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Daily Devotions 5-3 to 5-9

Daily devotion to encourage faith.

May 3

Galatians 1:8 "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse!"

When does Paul call down God's ""Anathema""? When the gospel of grace is replaced with any other gospel!

The closer other religions get to the one true unadulterated Gospel faith of Jesus Christ, the more deceiving they are. If by ""the gospel"" we mean anything more, other or less than the person and work of Jesus, corrective measures are due!

A sign you're growing in grace: You mentally rehearse the gospel more than you rehearse other people's failures. I get the gospel to the extent it frees me from the need to have other people ""get me"". Only the gospel can free us from our navel-gazing preoccupation for other-centered intrigue and loving. Only the gospel is powerful & sweet enough to move us from self-contempt to godly sorrow. One is death, the other life

Everyone's a sinner. Not everyone's a false teacher. Does the Bible say ""take it easy"" on false teachers? No, this verse says no. The biblical Gospel and biblical truth is something we are called to protect. Ejecting a false teacher from our church ignited a new invigorating phase of gospel growth in our men. Severe mercy, surprising providence

If you bid a false teacher God speed, you share in his evil works. 2 John 1:10-11 Rather say, “I will die for you, but not support you.”

Father, may your kindness not only drive us to repentance today, but also to many other forms of gospel sanity and beauty. Yet, Father, we pray that you keep us from falsehood. Thank you that we have a faith worth defending! Thank you our faith isn't a lie and isn't false. It is based on you - the eternal God of truth. Father, we praise you for what you have done for us! Thank you that the Gospel frees me to be fearful from failure--because all my sins have been covered by the blood of Christ. In Jesus' name. Amen."

May 4

John 10:27 "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."

Jesus' sheep do not know the voice of strangers. If you never follow him, you were never one of his sheep. If you do follow him, you were always one of his sheep. Today!

False prophets come in sheep's clothing, but don't bear fruit. The beauty of fleece and the beauty of fruit are not the same. But Jesus is the GOOD shepherd (John 10:11). Why? He DIES for His sheep (11-13), LOVES His sheep (14-15), and GATHERS His sheep to Himself (16).

Jesus is the door of the sheep. A door both allows in and it keeps out. Jesus is the only way into the kingdom, and He keeps out the wolves. As the door of the sheep, Christ is an open door to sinners, entered by faith, the only entry point leading to eternal, abundant life. All the sheep rightfully belong to Jesus. Long before they come to Him, they were already given to Him, ages ago, as a gift by the Father.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Not even for life, because he is the shepherd who lays his life down for the sheep.

Will you trust Him and His Word today?

Father, you are the Good Shepherd. We hear your voice because you allow us to. So often we are like sheep who have gone astray, but we praise you that is never what you do. You are always good and faithful. Thank you for watching over us. Remind us today of how much we have fallen--but, equally, how your love holds us up! In Jesus' name. Amen.

May 5

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. "Christian theologian and pastor Cornelius Van Til said, ""All men know not merely that a god exists, but they know that God, the true God, the only God, exists.""

Indeed, the entire religious world goes along just fine until Christians show up and declare that there is only One God and One Savior: Jesus Christ! Only God can make himself really God to us. People can provide support, but only God can redeem. The real God is too big to fit into our weekend margin.

Let's be practical with the truth that there is only one God. Our God is the only God who answers prayer. He is all sovereign, but we do not have because we do not ask. Pray! And He will not disappoint. Not only are your hairs numbered, also your trials, tears and days. Only God's love for you is immeasurable. Trust boldly!

Only God brings revival, but we can prep for it with heavy repentance, craving the word, fervent prayer -- a.k.a, the normal Christian life. We can't orchestrate true revival. Only God can. But we sure can be prepared for it!

These are just two faith lessons that come from knowing the one true God. Who are you trusting today?

Father, thank you that this great verse is a reminder of the "Shema" - that you are the only God. There aren't multiple gods. You are the only one. Everything else is just an idol of man's heart. Father, break my idols today for your glory. Help me to be satisfied in you and you alone. In Jesus' name. Amen.

May 6

Isaiah 44:6 "This is what the LORD says-- Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God."

I am constantly overwhelmed by God's infinite grace. God is an inexhaustible source of all we need. Our unbelief is discovered in how little we avail ourselves of this infinite fountain.

Jesus Christ is the sum and substance of Christianity, the Alpha and Omega, and everything in between. In the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), the glory of God comes first, and the problem of evil comes last. None can ward off God's hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” His counsel stands from generation to generation.

Is your understanding of God this big? Have you studied to show yourself approved unto Him?

Pray big prayers. Ask HUGE things of God--salvation of lost, church health, justice. We don't worship a small God. Must not pray like he is.

Father, thank you for being our God. Thank you that there is no way to fathom how amazing it is to know that you are the one true God. Thank you that you are Almighty but you still take care of us. You never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you that we can be content with that. Please help us today for your glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.

May 7

1 Corinthians 8:6 "Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist."

No one can look at the sky—whether it's stormy, starry, or sunny—and honestly say there is no God. Atheists don't exist (Psalm 14). And, yet, busyness, noise, and crowds: How the world attempts to live as if God doesn't exist. We are an easily diverted species.

The purpose--the focal point--that all our capacities and energies exist for: ""Present yourselves to God"" (Romans 6:13). You exist to make much of God. That's why you're here. You were made for this mission (Matthew 28:16-20). God does not exist to make sure that we are happy and fulfilled. Rather, we exist to glorify and to enjoy Him forever.

Holiness without God's grace doesn't exist. Grace without the evidence of holiness isn't God's grace. Either we live for the glory of God, or we do not live at all--we only exist. What or who are you living for?

Father, we're so thankful Jesus is my advocate before the Father at this very moment. So glad he never stops praying for me and you. Heavenly Father, we will GLADLY be embarrassed to be shown how little of the gospel we actually get so far. We know that you are the only true God. Yet, we sometimes live as practical atheists. Those who acknowledge you with our lips, but deny you by our lifestyle. Seems like the better we hear our your laughter in heaven (Ps. 2) the less we will fret and the more we will serve. Help us to do this--all by your grace! In Jesus' name. Amen.

May 8

Matthew 3:17 "And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

He was PLEASED to reveal His Son to me (Gal 1:16). Crazy! Our Father loves us as he loves his one and only Son, for we are his beloved sons with whom he is well pleased in Christ (cf. John 17:23). The Father gave his one, beloved Son so that grace thirsty rebels like me might cry: ""This is my beloved Savior with whom I am well pleased!

Scripture is the epic story of the coming king whom God the Father calls his beloved Son. Never was so much pleasure packed within the word ""well"". This makes it inevitable that this world will be displeased. Yet, Isaiah says that God was pleased to crush his one and only Son for our redemption (Isa. 53:10). Now that's love!

In Christianity, the moment we believe, God says ""This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased."" So, what should you do with this Jesus? Listen to him. Listen to him. Listen to him. My (our)only hope is that this banner is forever hung in heaven.

My Father, supremely good, beauty of all things beautiful, help churches and all of us to be less proud of their creative strategies and more prostrate before your exalted Son. May our churches preach with sails filled with the Spirit, and our eyes on Jesus with the heart of you, Father. Help us sleep well tonight, Lord, in the Spirit's sealing, the righteousness of Jesus and the delight of you, Father. Thank you, Lord, that at this very moment, Jesus is advocating for us before you. His pleas and prayers have no contingencies attached. In Jesus' name. Amen.

May 9

Matthew 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, "Christ's authority stands out in particular in this passage (especially Matthew 28:16-20). This is the Christian's comfort and strength. Its truths press upon us and demand to know what we are doing for the advance of the Kingdom.

The fish on your car may be doing more harm than good, and it's likely not what Jesus had in mind in the Great Commission. We think we get 'the great commission' to make disciple, but 'discipleship' appears to be our great omission!

How are you participating in Christ's Great Commission to take the Gospel to the nations? What is it costing you? Where is your sacrifice?

The church and Christian committed to the Great Commission will be judged on her ability to send and not her ability to gather. Go as a missionary or send a missionary. Either way, the Great Commission should cost you dearly. Look to the harvest. Go or Send!

I beg you to give yourself to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. So many have not yet heard.

Father, the harvest is white. Yet, we are so scared. I am so scared. Yet, there is more sweetness in this word your name, Father, than if we had ten thousand worlds. Father, from the security of our justification, the riches of our adoption and the hope of our future, we live unto you. What we know is we have a world that needs you. Embolden us. Empower us. And encourage us to share the Gospel. We want people to be saved! in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.