the righteous drinking of the living waters and the wicked whose waters were drying up. When I was first working on the study, I noticed those passages (and listed the references), but was more focussed on the living waters flowing forth. However, now I have decided to dig a little deeper into this theme as well, and present these contrasts both together.
I hope this study is a blessing to you. If you are willing, please pray for the Lord to give me wisdom as I study His Word and put studies and messages together. I sure could use it and would really appreciate it.
It was pointed out to me that my message on John 3:16: The Gospel In A Nutshell did not mention the resurrection of Christ, therefore did not "present the complete Gospel." The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is something I preach on regularly. This message was based on the notes I put together for preaching at the Gospel Mission. I only have about 7-10 minutes to speak, so sometimes it is hard to go much further than I have stated. It was not a deliberate oversight, and it was something I probably did touch down briefly on (I say probably, because I normally do, but I do not remember all I said that day - except for what I had in my notes). Then I typed these notes up that night when I got home, adding a few more Scriptures, but not developing it more. I attempted to clarify this point in #4 above - hopefully it is better now.
Thank you for your interest in this blog. May the Lord richly bless you.
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Daily Devotional for Saturday September 9th/06
As I was following some links this morning, I came across a series of articles on some of the Jewish feasts. Four in particular I found to be very edifying and in accordance to what I understand about these feasts. They present what the Bible says about these feasts, what traditions have developed around them, and their fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Note: this does not indicate an endorsement of the rest of the series of articles, nor of this ministry - as I am not familiar with it beyond this series of articles, though I felt these ones were worth passing on.)
Chanukkah: Festival of Lights
Shavuot (Pentecost): Feast of Weeks
Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement
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Daily Devotional for Sunday September 10th/06
I have two things for you today:
The first is a short devotional by Institute Of Creation Research that I thought was a blessing to read:
The God Who Saves
And the second is just a theme that was running through my mind yesterday morning as I was reading my Bible. I love how the Scriptures progressively reveal certain things - in this case, revealing more and more about who the Messiah would be. Here are statements by seven different Biblical writers about the importance of the name of the Saviour:
What Is His Name?
Please look up all the passages listed - I will just be highlighting the main reference for each section.
1) Genesis 32:24-31
Genesis 32:29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
The Angel of the Lord was a pre-incarnate appearance of the Messiah - but it wasn't time yet to reveal His name.
2) Judges 13:15-23
Judges 13:18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?
3) Proverbs 30:4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?
4) Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
According to Matthew 1:23, this name means "God With Us."
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
5) Matthew 1:18-25
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
The name Jesus means "Saviour."
6) Acts 4:8-13
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
7) Philippians 2:5-11
Philippians 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The name of Jesus - the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, the Saviour!
Is His name important to you?
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Daily Devotional for Monday September 11th/06
"With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word." (Psalm 119:13-16)
From these inspiring words of David, we find help and comfort for our troubled hearts.
"With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth!" How comforting it was to David that he could share with others the great things that GOD had revealed to him from His Word. As he presided at court, as he wrote the Psalms, and as he lived among his friends, he shared and taught GOD's Word; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
"I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches." David loved to know GOD's laws and he loved to live according to His rules as much as a worldly man loves to see his business increase. In true religion there is all riches, the unsearchable riches of CHRIST.
"I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways." The more we meditate upon GOD's Word and think upon the great eternal truths we find there, the more we will love GOD's Word and the more influence it will have upon us.
"I will delight myself in thy statutes." David found more pleasure in GOD's statutes than in all the pleasures of the court or the honors of his camp. When GOD's Word is written in our hearts, our duty to Him becomes a pleasure.
"I will not forget thy word." Surely those who meditate in GOD's Word and delight in it are not apt to forget it.
As we think on these things we agree with David, "O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day"! (Psalm 119:97)
(Taken from Moments Of Meditation by Matthew Henry)
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Daily Devotional for Tuesday September 12th/06
The following is taken from chapter 13 (A Sporting Interlude) of Joy Way: An Exposition Of The Epistle Of Paul To The Philippians:
THE COURSE OF THE RACE
He had not yet finished - "not as though I had already attained" (12).
