Wednesday, September 15, 2021
The Psalmist describes the high standard necessary for a relationship with God.
Psalm 24: 3-4 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart . . . (NASB)
Every Christ-follower should long for an intimate relationship with the Creator. The poetic words of this Psalm remind you of when Moses went atop Mount Sinai to speak with God. How can a person be clean enough and pure enough to aspire to such closeness? Psalm 32 provides an answer: “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord does not count his iniquity . . . ”
In and of yourself, you do not have clean hands and a pure heart — but a Christ-follower has their sins forgiven and has Christ’s righteousness credited to their account! So, when you speak harshly to your mate, or neglect your children, or look at some image you should not have . . . then you follow I John 1 which says, “if you confess your sins, He (Christ) is faithful and just to forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.” Now by God’s grace, you may approach the Lord and resume your intimate relationship! How good is that??
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
The apostle Paul writes how a pure heart and a changed life result by following Christ.
I Timothy 1:5 [Paul writes] The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (NASB)
When you read or hear the life stories of people who are Christ-followers, often you hear how their lives are transformed! Instead of lying, or cursing, or being vengeful, etc.. . . all that goes away! For some it’s more of a process than others. An old chorus used to go: Things are different now, something’s happened to me, since Jesus came into my heart.” The difference is that your sins have been forgiven, you have a relationship with God and His Spirit has come to live within you.
Your conscience is that part of you that either condemns or excuses you. As you begin to live in harmony with your new spiritual life/awareness in Christ, you find yourself being willing to give up lustful habits and practices. You can now love others with a pure heart — it’s the new normal . . . it’s the new you!
Monday, September 13, 2021
The apostle Paul writes of practicing the power of positive thinking.
Philippians 4:8 . . . whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (NASB
Are you a worrier?? I am and have to fight it on a regular basis. Throughout God’s book the Bible, you will find Christ-followers are commanded not to fear and not to worry. Instead, you are to live in dependence on God for whom nothing is impossible. Just before this verse the apostle Paul said in essence: “don’t worry about anything — pray about everything!”
A co-worker once shared how she was plagued with thoughts about what “might” be, until a wise friend told her to concentrate on what she knew. You know, after that, much of her worry disappeared! Put the following presets on the selector of your mind: truth (what you know), noble things (serious things that are not frivolous), right things (things you ought to do), pure things (free of filthy words or deeds), lovely things (things so pleasing or agreeable they can be loved). When destructive, false thoughts intrude into your thinking — immediately go to one of these “presets” and press “play”!
Monday, September 6, 2021
The Psalmist uses the Shepherd psalm to remind you that God watches over His own even in life’s darkest hours.
Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (NASB)
When you’re going through a fiery trial . . . time can seem to slow down and you fear the pain will never end! It’s easy to forget that God promises to be with His followers in good times and bad! One of the names for Jesus in the Bible is “Emmanuel” — “God with us”. It was this sort of presence of God in the lives of the three Hebrew young men in Old Testament Daniel’s time, which gave them the courage to refuse to worship the golden image of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar.
There are times when the destructive power of death and evil seem to hang over us, and we feel at any moment all could be lost! I once heard that since the valley described is the “valley of the shadow of death”, there must be a light source for there to be a shadow. The light, for the Christ-follower, would be Jesus — the “Light of the World” — who will never leave us!
Friday, September 3, 2021 The unknown author writes that God knows His own and values their service on His behalf. Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name . . . (NASB) In the world there are those who come close
Thursday, September 2, 2021 Moses records a priestly blessing that reflects the loving heart of God. Numbers 6:24-26 The Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace. (NASB) It’s such a freeing
Wednesday, September 1, 2021 The apostle Paul writes to commend Christ-followers for their generosity. II Corinthians 9:13 . . . they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution . . . (NASB) The New Testament church of Corinth (modern day Greece)
Tuesday, August 31, 2021 The apostle Paul gives thanks for the spiritual growth in one group of Christ-followers. II Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever