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Daily Devotions 8-16 to 8-22-21

Daily devotions to encourage your faith.

August 16

2 Peter 1:9 "For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins."

Famous English pastor and preacher of the mid-20th century, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, said: ""If we only spent more of our time in looking at Him we should soon forget ourselves.”

Isn’t that the truth? There is no worse form of amnesia than forgetting the gospel. It'd be better to forget your own name than the gospel (1 Cor. 9).

Yet, those who are ineffective and unfruitful in their faith, according to Peter, have done just that. They had forgotten how much they had sinned, what Jesus did for them in the Gospel, and how much it cost Him.

God doesn't literally forget our sins. Amnesia isn't involved—grace is. He chooses not to remember our sins against us. This is why the psalmist wrote: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget NONE of His benefits"" (Psalm 103:2).

Though you forget where you parked your car; left your cell phone, or even your own name, don't forget the gospel today. To forget that we are sinners upon whom God has lavished great grace in Jesus, in the essence of insanity. In a world in which dementia and Alzheimer's are increasing, and gospel-amnesia abounds, take heart, God will NEVER forget us Remembering this is the only way to live for God’s glory!

Father, you are my loving Master, not my private masseur. Forgive me when I forget the first, and demand the second. Forgive me when I have gospel forgetfulness. Jesus, ONLY your love is better than life. Never let us forget this, lest we look to people to give us what you ALONE can provide. In your name – Jesus’ name – amen.

August 17

2 Peter 1:10 "Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble..."

What a great need there is in this day of superficial evangelism to make our calling and election sure! These are biblical categories, not just systematic ones. Peter urged his readers to be diligent to make their calling and election sure by examining their lives for proof of Christian virtue (2 Peter 1:5-10). One lacking these doesn’t have much assurance of salvation—even a salvation all by grace in Christ alone.

The evidence that we have been saved from the condemnation of sin is that we are currently being saved from the power of sin. You don't have to give evidence of your worthiness or parade righteousness you don't have. Jesus is your righteousness and your worthiness.

It's no small thing that, according to Jesus, loving our neighbors is the first evidence of loving our God (Mark 12:30-31). The evidence that our faith is true and genuine is our confession of the lordship of Jesus and our allegiance to Him, even when it costs us dearly. When your love for God is used as evidence against you, God is giving you the gift of following Jesus (Psalm 69:7-9; John 2:13-18).

Can this be said of you? Are you sure you are in the faith? Have you repented?

If the gospel is false, ignore it. If it might be right, keep listening. If it is true: repent and believe. . Losers make excuses. Big losers make excuses even before they lose. But it's ok: Jesus came for big losers. Repent and believe in the gospel. Today, let's see how much of the gospel we can believe, how much grace we can extend, and how quick we can be to repent. This is where following today’s verse truly comes in.

Father, we thank you that nothing in our world can keep us from your love. With kindness you drew us, and with an everlasting, unwavering love, you hold us. We abandon ourselves to you today. Let us know that we are in you, not by works or sincerity, but all by the grace of your Spirit speaking to us in the Gospel. We pray this in Jesus’ name today. Amen.

August 18

2 Peter 1:11 "And you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

Are you having a difficult time wrapping your heart around all that Jesus gives us in the gospel? Welcome to the entire Body of Christ! ""Welcome one another as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God"" (Rom. 15:7) The goal of the universe found in a welcome. You see, in Christ, as Peter says, we have been welcomed joyfully, approved completely, justified totally, and secured eternally. Even for imperfect repentance and weak (but true) faith. Now that’s a deal!

It is better, far better, to be excluded by the world and set apart to God than to be welcomed and praised by his enemies! Outsiders, exiles, refugees, everyone thrust out and excluded, and especially they, are dear to Jesus, welcomed in, honored. All because of what Jesus did for us!

Now do you see why Peter commanded these believers (and us today) to make our calling and election sure in the previous verse? "" ... we have access to the Father"" (Eph. 2:18). Jesus has removed every barrier. God is near. We may enter in. And if you can't come ""boldly to the throne of grace"" tonight, at least come in whatever shape you're in. You will be welcomed

Grace has welcomed you to a better kingdom, why would you continue to work to build your own?

Jesus, only you deserve our heart affection this day—and only you can bear the weight of our sin…and only you welcome the depth of our pain. Father, remind us today that nothing is greater than what you have done for us in the Gospel. Thank you that we will be richly welcomed into glory, not because of anything we brought to the table, but all because what Jesus did for us in his life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. We praise you that there is now no condemnation, a perpetual welcome, unwavering affection, known, "gotten", enjoyed, we’ve been gifted to serve, and fitted for eternity. We rest well today, Lord. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

August 19

2 Peter 1:12 "So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have."

Two things I dislike most about the human body is our need for food and sleep. I’d celebrate if both could be eliminated from our experience. Seriously!

We need to be reminded to eat and sleep. We need to be reminded to take our medicine, go to the doctor, or to take our car to the shop. Why? Because we are forgetful people. And isn’t true that oceans and skies remind us of how small we are? Yet, out of His sheer love our Lord provides us with renewed and undeserved mercies every morning—mercies to remind us of Him.

And, for the Apostle Peter, the job of reminding his readers never ended, either. That’s why we, like them, need to be reminded of the gospel: ""I remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand"" (1 Cor .15). I rarely learn new things even from ""great"" teachers, but I am always reminded of the truths I have forgotten when I listen to new converts.

How can we do this? Starting the day in God's word is sweetly combobulating. So important to begin each day reminded of who I am, who God is, and what he's done. Every time I read the Bible I am reminded of how multifaceted Christianity is. No generation gets it all. Let's stay open.