Later on, we find him within sight of the tape, and, in glad anticipation, he says, "I have finished my course", II Timothy 4:7; but he is not yet there, he has still a long way to go. From the superior manner in which some Christians behave, you might imagine that they had got there - it appears that they have nothing more to experience, nothing more to do, nothing more to learn: they know it all!
They remind me of a boy of fourteen, who, explaining why he had left school, told me, "They can't teach me any more." Perhaps he spoke more truly than he meant - not that he was so full of knowledge, but that he was so dull that they had given it up.
He intended the first: I suspected the latter!
Our apostle had no such delusions - there were gaps yet to be bridged, laps yet to be covered; there were depths of experience yet to be sounded, heights of attainment yet to be achieved, ere the close of the contest.
Meanwhile he would not stop still - "I follow after" (12). It is now almost universally questioned if Paul wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews; but of this there is no question, that he would heartily endorse the sentiment of 6:1, "let us go on." He had fully and firmly grasped the fact that conversion was, as we have seen, a starting-place, not a stopping-place.
He would have appreciated that, though the seemingly impassable, impossible, Red Sea be in front, the command still holds, "Go forward", Exodus 14:15. There is a place for "Stand still" (verse 13), but no room for standstill - need for quiet, to get new vision, but only for the purpose of preparation for the resumption of the journey.
This race is not just a sprint - a quick, brisk burst of energy, and done with.
In that case, many more would have succeeded. It is the distance that has beaten; they could have managed a spurt; but the keeping on keeping on has proved too much for them.
Says Hebrews 12:1, it is a long-distance race - "let us run with patience." Says Galatians 5:7, it is an obstacle race - "ye did run well; who did hinder you?"
Here, in Paul, is an athlete who will not be hindered, not be stopped, but will "go on unto perfection."
He would put everything into it - "This one thing I do" (13).
There is no "I do" in the Greek, so that the broken sentence recaptures the excitement of the apostle in his prison as, in imagination, his heart is pounding at his ribs, as his feet are pounding on the track. He has one over-mastering passion, to the exclusion of all other interests - to get there, and to get there fast.
I will not say, to get there first - because I think that this is not a competitive race.
Mark his concentration. "Forgetting those things which are behind" - no race could be successful for a contestant who was continually looking back. Old sins - "their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more", when they are pardoned; why, then, should we be for ever digging them up, and pining for them?
Former failures - how discouraging they can be; don't be for ever doing nothing because you were once doing badly. Learn what lessons your failures can teach you, and then forget them.
Past experience - some people are perpetually living on the past; they received a great blessing, perhaps at Keswick, years ago; let GOD be thanked for that; but, alas, these folk never seem to have any fresh, up-to-date blessing to recount.
One-time pleasures - that, for whatever reason, they have felt urged to renounce; but they are, so wistfully, often thinking back to those jolly times of yesteryear.
Like Israel of old - "we remember the fish which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: but now . . . there is nothing at all, beside this manna", Numbers 11:5-6.
Some Christians, who once were so happy with "this manna", have allowed their appetite for the things of GOD to be spoiled, and now they look back to the old days and pleasures.
To all such we would say, "Remember Lot's wife."
Previous successes - these also should be forgotten, for it is ever a temptation to be content with that triumph, to rest on our oars. What a lot of things there are, bad and good, for us to forget!
The Psalmist says, "My times are in Thy hand" - leave your past time there; and know that "the best is yet to be."
Ponder this, too. "Reaching forth unto those things which are before." Have you ever seen a runner, straining every nerve to maintain, or increase, his speed? There he is, at full stretch!
That is the picture here. Grasping every opportunity of service, that he may do all he can for GOD, ere the race is done; seeking to make progress in grace, ever advancing in the things of GOD, that He, our Divine Trainer, may not be disappointed in His proteges; eagerly anxious to step into all the promises of blessing, longing to apprehend all that GOD purposed in apprehending him (12).
Here is a runner in dead earnest; here is running that makes big demands.
The other classic racing passage, Hebrews 12:1-2, gives sound advice to those who would "run well" - amongst other tips, these.
