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Daily Devotions 9-6 to 9-12

Daily Devotions to Encourage Your Faith.

September 6

2 Peter 2:9 "If this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment."


TODAY'S THOUGHTS...


Do you like to comparison shop? I do! There are websites that friends have shown me over the years that will search all the major stores and the mom-and-pop stores for the best value and warranty for whatever I am buying. My mama said, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” So, I always want to get the most “bang for my buck.”


When it comes to buying items, we understand this principle. When it comes to eternity, we, as people outside of Jesus Christ, think there is no comparison. As lost sinners, we believe we are strong enough, smart enough, and sassy enough to take care of our own salvation. Oh, but how Jesus changes things! When we come to Christ by repenting and believing in the Gospel, our whole perspective changes. Instead of trusting in ourselves, we know the righteous run into Christ and are saved.


What is my point? This verse present two destinies and two peoples: The saved and the unsaved. The saved know there is no better “deal” than knowing Jesus! The unsaved believe they can comparison shop for a better deal than Jesus.


Christian, all of your temptations, trials, and tribulations prove the reality of your salvation. How many times has God saved you from these experiences? Jesus' rescue of you from eternal suffering can make your choice to suffer for His purposes sane no matter what (or who) you face. Jesus left glory to be shamed by sinners so that He could rescue sinners from shame and let them share in His glory. Sin exerts pressure. Sin intensifies anxiety. The rescue Jesus brings is relief, space, and calm.


In short, Christian, know this: Our ally the Lord prowls around like a roaring lamb looking for people to rescue. God's agenda of grace is to daily rescue you from you; this is just what every sinners needs, but is unable to do for himself.


But, if you aren’t a Christian, the same God that promises rescue is the same God that promises judgment. Self-righteousness is why we are content with superficial Christianity. Convinced we are okay, we do not long for the daily rescue of grace. And, if you’re not a Christian, you must be saved by faith alone in Christ alone by His grace alone to be saved.


Where are you today? Who is your rescue?


TODAY'S PRAYER...


Father, rescue us from our unbelief today. Let us see how your heart and hand are present and engaged everywhere. You alone are the rescuer—first in salvation in your Son alone and then through the many things we face. Father, grant us wonder and worship, as we hear the gospel today. Restore us to childlike awe and joy. Rescue us from familiarity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

September 7

2 Peter 2:10 "This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings."


TODAY'S THOUGHTS...


What does sin do to you? Causes you to:


-Indulge in corrupt desires;

-Despise authority;

-Become self-assured and prideful

-Have no fear of the living God in you;

-Curse heaven and all its occupants.


Peter points this out because he is reminding us once again that God holds the wicked in judgment. These false teachers, some argue, have become so self-diluted that they are now even denouncing the fallen angels and calling themselves better and okay. But more than likely, it is the glories of Christ and the salvation he brings they are ranting against. This shows how truly arrogant they were. Even the angels of heaven give way in submission to God’s glory to execute a just judgment. Yet, these false teachers, entrenched in sin, rise above the angels to blaspheme the glories of God and deny the second coming.


A fall into sin does not come suddenly, but after the weight of thousands of small lies eventually become too much for our pride to sustain. Sin will tempt your pride to believe that you can stop enjoying it any time you want. Pride is the gateway sin for the soul. But the power and sovereignty of God put anxiety and pride to death. A big view of God helps sin lose its power in our lives. Thomas Watson said: “God's sovereign power and mercy subdue the pride and enmity of the heart and break off the chains of sin in which the soul is held!”


If a man turns from sin without turning to God, he will find his sin has only changed its name and is hidden behind his pride. Trust God to know the difference between what we want and what we need. He knows what we don't know and sees what we don't see.


TODAY'S PRAYER...


Father, your awesomeness is so majestic that we can't even speak of us without trembling. Yet, in our sin, Lord, we confess to you that we so often and pridefully walk into your presence with your people declaring we are the top. Lord, the affects of sin on us go to our deepest parts. Yet, we thank you that your Son has not cleansed us from just a part of our sin - but the whole of it. We pray this today in Jesus' name. Amen.

September 8

2 Peter 2:11 "Yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord."


"Isaiah 6:3 ""Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts"" (700 BC).


Rev. 4:8 ""Holy, hoy, holy is the Lord God Almighty"" (80 AD?).


Today's Thoughts...


The angels never get over God!


Everything about Jesus is holy, holy, holy. His being is perfectly holy, as are His words, works, and wisdom. And Jesus left a world where angels cried ""Holy, Holy!"" to enter a world that cried ""Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"" Why? To save us.


If this be true, then why do the angels not follow in the footsteps of the false teachers (e.g., heaping abuse on our God)? Because it is blasphemy to treat Jesus like a sidekick. He is better than you…He’s God!


The only god the first world will not tolerate blasphemy of is the god of feelings. Satan's messages are usually not outright blasphemy. Instead he slightly twists truth & subtly turns us away from Christ. To live in sin does not exalt the gospel, but shows it to be void of power. Such a life is a reason for the unbeliever's blasphemy (Rom. 2:24).


Casualness before God is a mark of foolishness. The humble tremble before Him, the proud find no need for reverence. When we pray to the Lord Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of all, our loving and gracious Lord, can we not help but show reverence to Him? The angels understood this—and the false teachers didn’t. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, its end, and everything in between. We never advance past our need to reverence His holy name.


Today's Prayer...


Father, in this world, how easily we will get dressed up and honor the office of a political person. But, equally, Lord, how easily and casually we treat our relationship with you. Lord, if we have blasphemed you in any way - whether verbally or by our way of life - forgive us. We want all we do to be done in the honor and holiness of your name. Nothing in our lives, we pray, should be devoid of this. Lord, you are worthy. There is no beside you. We thank you and praise you in Jesus' name. Amen.

