Through the ministry of His Spirit and the Word, we start to see things as the Father does and learn what pleases Him (Romans 12:2). By believing that God keeps His promises, we will become stronger in our faith and more at peace. Hardships that once would have thrown us off course will lose their power to shake us. Hope will replace discouragement, and trust will overcome doubt. Each time trouble comes, focus your attention on your loving heavenly Father and His ability to care for you.
Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, August 5, 2017.
Not everyone has the privilege of attending a large family reunion in their lifetime. Many families are widely dispersed and have lost touch with one another. But when large families get together and meet distant cousins, they have no trouble bonding. Why? Because they share a common heritage.
Strangers in the body of Christ should be that way – distant spiritual cousins who bond immediately. After all, we have “one body and one Spirit…one hope…one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (Ephesians 4:4-6). Unfortunately, Christians too often stick to their own ‘families’ – Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and so on. The world looks at the body of Christ and wonders why we can’t seem to get along better than we do. The early church, in its pre-denominational days, was known for its oneness and unity. It is a characteristic every Christian should work hard to restore to Christ’s body.
When you meet Christians who are strangers, give them the right hand of fellowship. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a taste of eternal unity right here on earth.
Commentary from Pathways Devotional by David Jeremiah, July 31.
The verse in the photo is either true or false. If it is true, belief in Jesus seems a very good idea.
Ending Gossip in Our Life-follow up to, “Not Sometimes, But Always”, May 16, 2017.
Spreading rumors about other people exposes little about their true nature but reveals quite a lot about the speaker’s own character. Such behavior shows a willingness to sin against the Lord by causing harm to someone else. Until a gossiping believer confronts his sin, he can’t progress toward becoming the person God wants him to be.
Confession is the first step in dealing with sinful speech. This should be followed by repentance-the pledge to turn away from opportunities to talk about others. A useful scripture for a redeemed gossip to pray daily is Psalm 141:3: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.”
Next, be on guard against temptation. Believers have a responsibility to set themselves apart from gossip in order to keep their thoughts and words pleasing to God. Being in the presence of one who spreads stories can tempt us to participate. In a situation where rumors are being shared, the best course of action is to speak out against the practice and then leave.
Finally, instead of talking about someone, it’s wise to pray for that person. Getting into this habit will help train the mind to replace sinful patterns with God-pleasing ways. The Bible teaches us to encourage and comfort each other, and prayer is a good way to obey that instruction 1 Thess. 5:11, 14).
A gossiping Christian dishonors God’s name-and his own. Instead of using words that disparage and injure, choose to speak well of everyone. In so doing, you will bring glory to the Lord.
Commentary from the In Touch Devotional by Charles Stanley, May 9, 2017.
Photo credit: T. Link
Consider the command in Ephesians 4:32 to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving. When we carry resentment in our hearts, it’s like a little pocket of poison that pulls down our personalities and sours our spirits. But when we’re kind and pleasant, it lightens our burdens and brightens our days-not to mention what it does for others.
God knows how we best function-He created us-and He’s an expert on the care of the soul. Obedience not only glorifies Him, it blesses our lives.
Commentary from David Jeremiah’s Pathways Devotional, May 10.
The parable of the Good Samaritan helping the injured Jew is widely accepted as an illustration of how we are to treat others who are in need (Luke 10:25-37). There is another side to it, however, a side which becomes clear when you learn that Jews and Samaritans were taught to despise each other and that Jesus was telling this parable to a Jewish audience. Hearing their teacher tell them to “Go and do likewise,” regardless of cultural differences, was overwhelming for them. In effect, Jesus was trying to open the eyes of their hearts so they could see all human beings as He saw them: in need of a Savior.
Throughout history, the good news of the Gospel has broken down the walls of separation between races and religions because of the one thing we all have in common: the need for salvation. The Bible tells us that “there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:22b-23).
Everyone, regardless of race, religion, or creed shares the same title of sinner; and because of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, everyone who believes in Him can share the same glorious title of forgiven.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…U.S. Declaration of Independence.
But now in Christ Jesus
you who once were far off
have been brought near
by the blood of Christ.
Commentary from Pathways Devotional, April 30, by David Jeremiah.