Photography has taught me a great deal about patience. My team and I once spent four days waiting to photograph the Matterhorn in Switzerland—inclement weather kept the peak totally hidden. On the last night of my stay, I went to sleep praying. Very early the next morning, I opened my eyes to see that huge white mountain glistening against the pitch-black sky. I was amazed to discover the modest hotel we’d selected had a view of the mountain!
Rather than wait until we reach heaven, the Lord sends many blessings to us now. However, we must not get ahead of Him if we hope to receive His gifts. Several things happen when we choose to be patient.
- We see God at work. His way is the best way, and we become more aware of this when we observe Him working out His plan in our life.
- We can achieve our objectives. The Lord knows the right moment to provide what we want or need. If we give up too soon or try to manipulate circumstances, we miss out on the fullness of what He wants to bestow.
- We have God’s favor. When we are patiently waiting for His will, then He can freely bless us. The heavenly Father certainly wants to pour out His love on our life.
We are blessed when we abide patiently in God’s will. Unfortunately, we will all face circumstances in which we are tempted to be impatient. What determines whether or not we express patience is the value we place on whoever else is involved—another believer, a friend, a coworker, or God. Do you value the Lord enough to be patient with His timing?
Bible in One Year: Acts 16-17
Read: Psalm 89:1–17
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 3–4; Hebrews 11:20–40
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, LORD.—Psalm 89:15
The seventeenth-century monk Brother Lawrence, before a day’s work as cook in his community, would pray, “O my God . . . grant me your grace to stay in your presence. Help me in my labors. Possess all my affections.” As he worked, he kept talking to God, listening for His leading and dedicating his work to Him. Even when he was busiest, he would use intervals of relative calm to ask for His grace. No matter what was happening, he sought for and found a sense of his Maker’s love.
As Psalm 89 confesses, the fitting response to the Creator of all who rules the oceans and is worshiped by hosts of angels is to lift up our lives—our whole lives to Him. When we understand the beauty of who God is we “hear the joyful call to worship”—whenever and wherever we are, “all day long” (vv. 15-16 NLT).
Whether it’s standing in store or airport lines, or waiting on hold minute after minute, our lives are full of moments like these, times when we could get annoyed. Or these can be times when we catch our breath and see each of these pauses as an opportunity to learn to “walk in the light of [God’s] presence” (v. 15).
The “wasted” moments of our lives, when we wait or lay ill or wonder what to do next, are all possible pauses to consider our lives in the light of His presence. GUEST WRITER —Harold Myra
Every moment can be lived in God’s presence.
INSIGHT: This Messianic psalm reflects on the eternal covenant that will ultimately be realized through King David’s descendant, the Lord Jesus Christ. It develops themes of God’s love and protection for His covenant people, laying the foundation for worshiping God wherever we are.
What opportunities can you take today to praise God? Dennis Fisher
My husband and I had the relatively rare occurrence of a long weekend in which we had made no plans—except to stay at home and relax. We decided to revisit The Lord of the Rings film trilogy by watching one film each night of the weekend. As we watched, we were reminded of the powerful themes of good and evil, power and corruption, military conquest and its ecological impact and how hope is found in unexpected or unseen places. I continue to be amazed by the relevance and impact of these fantasy novels, adapted for film and written over sixty years ago.
In one of the climactic scenes of The Fellowship of the Ring, the young hobbit Frodo laments the world he sees around him with all of its tragedy and darkness. Looking at the difficulty in continuing on the path laid out before him, Frodo mourns, “I wish it need not have happened in my time.” His ever-wise counselor and friend, Gandalf the Grey, consoles him with these words: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, in which case you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.”(1)
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. Watching this scene and hearing these words echoes within me as I look out onto the world. There are always crises of one sort or another that might make even the strongest among us pine for different times, crises that make us wish our journey would be a different and far more pleasant trip. The recent shootings in Las Vegas and Texas, the terrorist rampage in New York City, and the almost daily bombings all around the world give us all-too-familiar examples. The seeming randomness of violence upends any sense of security in a world that is far beyond our control. We long for peace and stability. But often such is not the time that is given to us.
Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements].— Romans 13:8
It’s important for us to understand that the battle for our finances is really a spiritual battle. The enemy tempts us to spend more than we are able to pay off so he can keep us under pressure and distracted from our walk with God.
