1 Corinthians 1:8 "He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Faithfulness is a great quality to have in a friend. As years pass quickly, even if they don’t see each other regularly, faithful friends can always start over and pick up where they left off. It is always tough enough to make good, reliable friends, and the ones who stay by us are that much more special.
I don't know about you, but I want to be that kind of friend and I have many friends like that. But I also know that I won’t always be around to be that type of friend. In fact, no one can. I might move away. My best friend might move away. On the other hand, what is even more certain is death (Hebrews 9:27).
That’s why faithfulness is such an awesome quality in God: Because He will never die. He is eternal (See: Psalm 90). When He says He is faithful to His people--both as individuals and as humanity--He means forever. We never have to worry about God not being there for us. He always will. He is eternally faithful.
Various biblical passages attest to God's loving faithfulness. In Ephesians 3:18, for instance, the apostle Paul writes, ""And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is."" That covers just about any situation for any length of time! Notice too that Psalm 90 is titled ""A Prayer of Moses, the Man of God."" Moses wrote it nearly 3,000 years ago, which, even with our historical records, is relatively early in God’s record of faithfulness. His psalm is more like a prophecy that has come true.
Today, we can face unexpected change because God "always does just what he says, and he is the one who invited you into this wonderful friendship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" (1 Corinthians 1:9).
Father, help me to remember how accepted I am in Christ—so I will have the freedom and poise necessary to live without fear. Thank you that the resurrection of Jesus proves that ultimate reality is everything sacred and joyful we long for but fear has been lost forever. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me. Father, better a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure with turmoil. What have I to fear or dread today? I am leaning on your everlasting arms! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Genesis 37:4 "When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him."
It was no surprise when Joseph faced unwarranted persecution from those close and literally foreign to him. He was disowned by his brothers, sold into slavery, and falsely accused of rape. While Joseph was what we would call a tattle-tail toward his brothers, his deepest trust remained in God. “The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did” (39:23). Joseph’s whirlwind of an adventure was built on a foundation of faith in the sovereignty of God.
While we are bent toward the comforts of everyday living, the call of a Christian is a call to die. Not necessarily to become a martyr (someone who dies for his/her faith), but to die to self, to give up our desires and wants for the glory of God. Paul understood that “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). We have to think that Joseph questioned God from time to time. His life reminds us that some of the most difficult times we will face come when we are trying to please God. Yet, as he brushed shoulders with the worst criminals of his day, Joseph wanted nothing more than to praise the Creator who gave him life and breath (39:9).
No matter what you face today, do everything in a spirit of humility toward bringing God the glory.
Father, I will face the unplanned and the unexpected today, but I am loved by a Savior who knows no surprises. I can’t surprise you but you can surprise me—and I am grateful for it! You often often surprise me, and even shock me. You have every right to do things your own way. But you never fail me. In this roller-coaster of life help me to trust and obey wherever and however you may lead. I pray this in great faith today in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hebrews 11:3 "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."
Do you have true faith? Faith is the means by which we are able to "see" this invisible world the Bible speaks of repeatedly. That is belief's true job. To put it another way, faith is to the spiritual realm what the five senses are to the natural realm.
The writer of Hebrews says that faith is "the evidence of things we cannot yet see" (Hebrews 11:1). By faith, as so many faithful believers before us, we begin recognize the existence of the spiritual world and learn to depend on the Lord for His help in our daily life and future. Our goal, then, is to develop eyes to see the unseen through faith in His unfailing promises. True faith helps us to see the things that are not natural for us to see--like God's plans.
Do you trust him today?
Father, I praise you eternally you not only predicts the future, but you also plan and purpose the future. Thank you that all your permissions of imperfection are perfect plans, for you take all things into account wisely when you choose to permit people, events, and circumstances in my life. And thank you that there is nothing that exists that is powerful enough to thwart the plans of you, Father, our Sovereign Savior King. Lord, thank you that you are not a whimsical God. You are forever in control! Help me today to see your hand at work in my life. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
Psalm 19:7 "The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple."
How do we explain the appeal of this ancient book? The answer is simple. It is God's Word, given in human language, and it tells us about our Creator and His purposes for the world. But it also gives us the most accurate understanding of mankind's perplexing nature and why we behave the way we do.
The thousands of book published each year and our own experiences can teach us much about why we behave as we do. However, only the Bible tells us that our sinful heart is the heart of our problem, and that we can be changed from within by trusting Jesus (Jeremiah 17:9, Acts 4:12, and John 3:16).
You better believe that the Bible is still active and relevant today, as the Holy Spirit speaks to us when we read, study, and meditate on its contents. Are you growing in your love for this ancient book?
Father, it is true that many have a head full of Bible, but a heart full of unbelief. Yet, I thank you that your Word is full of promises that are still active today because you have not changed and your plans have not changed. Father, I also realize that unbelievers don't read the Bible, they read us. As I study your word today, Lord, protect me from mere knowledge-gathering. Rather, I pray that you help what I read, study, and mediate on to be applied by your Spirit to my life to take it to the world. Father, thank you for your Word! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die."
Consider the great religions of the world--Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. How many offer an all-powerful, all-wise, all-loving God? How many give the assurance of heaven? How many provide a Savior from the guilt and power of sin? Or, what's more, how many have a Savior who is risen and alive? They may make big promises, but they fail to give us what we need. Their claims are empty.
Now think about this: Those who put their trust in Jesus Christ serve an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving God. They have a Savior who provides the assurance of heaven and freedom from sin. Of all the faiths, religions, and ""-isms"" in the world, it is the only one that's not man-made. Why settle for less than the best?
Today, the best choice you can make is to rejoice in Christ's resurrection and His power to forgive each sin in your life! In a world of confusion, Christ's resurrection is a sure cause for our celebration.
Father, I praise you that the resurrection of Jesus proved for all time how committed you are someone who, in obeying Him, loses everything. Help me to remember today that the resurrection is not only an historical event, but also a powerful gift of grace to all who put their hope in your Son. Thank you that the resurrection of Jesus means that evil is doomed and the crucified Lord of Mercy is triumphant. Lord, only you could have fashioned such a plan! You are great and grand! Humble my soul today with these truths and may this world know that only Jesus saves. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Genesis 37:11 "His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind."
God-given trouble is a separating process. These seasons of spiritual depression and gloom in a Christian’s life are only temporary. Can you not testify to such truth in your experience when the LORD has, after a night of weeping and turmoil, caused the morning of joy to dawn? Or, when after a long and dreary road of suffering, you have emerged more blessed than when you began?
To “grow in the grace and knowledge of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ,” (2 Pet. 3:18), you must embrace these difficult times. It is then your understand more of character of God and can draw closer to Him in communion.
There is no event or circumstance of your life—simple or difficult—by which God does not intend to instruct and bless your relationship with Him (See Genesis 50:20). The truth is, we learn just as much about Christ when He seems far removed from us than when He seems closer to us. In both instances, He is still the unchanging, all-knowing, and all-controlling LORD of our salvation.
Father, thank you that long-term Christianity is filled with sweetness. Yet, the more I grow in grace the more I see my desperate need to grow in grace. Father, as we grow in the grace and knowledge of you, may people talk less about us and our name and more about you and your name. Help me to say to other believers, as the old hymn says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus—look full in his wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.” Father, indeed, your Scripture teaches that The way a non-Christian becomes a Christian and the way we grow as Christians is exactly the same: your grace. Thank you it is your way or the highway. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
2 Timothy 2:3 "Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus."
Along the path we call the Christian life, we encounter many trials, hardships, and inconveniences that seem to slow us down and prevent us from doing what we feel we have been called to do. At some point, it can even seem like a military boot camp. We may struggle with feelings of frustration, inadequacy, and a lack of purpose. Our time may even make us wonder if our efforts have been in vain. Deep inside, we long for the day when we will be allowed to enter true battle.
If this sounds like where you find yourself today, then Christian take heart! You see, boot camp does not last forever. In fact, graduation day will come, and when it does you will see God's faithfulness in preparing you for what lies ahead.
Like many young, anxious soldiers, we want to jump right into the battle, to head into the overseas mission field, the rural community, or inner-city ministry, but we often overlook the importance of our spiritual boot camp and the training it provides. Take advantage of the time you have right now to be grounded in the truths of God's Word, to develop your relationship with Him, and to learn all you can. And, once the battle starts, you will be glad you did!
Father, this is how it often happens in life in your plans: First victory, then struggle. Testing follows triumph. There may be many tears as I seek to put my ideas through the testing fires of your word. Yet, Lord, where else would I rather be? A single day in your courts is worth a thousand elsewhere. Remind me of that today. There’s no safer or my joyous or better place to be than with you and in your will for my life. I pray this in thanks to in Jesus’ name. Amen.