(1) "Let us lay aside every weight" - this last is a medical word, making the phrase to mean, "let us get rid of every ounce of superfluous flesh", which is just what an athlete does, training down to the last ounce, or, in spiritual parlance, reducing the "I" to the least minimum, as little of self as must be.
(2) "Let us lay aside . . . the sin that doth so easily beset us" - that doth so easily wrap us round. The athlete is careful to throw off everything that he decently dare, so that no vestige of unnecessary clothing shall impede him. How often a Christian's progress is slowed down by some besetting (wrapping round) habit of sin.
(3) "Looking unto Jesus" - not looking back at the past, as we have seen; not looking round at others. Like Peter, "What shall this man do?" and JESUS' reply, "What is that to thee? follow thou Me", John 21:21-22. Our attention wholly given to Him: what is His will in everything? What will please, and honour Him? All that need be added is the word Paul sent to the Christian athletes of Corinth, I Corinthians 9:24, "So run, that ye may obtain", which brings us to-:
The End Of The Race - see tomorrow's devotional.
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Daily Devotional for Wednesday September 13th/06
The following is taken from chapter 13 (A Sporting Interlude) of Joy Way: An Exposition Of The Epistle Of Paul To The Philippians - continuing on the same theme as yesterday:
THE END OF THE RACE
"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
The apostle is now looking toward the finish of the contest, the scene at the tape is, in anticipation, before his eyes, those last few yards call out all he has in him.
Let us divide up this interesting sentence, and examine it piece by piece.
"The mark" - On first thoughts it seems easy to interpret it as referring to the tape at the end of the course, at whose breaking the prize-winner will be known and acclaimed. That is the way in which it has been mostly understood. But let me put to you a suggestion which has been brought to my notice by A. Cochrane, my old friend. In an old commentary of more than a hundred years ago (1839), by a Dr. MacKnight, the following suggestion is offered, "I follow in the course along the mark", and, by way of interpretation, it is added, "I run on the marked-out course of faith and holiness."
Mr. Cochrane proceeds, "So Paul says, in effect, I am pressing on towards the Prize to be given when the Race is finished and won, and I keep to the marked-out Track, as I must, for the rules must be followed.
'If a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully', II Timothy 2:5. It is the only way, and do you follow my example, and that of others, who do as I do. He must keep pressing on along the marked-out Track." A most interesting suggestion.
If you have attended an athletic meeting, you will have noticed how the track is marked out with lines for the Hundred Yards, and how each competitor is allotted his lane, and is bound to keep within those two lines of his track. That track is symbolical of the "narrow way", Matthew 7:14, the Way of Faith and Holiness - we cannot go where we like, we must keep to the appointed track, or we become "a castaway", I Corinthians 9:27; turned out of the race, not turned out of the family.
"The prize" - it is not competitive, for if I get it, the others are not deprived of it, as in an ordinary race, wherein "one receiveth the prize", I Corinthians 9:24.
In the Christian race, all may receive it if they "so run." Paul doesn't despise the prize - as some affect to do. These superiors say that they do not race, work, serve for reward. Who does? It is "the love of Christ constraineth us", II Corinthians 5:14. But that does not mean that we will think lightly of it, if we are awarded it. Our Lord Himself often, shall I say, recommends it, Luke 19:17; Matthew 25:21.
Who am I to despise it? The apostle was not ashamed to go all out for it. Paul doesn't describe the prize - we know that
(a) it is not Salvation, being given only to those who have previously got salvation;
(b) it is not Heaven, for that is not a prize for our effort, but a gift to our faith.
Let us be content to leave it as yet revealed. At least we do know what will be the gracious words that will accompany the presentation - those words, all the more heart-warming as coming from His lips, "Well done!" It is always an encouragement to get that bit of praise from anyone, but how incomparable the sweetness when coming from Him. That will be worth all the sacrifice, all the striving, all the strenuousness. GOD help me - help you - so to run as to obtain that distinction, Heaven's medal of the "W.D.": "Well done!"