But we need to have a goal to enjoy the life that Jesus died to give us—a life of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. We can’t do that if we are under pressure and frustrated by financial debt.
It’s possible to live debt free by using biblical principles for managing money. My husband, Dave, says that if we learn to live within our borders, or our income, then God will bless us, our borders will be stretched, and we’ll have more. Luke 19:17 tells us that God is pleased when we are faithful and trustworthy in little things. When we are, it says He will give us authority over bigger things.
So don’t fall into the trap of trying to live “bigger” than what God’s entrusted you with. Stay out of debt by living within your boundaries…then watch God expand them.
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57, KJV).
In our busy lives, yours and mine, there are days when victory seems an impossibility. Heartaches, trials, burdens, or just the ordinary cares of the day, all seem foreign to the idea of being victorious.
And yet the fact remains that we are “more than conquerors” even when we do not feel like it. God graciously allows His children to be human and to express our doubts and fears when suffering and pain and testing and trial seem to overwhelm us.
“I have to be very honest,” confessed Joyce Landorf, well-known Christian author and speaker, during a long period of illness. “One of the things I have learned from severe pain is that I have felt totally abandoned by God. I didn’t think he’d let that happen to me, but He has.
“And maybe the feeling of abandonment when pain is at its writhing best..maybe that’s what makes it so sweet after the pain goes and the Lord says, ‘I was here all the time. I haven’t left you. I will never forsake you.’ Now those words get sweeter to me because I know what it has felt like to not feel His presence.”
We do not have all the answers, but we know one who does. And that is where our victory begins – acknowledging (1) that God is a God of love, one who never makes a mistake, and (2) he will never leave us or forsake us.
Bible Reading: Romans 7:18-25
TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will consider myself a victor, whatever may transpire, because I serve the victorious one
I can’t assure you your family will ever give you the blessing you seek, but God will! Let God give you what your family doesn’t. How do you do that? You do it by emotionally accepting God as your Father. It’s one thing to accept Him as Lord, another to recognize Him as Savior, but another matter entirely to accept Him as Father.
To recognize God as Lord is to acknowledge that he is sovereign in the universe. To accept Him as Savior is to accept His gift of salvation offered on the cross. To regard God as Father is to go a step further. Ideally, a father is the one in your life who provides and protects. That’s exactly what God has done! God has proven Himself as a faithful father. Now let God fill the void others have left. You are His child and He’ll give you the blessing He promised!
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Astronomers have announced the discovery of a nearby planet. Named Ross 128 b, the planet is only eleven light-years away from Earth. It is about the same size as our planet and could have a similar surface temperature.
Could it support life? Scientists believe that water could pool on its surface and radiation from its star would not threaten its environment.
The new find joins a long list of planets discovered in recent years. Humans have always been fascinated with life on other worlds. Perhaps the quest for extraterrestrial life is appealing in part because life on this fallen planet can be so difficult.
It seems we have two options. We can focus on this fallen world as an end in itself, which is reason for great discouragement. Or we can focus on the world to come, using this life as merely a means to an end.
Recently I have been contemplating a third option, one which values both the present world and the world to come.
A different view of life
Consider this statement by C. S. Lewis in The Great Divorce: “Earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, a region of Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself.”
Is he right?
John 3:16 famously states that whoever believes in Jesus “should not perish but have eternal life.” Our Lord did not say that the believer “will have” eternal life but that he has such life now. Then, the moment his body dies, he is with his Lord in paradise (Luke 23:43).
By the same token, the lost are destined for separation from God (Matthew 7:23). At death, they move immediately from earth to hell (Luke 16:22–23). Both heaven and hell are permanent (Luke 16:26; Revelation 20:10, 15).
In other words, eternity has already begun for each of us.
Why eternity matters today (more…)
The Lord gives us resources and abilities, and He desires that we use them well. One such gift is time.
In order to manage our coming days effectively, we should continually review the one we’ve just lived: What activities did we choose? How much time did each take? What were the results? This discipline will reveal what is most important to us.
In looking closely at our assessments, we can determine what drives our decisions about how to use time. Some people merely respond to circumstances for a majority of their day. They jump from one thing to the next, handling whatever appears in their world at the moment—whether personal, family, or business matters. But this style of living misses the mark.
