Romans 5:10 "For if, while we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"
At just the right time Christ came and died. What a thought! So, if Jesus knew exactly when to come to save us from our sin, why must we worry that He will be late to fulfill a need or answer a prayer? Why do we make ourselves tired and sick worrying where the money will come from to pay that bill, when our friend will respond to the Gospel, or when our heart's desire will be answered? Our Savior Himself said, ""Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own"" (Matthew 6:34). Surely our Jesus would understand that worrying is not the answer!
Jesus had to die so that He could conquer death for all time. It was for me. It was for you. And all we have to do is accept this gift He offers to us. He died at just the right time. And the same Father who sent His Son to die never sleeps and is watching over our world--and us--all the time (Psalm 121:3-4).
Because God's mind is on us at all times, we can put our mind at ease by trusting Him with our worries, concerns, sins, desires, and needs. We are ever at the center of His attention and His care. We are secure because we love and serve a God whose mind never wanders and who meets all our needs and desires at just the right time—His perfect time.
Father, your Word tells me that every one of us was born at precisely the right time in world history to accomplish precisely what you will do through us for your glory. You have a perfect plan by which you had me come to the truth at just the right time. As I am facing a big decision and don't know what to do, help me to not. Help me to wait on you, Lord. The right time will come in your time. Thank you for this and more in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Genesis 17:17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?"
Abraham’s laugh here may seem to be unimportant to you reading this now. However, his apparent lack of faith is expressed in amazement at the powerful hand of God Almighty. God revealed himself during this episode as El-Shaddai, the all-powerful, all-sufficient One (17:1). This is how the ancients knew God through the time of Moses (Exo. 6.3).
Abraham was promised that God would be His God and that all his descendants would partake in the same promise (Gen. 17:7). God is our God! Does this not include everything and every promise? If God is not my God, then I literally have nothing. But if God is my God, then I lack no good thing, for He is a sure, rich, and willing Provider (1 Cor. 3:21-23). There is no condition we can be in—no emergency that can over take us—that He cannot mitigate. He is, and always will be, God Almighty.
It is not easy to wait. But if I want the blessing of God on my life, I have to surrender all of my desires to Him. I have to tell Him, ""LORD, from the bottom of my heart, I only want what you want. Help me to be wise about the way I live my life. Give me the patience to wait on your leading and your support before I make a mistake outside of your will. Amen.”
Remember this: All would have to pass away before God could fail in keeping His promises and upholding His truths. To be obedient to God, we must give Him our desires, impatience, and wants. Then we can take the words given to Isaiah to heart: ""Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it'"" (Isaiah 30:31).
Father, oh, great God of the universe, it is easy for me to chuckle at this episode because I would have done the same thing! Yet, you are the God of the impossible. Whatever is consistent with your will and Word and character you do. Nothing is impossible with you. As such, Lord, I know that my waiting on your timing is the best thing for me. Teach me that in my heart. Help that be the life song of my existence. To know you and to make you known. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
2 Corinthians 10:5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
Paul is one of the most daring of all thinkers this world has ever known, but he had to lay all his thoughts at the feet of Jesus. Satan loves to attack the thought lives of Christians. He batters Christians with thoughts of fear, anxiety, worry, sickness, defeat, and death.
But we can be victorious in Jesus Christ for He has shown us how to be. God’s Word is our help (Hebrews 4:12). And, thus, if we fail to ask for God’s help in taking “captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5), then we have already begun to lose the battle.
Share every thought you have today with Christ. Roll it over to Him. Let Him take control. Ask Him today to fill your mind with only those things that are pleasing to Him (Philippians 4:8).
Father, my mind wanders, is disobedient, and doesn’t often bring praise to you. I have so many thoughts in a day that I am in need of your mercy each moment to lead me as you will. Let my mind today focus on all your Son has done for me. Let me take those spare moments to pray to you and bring what is going on in my life before your throne. Remind me of the greatness of your name. Father, I love you. Capture my life and heart and thoughts again. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Proverbs 24:30-31 "I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one lacking sense. I saw that it was overgrown with thorns. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down."
Spiritual laziness can be the result of a lack of time in the Bible, prayer, or fellowship.
It seems as that this was the case with the owner of the vineyard in today’s reading. The writer describes the vineyard as fruitless and overgrown with weeds. A person passing by learns a lesson from what he sees. He concludes that “a little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest” cause people to stumble both physically and spiritually (Proverbs 24:32).