September 9

2 Peter 2:12 "But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish."


Today's Thoughts...


There is something that sets mankind apart from the animals of this world—the ability to reason and think other than for him/herself. In contrast to this, the false teachers operated in an animal-like instinct. That is, they pursued almost an irrational desire of sin. And, as a result, they blasphemed the very things they thought they understood—the truth of God, his coming, and how to live in this world.


Friends, we need to blaspheme our idols—if I may be so blunt. Notice I didn’t say the Lord. That would go against the very command of Scripture (Exo. 20). However, learn from God—Satan is a hard master. ""I have handed them over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Tim. 1:20). Paul faced the same situation in the churches he helped plant and lead.


At his death, Polycarp, one of the earliest church leaders said before being burnt to death: “86 years have I served Him, and He has done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?” Wow! What an attitude! Could we have the same in today’s world?


The point of application: God is more concerned with your character than your career, with who you are than what you do, and with how you live than where you live. “Oh Lord, teach me how to live out my convictions. Unless, of course, they are not from you. In that case, you may make me miserable.”


Today's Prayer...


Father, reading through these false teachers is such a hard task. In our routine world of life and work, we often don’t think about these things. Lord, guard our hearts today from all that is against you. Fasten us close to you and your Word. You are worthy and worthy to be praised. Thank you that in Christ you don’t leave us as we are. You grow us closer to your image. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

September 10

2 Peter 2:13 "They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you."


Today's Thoughts...


The literal reading of this verse could be translated: “Suffering wrong as the wages of wickedness.” Or, as Paul put in Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death.” Each and every false teacher will be held accountable. Literally, as with all of us, their earning, salary, and wage is death—not just physical, but eternal.


And they have no shame! What deeds they do they do in front of all to see. Very similar to Absalom defying his father and his wives in broad daylight (2 Samuel 16:22). What evil they do they don’t care what anyone else thinks or says. Finally, so open (“blots and blemishes”) are they to sin, they will openly do it front of even God’s people…and, again, with no shame!


Sin destroys everything. Don't believe its lies. Broken hearts. Broken relationships. Haunted conscience. Guilt. Shame. Despair. Death. Jesus left glory to be shamed by sinners so that He could rescue sinners from shame and let them share in His glory. Gal 5:1 ""Christ has set us free"" from... Sin—Rom. 6:7 Condemnation—Rom. 8:1 Shame—1 Pt. 2:6 Law—Rom. 10:4 Fear—1 Jn. 4:18 Death—Jn. 5:24. What a great God!


If shame before people exceeds shame before God then there is no biblical repentance. Which is true in your life?


Today's Prayer...


Father, let us not harden our heart or callous our conscience. Now, in this moment, we ask for forgiveness of any sin. Father, we praise you that the blood of Christ sufficient and able to save us from all our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Forgive us of willful sin and unintentional sins. Only the God-man, Jesus Christ, can save us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

September 11

2 Peter 2:14 "With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood."


Today's Thoughts...


This verse has connection to the seventh commandment: “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). Also, Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:28 in the Sermon on the Mount: “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” These teachers are like a person who can’t stop looking lustfully at someone or something else without fantasizing. They just keep on sinning!


The false teachers also are like the Israelites of old. They were formally God’s people—but not in reality. It is the difference between a real convert and a false convert. This is why Peter calls them “unstable…an accursed brood!”


It is easy to think we could never stoop so far as these false teachers. Yet, apart from Christ, we are capable of any sin. A temptation is simply a promise that claims to provide happiness and fulfillment apart from God. Don't believe the lies. Apart from God’s grace, this could be any of us.


A great reminder to keep a humble perspective on yourself. We are but dust apart from the grace of God (Gen. 2:7). May pray and remember that we can do nothing apart from Christ. We can bear much fruit through Christ. God gives strength through our humble dependence upon His Son.


Today's Prayer...


Pray for those in your life in such a state as these false teachers. Pray that God may remove the scales from their eyes to see the truth of the Gospel (2 Tim. 2:23-26).

September 12

2 Peter 2:16 "But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness."


Today's Thoughts...


Who was Balaam? Let me just take a moment to give you a scriptural rundown:


First, Balaam is a paradox. He acknowledged the true God of heaven and God came and spoke to him (Num. 22:8-9).


Second, Balaam was a false prophet. In the Lord’s providence, though, he spoke some of the most beautiful words in the Bible (Num. 24:15-25).


Third, Balaam was motivated by greed (2 Pet. 2:15; Jude 11). He had no misgivings about using God’s call on his life for money (Num. 22).


Fourth, Balaam was warned by God (Num. 22:21-34). Specifically, an angel of the Lord stood in his way (Num. 22:22). Even the pagan king (Balak) saw the Lord was preventing Balaam (Num. 24:11).


And even today, we hear many people like Balaam say, “I have sinned.” But, most of the time, there is no genuine repentance. Many want to die a death of righteous, but are unwilling to life the life of the righteous (Num. 23:10). This is why Balaam’s doctrine is very popular today. It is the lie that a person (male or female) can get “saved” and live like the unsaved.


Christian, Balaam's donkey, Jonah's worm, Paul's thorn, Jeremiah's pit, Joseph's brothers... don't limit what God will use in your life. But also don’t place limit on God himself. He is faithful, but he is not a genie in a bottle.


Today's Prayer...


Father, fill our minds with truth, flood our hearts with a reminder of your grace, and free us into your purposes today. Lord, how easy it was to see Balaam and Judas, two of your close workers, turn professional in their work for you. May it never be with us! Lord, guard our hearts and mind in Christ to know the power of the Gospel in living wholeheartedly for you and no one else.. In Jesus’ name.. Amen.