Other people spend their time according to desires. They want to relax, so they get home and watch television for the evening. Or they love to hunt, so they use their time to research equipment and locate wildlife in the forest. Desires are not bad, but they should not drive the bulk of our actions.
Thankfully, there are also people who live according to what they deem important. Loving God and serving others, for instance, are two biblical values that should, ideally, determine what we do with our time.
If you itemize your activities and their time consumption over the course of a week, you might be surprised at which are the predominant events. Each moment is a gift, so set aside a few minutes each evening to plan the next day. Then revisit how you spent the last 24 hours. This will help you to live purposefully.
Bible in One Year: Acts 14-15
Read: Luke 11:5–13
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 1–2; Hebrews 11:1–19
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!—Luke 11:13
In October 1915, during World War I, Oswald Chambers arrived at Zeitoun Camp, a military training center near Cairo, Egypt, to serve as a YMCA chaplain to British Commonwealth soldiers. When he announced a weeknight religious service, 400 men packed the large YMCA hut to hear Chambers’s talk titled, “What Is the Good of Prayer?” Later, when he spoke individually with men who were trying to find God in the midst of war, Oswald often quoted Luke 11:13, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
The free gift of God through His Son, Jesus, is forgiveness, hope, and His living presence in our lives through the Holy Spirit. “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (v. 10).
On November 15, 1917, Oswald Chambers died unexpectedly from a ruptured appendix. To honor him, a soldier led to faith in Christ by Oswald purchased a marble carving of a Bible with the message of Luke 11:13 on its open page and placed it beside his grave: “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” This amazing gift from God is available to each of us today. —David C. McCasland
Father, You are the giver of all good gifts. We thank You for the great gift of the Holy Spirit who lives in us and guides us in Your truth today.
God’s gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives is available to each of us today.
INSIGHT: Would you want a God who gave you everything you asked for? Or would that be a bit frightening? While Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray (Luke 11:1-4), He described God as being like a loving Father who would not give them a scorpion if they asked for an egg.
Was He just assuring us that God is good? Or was He gently suggesting something about us? Was He hinting that sometimes we don’t know how to pray for our own good? (Rom 8:26). Maybe that’s why He promised that His Father would share His Spirit with those who trusted Him for what is best (Luke 11:13). Mart DeHaan
Dr. Paul Brand was an orthopedic surgeon who chose his patients among the untouchable. With his wife, who was also a physician, he spent a lifetime working with the marred and useless limbs of leprosy victims. In fact, he transformed the way in which medicine approached the painful and often exiled world of the leper. Whereas the disfigurements of leprosy were once treated as irreversible consequences of the disease, Dr. Brand brought new hope to sufferers of leprosy by utilizing the body’s capacity to heal. “I have come to realize that every patient of mine, every newborn baby, in every cell of its body, has a basic knowledge of how to survive and how to heal that exceeds anything that I shall ever know,” wrote Brand. “That knowledge is the gift of God, who has made our bodies more perfectly than we could ever have devised.”(1)
Philip Yancey was a young journalist when he first met this dignified British surgeon in an interview. He recalls a teary-eyed Brand speaking of his patients, describing their disease as if first hand: their unremitting suffering, experimental surgeries, societal rejection. Many memorable conversations later, Yancey would recall the healing presence this physician was to his own crippled and weary belief in God. To Yancey, Brand represented faith and hope in body, amidst nothing less than suffering and death and loss. His belief in Christ caused him to outwardly live in a very particular way. He worked to restore the image of humanity and the image of God in lives marred by disease, and so helped restore the face of God in the doubt-ridden world of a young author. As Yancey later would write of their meeting, “You need only meet one saint to believe, to silence the noisy arguments of the world.”(2)
Brand was for Yancey a physical reminder that Christianity is no mere system or organization, preference or thought process, but a way of life with one concerned as much with broken bodies as marred souls. In a 1990 lecture titled The Wisdom of the Body, Dr. Paul Brand said, “I pray that when my time comes I may not grumble that my body has worn out too soon, but hold on to gratitude that I have been so long at the helm of the most wonderful creation the world has ever known, and look forward to meeting its designer face to face.”(3) In a body like ours, God silences the arguments of a noisy world. Jesus approaches humanity as one of us, coming to make us well entirely—in body, mind, soul, senses.