Every time we open a Bible—by any reckoning, a serious book—we are reminded how greatly God dignifies us. Such grace.

God made us to sleep—and sleep well, I might add— so that every day we can be reminded that God manages things pretty well without our help. And Like the Galatians (3:3), we must be reminded that the Christian life that began by the Spirit cannot be perfected in the flesh. It all the Holy Spirit’s work through the power of the Gospel in our lives.

Have you forgotten God’s work in your life today?

Father, rescue us today from an assumed gospel. May we see and savor your grace in fresh and transforming ways. We intend to live today in the freedom of grace, not in the entanglements of people's approval. By your Spirit, may it be. Father, may I see Jesus' beauty 1,000 times more clearly today, than anybody's "ugly". Grace my heart and seeing. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

August 20

2 Peter 1:13 " I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body."

Some say the pastor’s job is the easiest in the world. All they do is work on Sunday, right? Talk for about 30-45 minutes, and, poof, their job is done.

If it were only that simple!

One of hardest jobs about being a pastor (even as a young one) is to remind and refresh people in basic Gospel truths. You see, even as Christians, we all too often we look to entertainment and media, not for life-giving leisure, but for life-denying escape. And when a pastor sticks to “that old Gospel stuff” we start to cringe. We get itching ears because we want something different (2 Tim. 4:1-4). Although it may not be verbally said, some may say, “Come on, preacher, can’t you come up with something else?”

But when the Gospel is preached, men are drawn to the church without entertainment, activities, or promises beyond those offered by the Gospel. As famous pastor and theologian A.W. Tozer said: “A church that can’t worship must be entertained and men who can’t lead a church to worship must provide entertainment.”

That’s why it is no problem for Peter to refresh the minds of his readers (and us today!) with the basics of the faith. Peter well understood it wasn’t entertainment we need. It is truth. It is knowledge. If you get tired of hearing your pastor preach the gospel, it's because you've never actually heard and received the gospel.

There's not one day (or hour) that goes by which doesn't painfully & delightfully remind me how much I need the gospel. Like Peter, the most important daily habit we can possess is to remind ourselves of the biblical Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-8).

Are you content with the old biblical truths? Or do you long for a fresh word? How you answer that question speaks volumes to what and who you worship on a daily basis.

Father, we hoist the sails of our hearts to the truth of the gospel and wind of your Spirit. Fill our worship with your glory and grace. Father, fill our minds with your truth, flood our hearts with your grace, free our hands for your purposes. By the truth and grace of the gospel, free us from our navel-gazing, circumstance-obsessing, approval-seeking ways. Let us not let the Gospel get old. Refresh us in the truths of your Word today—no matter what we are facing. It is all for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

August 21

2 Peter 1:14 "Because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me."

We don’t know the exact revelation given to Peter with this verse. However, one thing is clear: Even the amazing apostle had his days numbered.

This is why Moses sang to God in Psalm 90:12

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Wisdom comes from pondering our mortality before God. Whatever number your days, they are few. We must number our days as few and fleeting because God has numbered our days before our days began.

Friend, life is too short not to live in light of eternity. Always keep in mind: We are mortal. Our life is short. Everything we do has eternal significance. Those who live well, die well. I mean, remember leaving your last funeral and saying ""Life's short. Gotta make more time for relationships."" How's that workin'? With a friend not far from heaven, I'll say it again. Love well, life is short. Don't presume on the next visit.

This life is so short, so fragile, so final. Don't waste it. And life is way too short to stay passive or angry. Let's engage in the things that have eternity written all over them

Again: Life is short, death is sure, and eternity forever. What should be done for God must be done now. Seize the moment!

What does it profit to gain the whole world and lose your soul?

Father, we know that life is short. But, subtly, we try to scrape it off to the side. Lord, we aren’t promised tomorrow. Yet, we know that you hold tomorrow. Help us, remind us, and focus us on eternal things this day. Not to have our head in the clouds so much that we can’t live for you or share you. But so focused on you, the King of glory, that we would have nothing else to do except praise you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

August 22

2 Peter 1:15 "And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things."

From the world’s perspective, Christians seem like morbid people. We talk about death—and, even worse, a gruesome death of our supposed Lord Jesus some 2,000 years ago on a Roman cross. We talk about blood—and some of our old hymns talk about bathing in blood. We talk about the next life—and some think we live with our head in the clouds.

If we’re honest, it does seem a little weird, doesn’t it?

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15).

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4).

So is Peter being morbid here? Why does he keep focusing on his last times?

Well, as Christians, we are not morbid for talking about such subjects. And either is Peter. In fact, at the cross, Jesus took the world's instrument of death and made it God's symbol of life. Jesus damned death by his own. We’re such a mess it took Jesus' life of perfect obedience and his substitutionary death on the cross to redeem us.

That’s why Peter is talking about this! He will stop at nothing before he breathes his last to protect his readers from false teaching, especially of the false teachers. Wouldn’t you do the same for your family, your church family, and those who know Christ?

May our prayer be: “Lord, blot out our ‘brand’ and obscure our legacy if it means more hearts treasuring you above all else.”

Father, grant us the enormous gift of godly sorrow when we sin; and keep us far, far away from worldly sorrow, which only produces death. We know only you can do that to the honor and glory of your name. Father, help us to keep all things in perspective. Remind us that our greatest legacy isn’t our hedge fund, land, or heirlooms – it is faith in you. Father, we praise, bless, and adore you for giving Jesus to us and for us--the One whose death ends all wars. In your name. Amen.