"The High Calling" - I have long felt that this means "the upward calling", and that it refers to the time of our Lord's return, to call His church up to Himself, as prophesied in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
It would appear that it is at this dramatic occasion that the judgment seat of CHRIST - the examination of believers' records - is to be set up, in accordance with I Corinthians 3:12-15, when "reward", and "loss", shall be assessed.
I have quite recently discovered that my view of this is not new, as I impudently imagined, but that actually it was held by no less a person than Chrysostom, all those centuries ago, who remarked that "athletes are not crowned in the race course below; the king calls them up and there crowns them."
At the close of our English football Cup Final, the players of the winning team are called up to receive the Cup, and both teams the medals, from the hands of the Queen, or other High Personage, who has been watching the match from a box above the tiers of seats below. So was it at the Athenian Games, that the Philippians would know so well, that the successful competitors were called up to receive their amaranthian crown from their Ruler's hands.
So, we believe, will it be at the time when our Lord returns. Those who have gained the prize will have "the upward calling", to receive from His hands the token of His grace and pleasure, and to hear, His wondrous commendation, "Well done" - perhaps, also, the delighted plaudits of the assembled saints. The Parousia will be our prize-giving! Oh, happy day-if we have "so run."
"In Christ Jesus" - yes, again comes the so-oft repeated emphasis, all is from Him, and in Him. It is His grace that gives us the urge, and the chance, to run, as we "enter" the race by the "strait gate"; it is His grace that gives us strength to run, and even guidance to run well; it is His grace that gives us the prize for good running.
He was the "Author" - the Starter who sent us off; He is the "Finisher" - the Judge who holds out to us the incorruptible crown at the end. Therefore, as the old hymn invites and incites us -
"Run the straight race, through GOD's good grace,
Lift up thine eyes, and seek His face.
Life, with its way, before us lies,
CHRIST is the Path, and CHRIST the Prize."
Verily, in Him is our protection, our provision, our progression, and our preoccupation all the way along. Thus, as we saw earlier, we shall run "looking unto Jesus" for everything needful for our Christian athleticism - what more inspiring motto could we have.
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Daily Devotional for Thursday September 14th/06
Here is a in-depth look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 that I especially appreciated. I love studies that break passages down into practical definitions and applications.
Charity Or Love by George Groce
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Daily Devotional for Friday September 15th/06
Let God Be True
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Daily Devotional for Saturday September 16th/06
Here is a good look at the letter to Ephesus in Revelation 2:
Our First Love by George Groce
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Daily Devotional for Sunday September 17th/06
The following is taken from chapter 12 (Heaven Below - 3:17-21) of Joy Way: An Exposition Of The Epistle Of Paul To The Philippians:
Philippians 3:20 For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
THE CITIZEN'S LORD
As all Roman citizens owed obedience, loyalty, and allegiance to their Emperor, so do the Heavenly citizens owe the same to Heaven's Lord. This JESUS was "born... Saviour", Luke 2:11 - and we have [have we?] accepted Him as our Saviour. He was also said to have been "born King", Matthew 2:2 - have we acclaimed Him as our King? Does He actually rule over everything?
"If you do not crown Him Lord of all,
You do not really crown Him Lord at all."
That is true, isn't it? Think it out. Put it right. Keep it up.
Let us dwell upon the happy thought of our glorified, and glorious, Lord. And first of
(a) His Coming Return - "from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ" (20). Yes, He is not only "a Saviour", Luke 2:11; but, as here, "the Saviour", the only one, "there is none other . . . whereby we must be saved", Acts 4:12; can you go further and say, "My Saviour", Luke 1:47? Again I press the matter upon you, lest, if His return be near, His coming should find you unprepared to meet Him.
...So we come to
(c) His Almighty Power - "according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself" (21).
- "Able to save", says Hebrews 7:25.
- "Able to succour", says Hebrews 2:18.
- "Able... to subdue", says the verse here.
Indeed, there is no limit to what He is able to do for us. Things that can't be can be, if He is there. Look at the Bible Home of Incurables, Mark 5.
The men's ward contains that poor hopeless, helpless man, Legion - "no man could bind him . . . neither could any man tame him." Until the Good Physician enters the ward: then the impossible cure is wrought!
