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How to Bloom

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The pathway of faith has divine purpose, and we’re to obey the Lord, no matter what.  But even when God’s direction is perplexing, we can count on the fact that He is good.

Walking obediently with Christ doesn’t guarantee an easy life, which is obvious when we consider Paul.  He encountered all kinds of hardships, including shipwreck, persecution, and beatings (2 Cor. 11:23-27).  Keep in mind, though, that nothing can touch a child of God without the Father’s loving permission.  He uses difficulty to strengthen and correct believers – and eventually as a tool in achieving His plan.  Also remember that the Lord protects His followers in their suffering, just as He kept the apostle safe in situations that seemed impossible to overcome.

Adversity can tempt us to ignore the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  But we will ultimately regret such a decision, as God doesn’t spare us from the consequences of our sin.  However, He never lets go of His children, whom He will continue to protect and guide throughout life.

Walking in obedience and trust is the only way to true peace.  As Paul sat in an uncomfortable Roman prison where his life was in danger, he encouraged believers not to worry but to trust the Lord and pray with gratitude (Isa. 26:3; Phil. 4:6).  Doing so leads to experiencing His perfect peace.

The only wise way to live is to believe in almighty God and follow wherever He leads.  That is the road to contentment, fulfillment, protection, and peace.  Are you journeying on the pathway of faith?  Or is something holding you back from all God intended for our life?

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, July 28, 2017.

Only One

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There is a disconnect between the results of national polls concerning religion and religious reality.  For instance, upwards of 90 percent of Americans claim to believe in God, and a large majority of those claim to be Christians.  If that’s true, where are all these followers of Christ?  It would seem that many people believe it’s possible to follow Christ and follow other religions or the ways of the world at the same time.

Jesus made it clear in His teachings that His “religion” is an exclusive one:  “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).  In a modern, pluralistic culture, that doesn’t sit well.  And it didn’t sit well with Peter who was momentarily confused about “followership.”  To Peter, Jesus said (paraphrase), “Don’t worry about what others are doing.  You follow Me.”  When someone asks you what you are (religiously speaking), what do you say?  “I’m a (name of your denomination)”?  Or do you say, “I’m a follower of Jesus Christ-a Christian”?

In an age that values tolerance and rejects absolutes, it will never be popular to say, “I follow only One.”

Jesus

David Jeremiah’s Pathway Devotional, March 7.