The point is that part of our spiritual responsibility is to stop from being apathetic toward our walk with God. The truth is that God calls us to a higher standard of living. We are to live in the world, but not be of it. Our lives should be patterned after God’s Word rather than the latest trend. Coming out of laziness begins when we recognize God’s holiness. Ask God for the strength to overcome any lack of effort to see His will done in your life.
Father, my natural desire is to not do things because I am already doing so many things. The urge to skip church services to enjoy another round of golf or another activity is all too appetizing. My church attendance, fellowship, and personal devotion and prayer times seemingly become less important. The end result, Lord, as you know, is spiritual laziness that distracts from a growing relationship with you. Lord, I really pray today that you would stir the fire in my soul to be intentional with the people you have put in my life and path and to be dutiful in my responsibilities. Lord, nothing changes you, but I pray to be changed in this way today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Colossians 1:20 "And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."
During one night nearly 2,000 years ago, God sent Jesus Christ—just a small baby boy at the time—to bring both physical and spiritual peace to a dark and lost world. Then, in the greatest peace initiative this world has ever seen, Christ made peace between God and man by dying for our sins (Colossians 1:20).
Peacemaking efforts may be rejected, but the alternative is continued hostility. God didn't settle for that, nor should we. Like God's act of sending Jesus, we also must take the first step in healing a broken relationship which is to take action, even at the risk of taking more pain and suffering.
Is there someone you need to seek reconciliation with? Will you use God’s guidance to make that possible? Pray that any relationship in a state of turmoil will be put under the surpassing peace of Jesus Christ.
Father, our world is at war between nations and between people. Everyone jockeys for position, power, and prestige. Lord, I thank you that while we should pray for world peace, that we know as Christians that there is no peace truly outside of your Son, Jesus Christ. Only he can broker peace in a world of conflict and division. Protect your church, Lord, from petty divisions and feuds. Keep brothers and sisters in Christ together for the Gospel. Father, thank you that we can have peace today because Jesus died, was buried, and roses again. I praise you today, Lord, in Jesus’ name! Amen.
Genesis 39:9 "No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?"
Thousands upon thousands of true, born-again Christians are kept safe each day amid the severest temptations in the world.
Consider how God overruled the seeming disastrous situation with Potiphar’s wife to advance Joseph to the place of prime minister of Egypt. It wasn’t morality or some physiological advantage that shielded Joseph. Rather, God’s providence worked such a fear in the heart of Joseph for His renown and glory that he was preserved from sin.
Have you resolved yourself to fight sin? Have you shut off that program, quit listening to that radio show, or reading that novel that celebrates the very things God hates?
Paul said “abhor what is evil,” (Rom. 12:9), not merely not to do it. You can pray all day, “LORD, lead me not into temptation,” but unless you show a desire to keep away from it, it is mere vanity.
A hatred of sin begins with a biblical fear of the providential God.
Father, today I will be tempted to minimize remaining sin and in so doing devalue the gift of the grace of Jesus Christ you gave me in the Gospel. Father, one of the most dangerous moments in my life is that moment when I am tempted to think I know more than you, my Creator and Sustainer. Yet, I am reminded of Hebrews 2 that says for because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Thank you that you are a God that can identify with the temptations we faced! God you are so good to me! You gave me your Son and salvation—what more can I ask for? I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
John 6:60-61 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you?"
The early followers of Jesus were offended at the thought of His teaching (John 6:60). So offended were some of the followers that they left and apparently never returned to follow Him (see 6:66). The words of Jesus were less desirable to follow than the ideas and people of the day. May it never be so with us!
We can never be afraid to gently instruct an unsaved person or a Christian brother or sister back to Christ (Galatians 6:1). The moment we become more concerned about how it may feel to them or if it might offend them is the very moment we deny a direct calling from God to be His ambassadors (1 Corinthians 5:20). Because the world is a walking blind man in need of a guide, we must pray that the Holy Spirit guides us to lead them on the right path no matter what the cost.
The Bible—God’s Word—is relevant anytime, anywhere, and any place and applicable in any and every situation—good or bad.
Father, I realize that being your follower will never make me popular in the world’s eyes. I know even now across the world there are numerous Christians just like me that have given up job, house, and even family to follow you. Lord, this isn’t an easy life, but it is the life that glorifies you and that is my desire. Help me not to grumble when you call me to stand for you. Help me to count it all joy that I know you and can make you join. When I suffer for you, may it not be because of my sin, but, rather, because you have appointed someone for me to talk to about the great love found only in you. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.