The women's ward has a poor, distressed soul - "suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse." Twelve years already she had suffered. Must she go on like that: can nothing be done for her? Nothing! Until He enters, to work the miracle.
The children's ward shows us a pathetic case: the little person might have been healed but for the delay in the women's ward. Alas, now she's gone, "thy daughter is dead" - beyond all aid. All aid? No, not His - for when He enters the mighty deed is done.
Tell me, has sin got such a hold of you that yours is a hopeless case? The devil is strong, but JESUS is stronger "Satan to JESUS must bow."
Tell me, are you finding life intolerable - so full of difficulty, distress, disappointment? He is able to subdue that life of yours, so that though you feel like old Jacob, If "all these things are against me," Genesis 42:36, you yet shall see that "all things work together for good to them that love God", Romans 8:28.
The citizen's Lord is an almighty Lord, able to subdue their lives, their wills, their circumstances, their bodies, their all - until the blessed day when all the joy of their citizenship shall be finally released, and fully released, in their Homecoming.
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Daily Devotional for Monday September 18th/06
Here is an excellent series of devotionals by Tim Dunkin. They are certainly worth reading and meditating on. I will post one each day for the next three days.
God's Revival of the Sinning Saint - Repentance (Part 1)
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Daily Devotional for Tuesday September 19th/06
God's Revival of the Sinning Saint - Restoration (Part 2)
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Daily Devotional for Wednesday September 20th/06
God's Revival of the Sinning Saint - Reinstatement (Part 3)
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Daily Devotional for Thursday September 21st/06
The following is taken from Chapter 7 (On Carmel) of The Life Of Elijah, by Arthur W. Pink:
"And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down" (1 Kings 18:30). Mark well his first action, which was designed to speak unto the hearts of those Israelites.
Another has pointed out that here on Carmel Elijah made a three-fold appeal unto the people. First, he had appealed to their conscience, when he asked and then exhorted them: "How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him" (v. 21).
Second, he had appealed to their reason, when he had proposed that trial should be made between the prophets of Baal and himself that, "the God that answereth by fire let Him be God" (v. 24).
And now, by "repairing the altar of the LORD," he appealed to their hearts. Therein he has left an admirable example for the servants of God in every age to follow. The ministers of Christ should address themselves unto the consciences, the understandings and the affections of their hearers, for only thus can the Truth be adequately presented, the principal faculties of men's souls be reached, and a definite decision for the Lord be expected from them.
A balance must be preserved between the Law and the Gospel. Conscience must be searched, the mind convinced, the affections warmed, if the will is to be moved unto action. Thus it was with Elijah on Carmel.
"And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him." How strong and unwavering was the Prophet's confidence in his God.
He knew full well what his faith and prayer had obtained from the Lord, and he had not the slightest fear that he would now be disappointed and put to confusion. The God of Elijah never fails any who trust in Him with all their hearts. But the Prophet was determined that this answer by fire should be put beyond dispute.
He therefore invited the closest scrutiny of the people as he repaired the broken altar of Jehovah. They should be in the nearest proximity so that they might see for themselves there was no trickery, no insertion of any secret spark beneath the wood on which the slain bullock was laid.
Ah my reader, Truth does not fear the closest investigation: it does not shun the light, but courts it. It is the Evil One and his emissaries who love darkness and secrecy and act under the cloak of mysticism. There is nothing which Rome fears so much as the open Bible.
"And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down" (v. 30). There is far more here than meets the eye at first glance.
Light is cast thereon by comparing the language of Elijah in 19:10 - "the children of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, thrown down Thine altars." According to the Mosaic law there was only one altar upon which sacrifices might be offered, and that was where the Lord had fixed His peculiar residence - from the days of Solomon, in Jerusalem.
But before the tabernacle was erected, sacrifices might be offered in any place, and in the previous dispensation altars were built wherever the Patriarchs sojourned for any length of time, and it is probably unto them that Elijah alluded in 19:10.
