Neglect of Soul
All Christians believe in God, but many Christians have little time for God. They are too busy with everyday affairs to be taken up with Bible reading, prayer, and being thoughtful to their fellowmen. Many of them have lost the spirit of a zealous discipleship. If you ask them if they are Christians, they would probably answer, “I think so,” or, “I hope so.” They may go to church at Easter and Christmas and on other special occasions, but otherwise they have little time for God. They have crowded God out of their lives.
The Bible warns against neglect of your soul. It is possible to harden your heart and shrivel your soul, until you lose your appetite for the things of God. This hunger, then, that you should have is a desire to be always right with God. It is a consciousness that all searching for peace of heart, except in Him, is in vain.
I hunger today to know more of You, Lord.
A life lived for Christ
Lord Chesterton once said, “I believe in bedside repentance, but I do not want to depend upon it.” During a serious illness a person’s mind does not function normally. Getting right with God is something one should do in the bloom of health. However, as far as the Lord is concerned, “His ear is not heavy that He cannot hear, nor His arm shortened that He cannot save.” He loves us equally, in sickness or in health; while we are living, or while we aredying. In my experience, I have not known of too many people who found Christ on their deathbed. When we come to Christ in our youth, a life is saved. When we come in old age, a soul is salvaged and life eternal is assured; but the opportunity to live a life for Christ has been lost.
Lord God, burden my heart to reach out to the young persons starting their adventure in life—and the old persons dreading the end of their journey. Let me tell them the message of Your saving love.
The number 5 symbolizes God's grace, goodness and favor toward humans and is mentioned 318 times in Scripture. Five is the number of grace, and multiplied by itself, which is 25, is 'grace upon grace' (John 1:16). The Ten Commandments contains two sets of 5 commandments. The first five commandments are related to our treatment and relationship with God, and the last five concern our relationship with others humans.
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Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Joy and peace! Any sensible person would readily admit his desire for a life filled with joy. Yet, few people understand the prerequisites for regularly living that way. Previous studies mentioned several of joy’s accompanying virtues, but today’s passage provides one of joy’s unifying properties. According to our passage, peace accompanies joy. Proverbs 12:20 also expresses this same relationship: “Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.” Those who seek peace will often find joy in this life because peace and joy are entwined. Isaiah 55:12 restates this truth: “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace.” It is important to note that men will not “go out with joy” unless they are first “led forth with peace.” Peace and joy are always inseparable. Those who have the peace of God after they are at peace with God through salvation will experience “joy unspeakable” (1 Peter 1:8).
· (For children): What do you find more enjoyable: fighting with friends or playing nicely? Do you know God wants each of us to be peacemakers? That means you don’t always get your own way. You will have more joy in your heart when you try to be kind to others rather than always getting your own way.
· (For everyone): Do you realize that you have “peace with God” that comes from being saved (Romans 5:1)? Why stop there when you can also experience the “peace of God” (peace only offered to the saved) ruling in your heart (Colossians 3:15)?
· Peace and joy are dependent upon God and not upon outside influences. Have you lost your joy and peace? If so, you cannot blame anyone but yourself.
· Ask the Lord to ingrain His truths into your heart and especially the connection between having peace and experiencing joy.
· Ask the Lord to help you keep your peace and your joy.
Song: Constantly Abiding
What is Idolatry?
What is idolatry? Idolatry is anything that comes between us and God. Joshua told his people that their nation would be destroyed if they persisted in idolatry, and their souls would suffer eternal death. He said, “You must make your decision today. You must decide whether you want to serve the idols of this life, or the living God.”
“Choose you this day,” said Joshua, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” What about you? Are you taking your stand with Joshua? No matter what the cost? I am asking you to choose this day whom you will serve. Our families cannot choose Christ for us. Our friends cannot do it. God is a great God, but even God can’t make the decision for us. He can help, but only we can decide. We have to make our own choice.
Lord Jesus Christ, take away the idols in my life so that, completely undivided, I may serve You, my Savior.
Quick prayers before answering the phone and while listening before responding in conversations is great wisdom, thanks Sarah Young!
Exactly what I need as I ask God about going full time in my online ministry. Thank You Lord!
Image from, Wisdom for Each Day; devotional by Billy Graham.
Young people talk a lot about love. Most of their songs are about love. . . . “The supreme happiness of life,” Victor Hugo said long ago, “is the conviction that we are loved.” “Love is the first requirement for mental health,” declared Sigmund Freud. The Bible teaches that “God is love” and that God loves you. To realize that is of paramount importance. Nothing else matters so much. And loving you, God has a wonderful plan for your life. Who else could plan and guide your life so well?
In knowing I am loved by You, almighty God, my heart trusts You to guide me.
Relying on Grace
Let us face this fact: We came into the world with nothing, and we will leave it with nothing. Where do we get the notion that man’s idea of success and God’s are the same? You have written a book; you are a clever manager and promoter; you are a talented artist; you are independently rich; you have achieved fame and fortune. Without the gifts of intelligence, imagination, personality, and physical energy—which are all endowed by God—where would you be? Are we not born poor? Do we not die poor? And would we not be poor indeed without God’s infinite mercy and love?
We came out of nothing; and if we are anything, it is because God is everything. If He were to withhold His power for one brief instant from us, if He were to hold in check the breath of life for one moment, our physical existence would shrivel into nothingness, and our souls would be whisked away into an endless eternity. Those who are poor in spirit recognize their creatureliness and their sinfulness—but more, they are ready to confess their sins and renounce them.
All I have or am, Lord God, has been given to me by Your almighty hands. Forgive me when I tend to boast about my own accomplishments—for I am nothing without Your grace and love.
Aug 01, 2014
Read | 1 Corinthians 15:22
Because the apostle Paul recognized the limitations of human understanding, he used word pictures to illustrate spiritual concepts. In several letters, Paul wrote about being “alive in Christ.” He pointed out that before the Lord rescued us, we were spiritually dead. But once we received Jesus as our Savior, we became alive in Him (Rom. 6:11).
Paul wanted us to realize that we have a new freedom, a new nature, and a new standard of conduct. To show this, he chose the word pictures of circumcision and baptism (Col. 2:9-17). While neither one represents the complete picture, together they provide a starting point for us to grasp the glorious foundational truth of being alive in the Lord.
If we use human reasoning to help us grasp a spiritual truth like this one, we often become confused. Only through the teaching of the Holy Spirit can we begin to comprehend its full meaning. Besides, God’s living Word is meant to be experienced. We can know the fact that Jesus has given us a new nature, but only when we experience this new nature and the freedom it brings do we truly discover the scriptural meaning of “made alive.”
Think about the examples Paul chose: baptism and circumcision. Set aside your human logic, and depend on the Holy Spirit for understanding. Believe that you are a new creation—that the old nature is gone and has been replaced by the new one (2 Cor. 5:17). Practice what you learn. Spiritual joy will fill your being as you experience the truth of the revealed mystery of being fully alive in Christ. -Stanley
"Good people" don't get to Heaven, only saved ones do. Are you saved from your sins by true faith in Jesus Christ?