Yet for us there is [only] one God, the Father, Who is the Source of all things and for Whom we [have life], and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through and by Whom are all things and through and by Whom we [ourselves exist]. — 1 Corinthians 8:6
We need to get comfortable with God. I don’t mean we should be disrespectful, but that we don’t have to be afraid of Him. In fact, I believe that the ultimate call of every believer’s life is to enjoy God. We are called to enjoy the Father because He is life, and we can’t truly enjoy life if we don’t enjoy God.
Sometimes we don’t enjoy God’s presence because we get all wrapped up in serving Him, discovering what gifts we have, and spending all our time working at our ministry. This happened to me. About five years into my ministry, God had to make me hit the brakes because I had become so proud of the work I was doing for Him that I was no longer enjoying Him.
We have to be careful when we start getting proud of ourselves because of all the things we’re doing. That’s not what God’s after. As our Father, He just wants us to know and enjoy Him.
So let me ask you, are you proud of your works today? Or are you truly enjoying God?
“But despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us” (Romans 8:37).
Today I prayed with a beloved friend who is dying of cancer. As he and his precious wife and I held hands, we lifted our voices in praise to God, knowing that He makes no mistakes, that “all things work together for good to those who love Him,” and that he is fully aware of my brother’s body riddled with pain as a result of cancerous cells that are on a warpath. Together we claimed that victory which comes from an unwavering confidence in Christ’s sufficiency.
The victory comes, of course, through Christ who loved us enough to die for us. Such love is beyond our ability to grasp with our minds, but it is not beyond our ability to experience with our hearts. God’s love is unconditional and it is constant. Because He is perfect, His love is perfect, too.
The Scriptures tell of a certain lawyer who asked Jesus, “Sir, which is the most important command in the Law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
The question may come to your mind: “Why does God want our love?”
From a human standpoint, this could appear selfish and egotistical. But God, in His sovereignty and love, has so created man that he finds his greatest joy and fulfillment when he loves God with all his heart and soul and mind, and his neighbor as himself.
Early in my Christian life, I was troubled over the command to love God so completely. But now the Holy Spirit has filled my heart with God’s love. And as I meditate on the “overwhelming victory” that He gives us, I find my love for Him growing.
Bible Reading: Romans 8:35-39
TODAY’S ACTION POINT: His great love and “overwhelming victory” for me prompts me to respond with supernatural love for Him and for others
Healthy marriages have a sense of tenderness, an honesty, an ongoing communication. The same is true in our relationship with God. Sometimes we go to Him with our joys, sometimes our hurts, but we always go. And as we go, the more we go, the more we become like Him.
Paul says we’re being changed from “glory to glory.” People who live long lives together eventually begin to sound alike, to talk alike, even think alike. As we walk with God, we take on His thoughts, His principles, His attitudes. We take on His heart.
And just as in marriage, communion with God is no burden. Indeed, it’s a delight. The Psalmist says, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty. My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” (Psalm 84:1-2). Nothing—nothing compares with it!
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If you don’t think you have high blood pressure, this story may change your mind. Or cause your blood pressure to rise.
New guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology define high blood pressure as 130/80 or greater. Under this standard, the number of adults with hypertension will rise to 103 million from 72 million under the previous standard.
Failing to succeed
This topic is on my mind today after reading a surprising Harvard Business Review article. The writer quotes James Quincey, CEO of Coca-Cola Co., who says: “If we’re not making mistakes, we’re not trying hard enough.”
Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, told a technology conference that his company has too many hit shows. “We have to take more risk . . . to try more crazy things . . . we should have a higher cancel rate overall.”
Jeff Bezos, arguably the most successful entrepreneur in the world, adds: “If you’re going to take bold bets, they’re going to be experiments. And if they’re experiments, you don’t know ahead of time if they’re going to work.”
Jerry Jones, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Cowboys, recently described his business philosophy: “There’s nobody that I’ve ever met that bats over .500 or 50-50 on making the right decisions. There’s nobody that can see around corners. Nobody can. But the guys that succeed are the ones that cut their bad decisions off quicker than others and let their good ones run longer than others.”
