July 24, 2013
June 4, 2013
March 21, 2013
February 7, 2013
Love this devotional! It is full of truth and well needed life application. Living a life grounded in God's truth is a powerful life!
Grounded in Truth
If we'll let the truths of Scripture fill our minds, guard our emotions, and influence our conduct, God will richly reward us. I'm talking about spiritual blessings here (though He at times chooses to bless materially as well). By reading and meditating on His Word, you'll learn to understand His ways. This isn't something we can figure out on our own, because His ways are unlike ours—they are higher, bigger, and eternal.
Also, your relationship with the Lord will grow increasingly more intimate because He chooses to reveal Himself to those who seek Him and obey His instructions. When you see that God always keeps His promises, your confidence in His faithfulness will soar. No matter what the situation, you'll know you can trust Him. Then He'll transform your worries into joyful anticipation about what He's going to do next in your life. Even if hard times await, you'll be convinced that the Lord will work them out for good.
A life grounded in truth is powerful. Those who live by the Word develop spiritual discernment, which guides their choices and guards against deception. Because they demonstrate wisdom and godliness, the Lord enables them to impact others greatly. Since He knows they can be trusted, He also gives them greater responsibilities and opportunities for service in His kingdom.
With all this available to us, wouldn't it be wise to invest our time and energy in building the truth of God's Word into our lives? The other activities which clamor for our attention seem so important or pleasurable, but none of them can offer us the spiritual riches of a life grounded in truth.
February 4, 2013
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
I’m sitting in a courtroom at a table near the judge’s bench.
Someone says ‘All rise’ and everyone stands. Suddenly there is lightning and thunder, smoke and fire as the Judge enters the room. The Judge is the most terrifying, frightening, glorious being you have ever seen. Winged beings fly around him, covering their faces while crying, “Holy! Holy! Holy!” Everyone in the court room falls to the floor in abject fear. Then the Judge sits down, slams his gavel on his desk, and says, “Let the proceedings begin.”
Now the prosecutor stands. My blood runs cold as I see that the prosecutor is none other than the ancient Serpent himself. He is trembling and I see the fear in the yellow slits of his eyes as he nervously inches forward toward the Judge’s bench and summons up the courage to speak.
“Your Honor, you are the righteoussss Judge,” he hisses. ”All justice is in your hands. And I – I demand justice this morning. You see, the defendant” – and he turns slowly and looks right at…ME, with his terrible eyes. And he slowly points a long, gnarled finger at me – “The defendant is guilty of breaking your holy law and has violated divine justice. He has rebelled against you, ignored you and spit in your face. He has failed to thank you for all your blessings, and he has worshipped false gods. These crimes must be punished! Give the defendant to me – let me take him where he deserves to go.”
There is silence in courtroom. Every eye is on the Judge. And my heart is sinking because every accusation of the prosecutor is true.
Suddenly the silence is broken and I hear someone say loudly, “I OBJECT Your Honor!” Every eye turns to see the defense attorney standing beside me. How had I not seen him before?
“I have paid for the defendant’s crimes – every one. Remember, I took his place and his punishment and satisfied your justice on the cross.”
“Objection sustained!” says the Judge.
“But Your Honor,” snarls the prosecutor, “Even last week the defendant had over a hundred ssssselfish thoughts in his mind. The defendant doubted your goodness and hated someone in his heart. You said that’s the same as murder. He must be punished!”
“Objection Your Honor! Again, I paid for those sins as well.”
“But Your Honor…” I think I detect a note of desperation in the prosecutor’s voice. ”Not only has the defendant committed willful crimes, but he has failed to love you with all his heart, soul, mind and strength from the day he was born. That’s the great commandment. And he fails to love his neighbor as himself, the second greatest commandment, every day.”
“Objection! Your Honor I not only paid for all the sins he actively committed, but I paid for all he failed to do as well. I paid for all his failures with his children. All the times he’s failed to love his wife. I paid for every failure. And you have decreed that once sin is paid for it does not need to be paid for a second time.”
“Objection sustained!” Shouts the judge slamming his gavel down on his desk.
“But Your Honor…”
“Sit down Mr. Prosecutor. I’ve heard quite enough from you. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I declare this man to be not guilty in my sight. And I declare him to be righteous in Christ. Court dismissed!”
“But Your Honor…”
“Michael! Please escort the prosecutor out of the court room.”
January 18, 2013
We know that we are to take our thoughts captive and think on truth but we also have to be careful about what we focus on because wherever we focus our attention or energy, those things can and will develop in our words or actions. Basically, whatever we focus on, we become.
January 15, 2013
January 11, 2013
We all know them. They are family members, church family and even friends. They can be found anywhere.
Grace killers squash the work done on the cross. They stomp on the gospel. They turn people away from Christ.
I love the way in which Charles Swindoll speaks to this topic. What or whom does our self righteous attitude truly reflect?
Swindoll states that grace killers...
"leave no room for any gray areas. Everything is either black or white, right or wrong. And as a result, the leader maintains strict control over the followers. Fellowship is based on whether there is full agreement. Herein lies the tragedy. This self-righteous, rigid standard becomes more important than relationships with individuals. We first check out where people stand on the issues, and then we determine whether we will spend much time with them. The bottom line is this: We want to be right (as we see it, of course) more than we want to love our neighbors as ourselves. At that point our personal preferences eclipse any evidence of love. I am of the firm conviction that where grace exists, so must various areas of gray.
I can cultivate a judgmental attitude toward those who may not agree or cooperate with my plan. Grace killers are notorious for a judgmental attitude. It is perhaps the single most un-Christlike characteristic in evangelical circles today."
The Grace Awakening Devotional
January 2, 2013
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