Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Christians’

Firmly Established

And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord for ever. I Kings 2:45

Solomon’s kingdom was firmly established.

Solomon was a wise man by nature. There were factors in the kingdom that he had to eliminate. There were other things that he had to embrace.

This is true of those who would follow Jesus as well. When we become Christians, there are things we need to cut out of our lives. We break some habits that are counterproductive. We leave off socializing with people who would draw us away from our fidelity to Christ.

By the same token, there are new things that we need to add to our lives. There will be mentors and friends from this new way of living. We need to be open to the changes that God will make in our lives.

When something new comes along, we need to evaluate it in light of our relationship with Christ. If it helps us to stay true to our faith in Christ, it is something we need to adopt. If it draws us away from our faith in Christ, we need to cut it from our lives, lest we be drawn away from the faith we profess.

Father, God,

Grant us the wisdom to see what is beneficial and what is detrimental to our faith. Give us the courage to embrace the beneficial, and help us to rid our lives of the detrimental.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You Yourself know.

I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.

Psalm 40:9-10  ~~  (NKJV)

These are David’s words. But can we also claim them?

Our culture is not really very sympathetic with the Christian world view these days. Many Christians are nominal Christians. Oh, we go to church on Sunday and can talk the lingo in private groups. But do we hesitate to speak of our God in public where we are not sure how our testimony will be received?

Can we say we have proclaimed the good news in the public square? Do we tell of the good things God has done in us and for us?

Do we speak His words and His heart – even when public opinion goes a different direction?

I’ve been guilty of remaining silent in order not to provoke an argument or debate.

I love people who are living a lifestyle that God condemns, but I do not challenge them on it. I pray that the Holy Spirit would touch them, convict them, redeem them.

But I don’t lecture them about their sin.  I have too many of my own to answer for.

What I can do is to brag on God and what He has done for me and within my own heart.

Father, God,

Open my heart and my mouth to brag of Your love, Your generosity, Your redemption of my sinful self. Strengthen my resolve to speak of You openly, unashamedly in the public square. Give me the words to help woo others to Your love.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen

New – and Improved?

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  ~~ 2 Corinthians 5:17  (KJV)

During Advent, the world keeps screaming at us. Buy the new thing. This is the toy of the year – or gadget of the year. Laundry detergents are “new and improved”. So are diets and cars and cell phones.

How about us? Whether we have been Christians for years or are just new born, we also can be new and improved.

Because we are human and fallible, we make mistakes, we sin (yes, I know that’s not a popular word any more) and we fall short – sometimes very short – of our aims.

The joy comes when we recognize that God is the ultimate forgiver. When we fall short all we need do is to repent. Repent is another old-fashioned word that we don’t hear much any more either. It means more than being sorry for something we’ve done or neglected. It also means making amends and changing our behavior.

When we have done something that God disapproves, we simply agree with Him that it was a wrong action; determine to change that attitude and behavior; and He forgives us, helping us to become better, more like what He intended.

Today is the beginning of a new year – 2016. If I make one resolution for the year, it will be to become more nearly what our Heavenly Father intended when he called me forth. I’m counting on my readers to hold me accountable for that resolve.

Do you have a resolution for the new year?  Tell us in the comments and let us help you be accountable for keeping it.

May God bless your endeavors this day and throughout the New Year.

Father, God,

Help us to be accountable one to another for our resolutions. Grant that we may be both new and improved – daily.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

New Birth

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:12-14  (KJV)

There was a child born to our family this week, a precious boy, a great-grandson. Looking at his new face, all pink and clean, totally unblemished, I was reminded of the new birth Jesus has provided for us.

We come to him, excited, fresh, ready to become … something new.

This child will grow – is growing as we speak. He will become a toddler, a pre-schooler, a first grader, a freshman, a graduate, a man.

As Christians, are we growing? How far have we come since that first encounter with our Savior?  Perhaps it is time to take stock.

Father, God,

Help us to assess our progress in the life you would have us lead. Give us a clear vision of your plans for us, that we might be in perfect harmony with them. Teach us to grow well.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

And We Begin

Focus verses: John 3:1-21

The last half of the first chapter of John tells of the calling of some of the disciples. Chapter two recounts the first miracle at Cana and His driving the moneychangers out of the temple.

Chapter three begins where He teaches Nicodemus, the Pharisee, about being born again – that is born of the spirit. And it is in this teaching that we find the verse that new Christians often memorize early in their walk with the Lord.

John 3:16 is a powerful verse. And it is all inclusive. “Whoever” means anyone at any time in any place. You can substitute any person’s name in place of “whoever” and “the world” as you read this verse, and it is absolutely true. Try it with your name in place of “whoever” and “the world.”

For God so loved me that he gave his one and only Son, that if I believe in him I shall not perish but have eternal life.

Wow! That’s powerful. But when you add John 3:17 to it, it becomes even more powerful. It tells you why Jesus was born. His purpose was our salvation. His birth, death and resurrection were designed for our benefit, our eternal good.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn me, but to save me through him.

And the plan is the same whether there are multitudes of people – or only one. If you had been the only person on earth, Jesus would have done it all just for you.

You see, God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. And there is. He created each of us as individuals – no two exactly alike, even identical twins. You are the only you He created. You are His “only child.”

Father, God,

We thank You for Your provision for our salvation. We are grateful that Christ was sent to us to redeem us back to fellowship with You. Grant that we may walk ever closer and closer to Your heart.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Solomon Is King

Focus verse: I Kings 2:46

Solomon’s kingdom was firmly established.

Solomon was a wise man by nature. There were factors in the kingdom that he had to eliminate. There were other things that he had to embrace.

This is true of those who would follow Jesus as well. When we become Christians, there are things we need to cut out of our lives. We break some habits that are counterproductive. We leave off socializing with people who would draw us away from our fidelity to Christ.

By the same token, there are new things that we need to add to our lives. There will be mentors and friends from this new way of living. We need to be open to the changes that God will make in our lives.

When something new comes along, we need to evaluate it in light of our relationship with Christ. If it helps us to stay true to our faith in Christ, it is something we need to adopt. If it draws us away from our faith in Christ, we need to cut it from our lives, lest we be drawn away from the faith we profess.

Father, God,

Grant us the wisdom to see what is beneficial and what is detrimental to our faith. Give us the courage to embrace the beneficial, and help us to rid our lives of the detrimental.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.