Every night before falling asleep, I write down my goals for the following day. Upon waking, I read through the list in order to focus my energy on what is most important. If this were not part of my routine, the limited hours available would not be utilized effectively.
The Bible clearly teaches us to use our days wisely. Time is a gift. Almighty God has given each person a span of days to live on earth. But our life is fleeting and uncertain—James compares it to a vapor that “appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). Time is also irrevocable—we cannot simply go back and start over.
Considering this, it is foolish to waste such a precious resource. Yet all too often we do. Let’s be alert so we can avoid the following hindrances to living fully and purposefully:
Misplaced priorities result in wasted opportunities. Our values will determine the emphasis we place on each activity and the amount of time we allot to it.
Procrastination and perfectionism soak up valuable time. Avoiding both will help us make the most of our contributions to the kingdom of God.
Lack of concentration drains time of its potential. For example, we have to train ourselves to focus on reading God’s Word and not to get sidetracked.
What values determine how you utilize your time? Is there something that keeps you from living each moment in a way that pleases the Lord? Since it’s not possible to redo days you wish had turned out differently, ask God’s guidance and live more intentionally.
Bible in One Year: Acts 12-13
Read: 1 John 3:1–8
Bible in a Year: Lamentations 3–5; Hebrews 10:19–39
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!—1 John 3:1
Recently, we took our twenty-two-month-old granddaughter, Moriah, overnight for the first time without her older brothers. We lavished lots of loving, undivided attention on her, and had fun doing the things she likes to do. The next day after dropping her off, we said our goodbyes and headed out the door. As we did, without a word Moriah grabbed her overnight bag (still sitting by the door) and began following us.
The picture is etched in my memory: Moriah in her diaper and mismatched sandals ready to depart with Grandma and Grandpa again. Every time I think of it, I smile. She was eager to go with us, ready for more individualized time.
Although she is as yet unable to vocalize it, our granddaughter feels loved and valued. In a small way, our love for Moriah is a picture of the love God has for us, His children. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).
When we believe in Jesus as our Savior, we become His children and begin to understand the lavish love He bestowed on us by dying for us (v. 16). Our desire becomes to please Him in what we say and do (v. 6)—and to love Him, eager to spend time with Him. —Alyson Kieda
Dear Lord, thank You for loving us so much that You died for us and rose again that we might have eternal life with You. Help us to be examples of Your love to all we meet.
How deep is the Father’s love for us!
INSIGHT: Another great statement on God’s love is found in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This dovetails with the key verse in today’s devotional because God’s love that declares us His beloved children is made available to us by Jesus’s sacrifice on our behalf. He has proven His love on the cross and lavishes that love in relationship—revealing a divine love that could not be satisfied any other way. John 3:16 says that God gave His Son for us. His unquenchable love for us could only be satisfied by doing everything it took to reconcile us to Himself. Bill Crowder
I have shared that my mother once brought an astrologer to our house to read our palms and tell us our future. Examining my hands, the soothsayer confidently pronounced that I would not travel far or much in my life. “That’s what the lines on your hand tell me. There is no future for you abroad.”
I was deeply disappointed to hear this, but oh, how mistaken he was! After 45 years of spanning the globe and speaking in countless countries, I am persuaded that God alone, the Grand Weaver, knows our future and knits our lives. He has brought lasting change not only in my own life but in my family as well. Sometimes this has happened seemingly instantaneously; hearing Jesus’s words in John 14:19, “Because I live, you also will live,” literally brought me from the brink of death in a hospital room to new life. Other times, such as in the remarkable conversion of my father years later, many seeds were planted prior, but the change was no less profound.
I recall, too, that I was never much of a reader growing up, preferring to watch movies or discuss issues with people. I very rarely picked up a book out of interest. But then one evening in my late teens, and a few months since coming to Christ on a bed of suicide, I walked out the back door of our house and saw something lying on top of the garbage heap in the alley. As I looked closer, I saw it was a book with no cover—an old, tattered copy of a volume I realized my dad must have thrown out.