This broken altar, then, was a solemn witness that the people had departed from God. The Prophet's repairing of the same was a rebuking of the people for their sin, a confessing of it on their behalf, and, at the same time, bringing them back to the place of beginning.
And reader, this is recorded for our instruction: Elijah began by repairing the broken altar. And that is where we must begin if the blessing of Heaven is to come again on the churches and on our land.
In many a professing Christian home there is a neglected altar of God. There was a time when the family gathered together and owned God in the authority of His Law, in the goodness of His daily providence, in the love of His redemption and continuing grace, but the sound of united worship no longer is heard ascending from the home.
Prosperity, worldliness, pleasure, has silenced the accents of devotion. The altar has fallen down: the dark shadow of sin rests on the home. And there can be no approach to God while sin is unconfessed.
They who hide sin cannot prosper (Prov. 28:13). Sin must be confessed before God will respond with holy fire. And sin must be confessed in deed as well as in word: the altar must be set up again.
The Christian must go back to the place of beginning! See Genesis 13:1-4; Revelation 2:4, 5!
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Daily Devotional for Friday September 22nd/06
The following is taken from Chapter 7 (On Carmel) of The Life Of Elijah, by Arthur W. Pink:
"And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob." (1 Kings 18:31) Let us also take notice how Elijah was regulated here by the Law of the Lord.
God had given express directions about His altar: "If thou wilt make Me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto Mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon" (Exo. 20:25, 26).
In strict accordance with that Divine statute, Elijah did not send for stones that had been quarried and polished by human art, but used rough and unhewn stones which lay upon the mountain side. He took what God had provided and not what man had made. He acted according to the Divine pattern furnished him in the Holy Scriptures, for God's work must be done in the manner and method appointed by God.
This, too, is written for our learning. Each several act on this occasion, every detail of Elijah's procedure, needs to be noted and pondered if we would discover what is required from us if the Lord is to show Himself strong on our behalf.
In connection with His service God has not left things to our discretion nor to the dictates of either human wisdom or expediency. He has supplied us with a "pattern" (compare Heb. 8:5), and He is very jealous of that pattern and requires us to be ordered by the same. Everything must be done as God has appointed.
The moment we depart from God's pattern, that is, the moment we fail to act in strict conformity to a "thus saith the Lord," we are acting in self-will, and can no longer count upon His blessing. We must not expect "the fire of God" until we have fully met His requirements.
In view of what has just been pointed out, need we have any difficulty in discovering why the blessing of God has departed from the churches, why His miracle-working power is no longer seen working in their midst?
It is because there has been such woeful departure from His "pattern," because so many innovations have come in, because they have employed carnal weapons in their spiritual warfare, because they have wickedly brought in worldly means and methods.
In consequence, the Holy Spirit is grieved and quenched. Not only must the occupant of the pulpit heed the Divine injunction and preach "the preaching that I bid thee" (Jonah 3:2), but the whole service, discipline and life of the church must be regulated by the directions God has given.
The path of obedience is the path of spiritual prosperity and blessing, but the way of self-will and self-seeking is one of impotency and disaster.
"And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed" (1 Kings 18:32).
Ah, take note of that: "He built an altar in the name of the LORD." That is, by His authority - for His glory. And thus should it ever be with us - "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Col. 3:17).
This is one of the basic rules for the governance of all our actions. O what a difference it would make if professing Christians were regulated thereby!
How many difficulties would be removed and how many problems solved. The young believer often wonders whether this or that practice is right or wrong.
Let it be brought to this touchstone: Can I ask God's blessing upon it? Can I do it in the name of the Lord? If not, then it is sinful.
Alas, how much in Christendom is now being done under the holy Name of Christ which He has never authorized, which is grievously dishonouring to Him, which is a stench in His nostrils. "Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity" (2 Tim. 2:19).
"And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood" (1 Kings 18:33). And here again observe how strictly Elijah kept to the "pattern" furnished him in the Scriptures.
Through Moses the Lord had given orders in connection with the burnt offering that, "he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces. And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head and the fat, in order upon the wood" (Lev. 1:6-8).
