Archive for the ‘Today’s Walk in the Word’ Category

He has made perfect forever
those who are purified from sin.
        —Hebrews 10:14

Uncertain about a verb tense in one of these devotionals, I ran it through an online grammar-checker. When finished, I moved the cursor over the article and hit delete. I failed to cover the first letter with the cursor, so only that one letter remained on the page. This message appeared on the screen: “That was quite an improvement.” Ouch!

Redaction is the process of removing information from a document by blacking out sensitive text.

God read your life script, and wherever he found sin in the past of your blood-bought soul, he redacted it (Eph 1:7). The sin is gone; no longer remembered (Heb 10:17).

The script was retyped. All that’s left on the page is a note that you are justified and declared righteous (Rom 5:1; 10:4; 2 Cor 5:21).

That is quite an improvement.

Being justified is more than being declared
“not guilty.” It is being declared “righteous.”

Whoever believes in him shall not
perish but have eternal life.
        —John 3:16

I believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life and that those who believe in him, even though they die, will live again (Jn 11:25).

In Daniel Silva’s novel, The Other Woman, Alistair Hughes, an American falsely accused of spying, is murdered. At the gravesite, his colleague Arthur Seymour approaches Alistair’s widow, Milinda, to offer his condolence. She requests a word in private, and as they walk among the headstones she asks, “Are you a believer?”

“I am not,” admits Seymour.

“Nor am I,” Milinda says. “But at this moment, I wish I were. Is this how it ends? Is there really nothing more?”

I believe there is much more—an eternal life where there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain (Rv 21:4).

Earth is just a stopover on our way home.

Life is a Gift

Jan
2019
30

He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
                    —Acts 17:25

I believe that life is a gift from God.

I believe that there is a God-designed reason you and I were born.

I believe that God gives us the freedom to live this life as we choose, but that our status is stewardship, not ownership.

I believe that our talents and abilities are gifts from God and that we are responsible for their cultivation and use.

I believe that we only get one earthly life, therefore only one chance to thank him for this incredible gift by using it to serve and glorify him.

I believe that we start breathing at one end of life and stop at the other and that what we do in between measures how we value the gift.

Your potential is one thing;
what you do with it is quite another.

God is Sovereign

Jan
2019
29

To him be the glory forever.
       —Romans 11:36

I believe that God is all-powerful; that he is God, and there is no other—that he does what he pleases, and what he has planned he will do (Is 46:8–11).

I believe that it is the Lord’s plan—not human plans—that will prevail (Prv 19:21); that “all things happen just as he decided long ago” (Eph 1:11).

I believe that he rules over the nations (Ps 22:28); that he “brings down rulers and turns them into nothing” (Is 40:23).

“Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! . . . everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen” (Rom 11:33, 36).

In that day all will acknowledge God’s sovereignty.
The path of wisdom is to submit to it in this day.

Jesus is Lord

Jan
2019
28

He is Lord of lords and King of kings.
              —Revelation 17:14

I believe that Jesus was with God in the beginning.

I believe that he gave up his place in heaven and came to earth in human form, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.

I believe that he lived a sinless life.

I believe that he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, forsaken by his disciples, rejected by the religious establishment, and sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate.

I believe that he was crucified, buried, resurrected, and ascended back to heaven.

I believe that he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe that he is at the right hand of God, interceding for believers and reigning over his kingdom which will never end.

Jesus: God’s one and only Son.
Jesus: our one and only Savior.

Work as if you were doing it
for the Lord, not for people.
    —Colossians 3:23

The Jews were so steamed about Paul’s conversion they plotted his assassination. They posted around-the-clock lookouts at the Damascus gates, determined to drop him in his tracks the minute he split.

But a cagey crew of disciples hatched an alternate plan. From an obscure site on the city wall, they lowered Paul to the ground in a big basket, and he hit the ground running.

Who were the members of this sneaky squad? They all had the same name: Anonymous.

We’ve never heard their names, but if they hadn’t stepped up, we would never have heard Paul’s name.

As the late Dr. Norvel Young often said, “It’s amazing how much you can get done if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

You don’t have to have a big name
to make a big difference.

Let me inherit a double
portion of your spirit.
    —2 Kings 2:9

God was about to take the prophet Elijah home. “What can I do for you before I am taken from you?” Elijah asked Elisha, his protégé.

Elisha replied, “Leave me a double share of your spirit” (2 Kgs 2:9).

I can’t imagine a higher compliment: Put me in your Will; give your possessions to others but give me your spirit—a double helping, please.

I served a church where there was a division of ministerial responsibilities. The dear brother who worked with university students had a gentle, sweet spirit that never dipped into negative territory. He mentored many who left town saturated with his spirit, and they’ve had wonderfully effective ministries, from coast-to-coast, and beyond.

In every church, there is someone whose sweet spirit we would do well to mirror. I think you are that person.

The noblest level of influence is not
elevating self, but lifting others.

Ask, Seek, Knock

Jan
2019
23

Keep on praying
and never give up.
   —Luke 18:1

It’s only a guess on my part, but I have a hunch that you struggle a bit in your prayer life. Maybe it’s just that I want company, feeling that my own prayer time is feeble and deficient.

Why, since Jesus bids us to ask, seek, and knock, do we not ask, seek, and knock?

It isn’t that we don’t feel a need to pray, or that we are unconvinced that God hears and answers. It’s just that sometimes we don’t have the energy or can’t find the words. When we stumble on these twin snags, it’s comforting to know that the Holy Spirit and Jesus intercede for us (Rom 8:26–28, 34).

Recognizing the power at our disposal through prayer, we must pray as best we can—and that’s probably sufficient.

God hears and answers the
imperfect prayers of imperfect people.

Disappointment

Jan
2019
22

I have been with you
wherever you have gone.
   —1 Chronicles 17:8

What has been your greatest disappointment?

A business that didn’t gel?
A job that you didn’t get?
A promotion that didn’t come?
A marriage that didn’t work.
Something else?

King David resolved to build a temple for the Lord. God nixed the plan because David had been a man of war (1 Chr 22:8). He wanted the temple to be built by a man of peace in a time of peace—a suit that fit David’s son Solomon.

David didn’t sulk. He said: “I am not worthy of what you have already done for me, Lord God . . . there is none like you . . . you alone are God” (1 Chr 17:16, 20).

Temporal wins sometimes dead-end in spiritual loss. The setback that you’ve suffered may result in a better ending to your story.

Learning to trust God is better
than trying to be God.

Avoid and Evacuate

Jan
2019
21

Do what is good and run from evil.
              —Amos 5:14

When Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas, on August 26, 2017, officials ordered mandatory evacuation. Residents who refused to leave were asked by the mayor to write their name and Social Security number on their arm with a Sharpie, so first-responders could identify those who didn’t survive.

Meteorologists and government brass keep a sharp eye on the weather. When it turns treacherous, they issue warnings: advising to shelter in place or evacuate.

God warns us to avoid spiritual storms and to evacuate when we see one coming. “Don’t do as the wicked do. Avoid their haunts—turn away, go somewhere else” (Prv. 4:14–15). “Abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul” (1 Pt 2:11). “Run from evil” (Amos 5:14).

Don’t try to ride out a storm. Get as far away from it as possible as quickly as possible.

If you negotiate with sin, sin wins.