Curious, I picked it up and read the title page: The Epistle to the Romans: A Commentary by a man named W. H. Griffith Thomas. I had no idea who this author was, but my hunger was so fierce that I immediately opened it and began to read. Over the next few days, I devoured that book—of all things, a Bible commentary! It became a treasure, and I still have the tattered copy of that commentary in my possession.
Just like that, I was plunged into a world I’d never known—the world of reading. One of the first volumes I was presented with was The Cross and the Switchblade, an amazing story of the conversion of Nicky Cruz the gang leader and of the work God was doing in the lives of such young people through the ministry of David Wilkerson. I loved the book so much that I began seeking out biographies. I lapped up the stories of William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army; David Brainerd, the missionary to American Indians; and, most intriguing of all to me, C. T. Studd, the English cricketer who gave up everything to become a missionary. Studd had been the captain of Cambridge’s cricket team, had turned down an opportunity to play for his country, and even refused his family inheritance—all to help take the gospel into China and India.
Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].— James 4:8
I want you to notice something about the verse above. Notice that we are told to draw near to God before we’re told to stop sinning.
There are so many people who have it backwards. They think they can never come to God, can never have a relationship with Him, and can never be a Christian because they have issues in their life that they are trying to overcome first. They are trying to get themselves all straightened out so they can be good enough to have a relationship with Him.
But that’s wrong. The reason Jesus came is because we can never be good enough without Him. We have to have Jesus in our lives. His death, His shed blood paid for our sins—paid the debt that we owe.
There’s no way we can be cleansed of sin until we draw near to God through the name of Jesus. God longs for you to come close to Him today. Don’t stay away, believing the lie that you must clean yourself of sin first. Instead, go to God, and let Him cleanse you through the sacrifice Jesus made for you.
“Even so, consider yourself to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11, NAS).
My friend Randy had given up on the Christian life. He said, “I have tried, but failed so many times; nothing seems to work. God doesn’t hear my prayers, and I am tired of trying. I’ve read the Bible, prayed, memorized Scripture, and gone to church. But there is no joy and I don’t see any purpose in continuing a life of shame and hypocrisy, pretending I am something that I’m not.”
After listening to his account of his many failures and defeats, I began to explain the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He interrupted me with, “I know all about the Holy Spirit. I’ve read everything I can find, everything you and others have written – and nothing works for me.”
My thoughts turned to Romans, chapter 6. I asked him, “Randy, are you sure you’re a Christian?”
“Yes,” he answered. “I’m sure.”
“How do you know?”
“By faith,” he responded. “The Scripture promises, ‘For by grace are you saved through faith, that not of yourselves, it’s a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.’ I know I’m saved.”
“Why,” I asked him, “do you trust God for your salvation, but do not believe in His other promises concerning your rights as a child of God?”
I began to read from Romans 6 and reminded Randy that every believer has available to him the mighty, supernatural power of the risen Christ. With the enabling of the Holy Spirit, the believer can live that supernatural life simply by claiming his rights through an act of his will. The same Holy Spirit who inspired Ephesians 2:8 and 9 inspired Romans 6, and, by faith, we can claim that sin no longer has control over us and that the mighty power of the resurrection is available as promised.
That day, God touched Randy’s life, his spiritual eyes were opened and he began, by faith, to live in accordance with his God-given heritage.
Bible Reading: Romans 6:12-18
TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today, by faith, I will claim the truths of Romans 6. As an act of my will, I surrender the members of my body as instruments of righteousness unto God, to live that abundant, supernatural life, which is my heritage in Christ. Enabled by the Holy Spirit, I will encourage other believers to claim their kingdom rights, and non-believers to join this adventure with the risen Savior
Crankcase oil coursed my dad’s veins. He repaired engines for a living. Dad loved machines. God gave my dad a mechanical moron, a son who couldn’t differentiate between a differential and a brake disc. Dad tried to teach me. I tried to learn. Honestly, I did. Machines anesthetized me. But books fascinated me.
What does a mechanic do with a son who loves books? He gives him a library card. Buys him a few volumes for Christmas. Places a lamp by his bed so he can read at night. Pays tuition so his son can study college literature in high school. My dad did that.
You know what he didn’t do? Never once did he say, “Why can’t you be a mechanic like your dad and granddad?” Study your children while you can. The greatest gift you can give your child is not your riches, but revealing to them their own!
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