Those details in the conduct of Elijah are the more noteworthy because of what is recorded of the prophets of Baal on this occasion: nothing is said of their "putting the wood in order" or of "cutting the bullock in pieces and laying him on the wood," but merely that they "dressed it, and called on the name of Baal" (1 Kings 18:26).
Ah, it is in these "little things" as men term them, that we see the difference between the true and the false servants of God.
"And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood." And is there not here also important instruction for us? The work of the Lord is not to be performed carelessly and hurriedly, but with great precision and reverence.
Think of Whose service we are engaged in if we are the ministers of Christ. Is He not richly entitled to our best! How we need to "study to shew [ourselves] approved unto God" if we are to be "[workmen] that needeth not to be ashamed" (2 Tim. 2:15).
What a fearful word is that in Jeremiah 48:10: "Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully", then let us seek grace to heed this malediction in the preparing of our sermons (or articles) or whatsoever we undertake in the name of our Master.
Searching indeed is that declaration of Christ's, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much" (Luke 16:10).
Not only is the glory of God immediately concerned, but the everlasting weal or woe of immortal souls is involved when we engage in the work of the Lord.
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Daily Devotional for Saturday September 23rd/06
If you have been reading these devotionals for any length of time, you will no doubt know that I love studying out types. I have already sent out some links and portions of The Study Of The Types by Ada Habershon, but I thought this chapter was excellent and wanted to pass it on specifically:
6. Types Of The Resurrection
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Daily Devotional for Sunday September 24th/06
God Is Looking
"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him" (2 Chron. 16:9).
God is looking for a man, or woman, whose heart will be always set on Him, and who will trust Him for all He desires to do. God is eager to work more mightily now than He ever has through any soul. The clock of the centuries points to the eleventh hour.
"The world is waiting yet to see what God can do through a consecrated soul." Not the world alone, but God Himself is waiting for one, who will be more fully devoted to Him than any who have ever lived; who will be willing to be nothing that Christ may be all; who will grasp God's own purposes; and taking His humility and His faith, His love and His power, will, without hindering, continue to let God do exploits. --C. H. P.
"There is no limit to what God can do with a man, providing he will not touch the glory."
In an address given to ministers and workers after his ninetieth birthday, George Mueller spoke thus of himself: "I was converted in November, 1825, but I only came into the full surrender of the heart four years later, in July, 1829. The love of money was gone, the love of place was gone, the love of position was gone, the love of worldly pleasures and engagements was gone. God, God alone became my portion. I found my all in Him; I wanted nothing else. And by the grace of God this has remained, and has made me a happy man, an exceedingly happy man, and it led me to care only about the things of God. I ask affectionately, my beloved brethren, have you fully surrendered the heart to God, or is there this thing or that thing with which you are taken up irrespective of God? I read a little of the Scriptures before, but preferred other books; but since that time the revelation He has made of Himself has become unspeakably blessed to me, and I can say from my heart, God is an infinitely lovely Being. Oh, be not satisfied until in your own inmost soul you can say, God is an infinitely lovely Being!" --Selected
I pray to God this day to make me an extraordinary Christian. --Whitefield.
(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)
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Daily Devotional for Monday September 25th/06
For the Love of the Family Ministries
Missionaries to Americaís Forgotten Mission Field, the Family
Pastor Terry L. Coomer
Ministry of Elwood Bible Baptist Church
P.O. Box 535
504 North 12th Street
Elwood, Indiana 46036
These messages may be copied in their entirety to help Christians in the rearing of their children for God, strengthening their family, and their marriage. They are not to be changed in any manner or to be sold. This header must be on any copy. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the author.
Living to Glorify God - The Secret to Having an Abundant Life - Through Biblical Change
Psalm 119: 5-7, ďO that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.Ē
One of the most difficult things I have found is the ability or desire of Godís people to make Biblical long term change in our lives. Through many contacts from For the Love of the Family, I have seen many people ask for help in their home, children, or marriage. It is our desire to help. However, the willingness to have long term Biblical change has to be in the life. Unfortunately, responding to our old nature is many times extremely deceptive in our life. Many times we do not see it. What I want to do in this article is give us some help in practically having Biblical long term change in our life.
In Luke chapter 15 there is the story of the prodigal son. The prodigal story is a story that is being told over and over in everyday life. It happens around us every day with an infinite number of different hog pens. We here at For the Love of the Family are contacted many times with different hog pen stories. The pull of the far country is ever so powerful. Even though it could happen a thousand different ways, the basic elements of what Jesus gives us in the prodigal story is almost always present. Many of Godís people have the same thing as the prodigal: (1) An independent spirit. (2) Rebellion against willful authority. (3) Jealousy of the other child or others.
Where do we start to make Biblical change in our lives? With the Bible. Most people have come from a habit lifestyle built around flesh gratification and senses orientation which is ingrained in their life. It is imperative to begin responding to our new nature because it is right rather than to the old nature simply because it feels right. Those who do not understand they have to respond to the new nature rather than the old nature end up spiritually useless at best or in the hog pen at worst. Proverbs 25:28. The Bible describes a person who has no rule over his spirit as a disaster with no defenses. Many people struggle with the simplest matters in their spiritual life because they have no rule or control over their old nature. You will either respond to your old nature or your new nature. Most Christians respond to their old nature continually. They are then lead by their emotions and make disastrous decisions in their life which only makes things worse in their life. They are unhappy and question whether God is there or if He cares, or why has this happened to my children or family? Their life becomes more complicated with each passing disastrous decision they make. There are seven areas that God gives us in the Bible that we need to have under control of the Holy Spirit. I have given a few passages of Scripture to look at but I would encourage you to look at more Scripture on each subject. These are to help you get started.
1. Personal relationship with God, II Timothy 2:15, Psalm 119:9.
Wives, Ephesians 5:22-23, I Peter 3:1.
Husbands, Ephesians 5:25, 29, I Peter 3:7.
3. Children, Ephesians 6:1, Deuteronomy 6:6-7.
4. Church, Hebrews 10:25, Ephesians 4:11-12.
5. Job, Ephesians 6:5-6, Ephesians 2:10.
6. Witnessing, II Corinthians 5:20, Matthew 5:16.
7. Leisure, Mark 6:31, Joshua 1:8-9.
Here is what I would recommend for people who desire to have real Biblical change in their life. Write down these seven things on a pad of paper. Read, study and meditate on the verses. Then determine what is my
(1) Attitude on this? Write your attitude down after reading the verses. Ask yourself this question. Is your attitude the mind of God on this? Remember there is only one goal for our life, I Corinthians 6:19-20: To glorify God by being like Jesus in obedience to God and service to others.
In my attitude, what does God say about this in His Word? Study to understand, think about, and meditate on Godís mind on what God says in His Word about this area. You will almost immediately know whether you attitude is Godís mind on this area. You will know whether your life is operating like Godís mind on this area of life.
(2) Behavior - Write down
a. What do I have to do to do right in personal disciplines (personal life) on this?
b. What do I have to do to do right in interpersonal disciplines (relationships with others) on this?
c. Ask God to forgive me in repentance if my mind is not His mind. Pray asking for forgiveness and then intercessory prayer asking with thanksgiving, and yieldedness for Godís help in correcting this area of your life.
(3) Communication - Proclaim the Word of God to the eternal benefit of every personal contact. I Peter 3:15, Matthew 5:16.
If I change my attitude and behavior to match Godís mind on the matter then my communication will change to glorify God. Remember our goal in life is to glorify God.
Let me give you the secret of an abundant life. The more in conformity to the Word of God you and I become, the greater our joy and peace will be. This is what the Psalmist explained in Psalm 119:5-7.
Terry L. Coomer is the Pastor of Elwood Bible Baptist Church, and the Director of For the Love of the Family Ministries. He has also served as the Publisher of the nationís fastest growing daily newspaper. Pastor Coomer holds Family Conferences in the local church. To have a meeting at your church or other needs he may be contacted at (765) 552-1973, [email protected], www.fortheloveofthefamily.com
(This author/ministry also has a mailing list you can join and receive articles periodically about various issues in building up your home, according to the Word of God.)
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This is all I was able to post for September's Devotionals.
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