(Sunday) The Refiner’s fire (Malachi 3) is not particularly fun. Change, especially spiritual growth, can be difficult. Stick it out. It’s worth it.
(Monday) Need motivation to stay the course? Imagine that moment when God looks directly at you and says, “Well done!” Your service isn’t overlooked.
(Tuesday) We are saved by grace alone (Eph. 2:8), but how we live our lives is a reflection of our faith. Let’s not be “wicked & lazy” (Mat. 25:26).
(Wednesday) Unlike the Old Testament with its burnt sacrifices, our new covenant through Jesus compels us to live holy, sacrificial lives (Rom. 12:1).
(Thursday) Throughout Exodus and elsewhere, the Lord demonstrated his power through fire. Spend a few moments expressing your awe through praise.
(Friday) Psalm 44:5, Jeremiah 10:6, Acts 4:10 – the very name of Jesus is powerful! Call on him in your time of need and trust him in faith.
(Saturday) Why is change so difficult? The enemy isn’t going to let you go without a fight. Allow God to help release you from sin’s stranglehold.
You have probably heard of “The Great Commission” at some point or another. It’s a New Testament story where Jesus met with his disciples after his resurrection and sent them out into the world to teach and disciple the masses. The story usually picks up in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations …”
However, if we take a couple of steps back and start reading in verse 16, after the disciples learned of Jesus’ resurrection, we see something very interesting: “Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!”
What? You mean after all this time – three or so years in the daily company of Jesus – and they still doubted the truth of what they saw?
As silly as that sounds to me (since we have the benefit of the Bible at our fingertips, rather than living the story of Jesus as it’s unfolding), it also gives me comfort that even those closest to Messiah were still sometimes clueless. I’ve gone through periods of time (some more recent than I care to admit) where I have questioned God’s direction for my life, doubted certain instructions that I used to feel totally confident about, and generally felt like a sub-standard disciple. Well, the good news is that we’re in excellent company! Ha!
Not all doubting is bad. Doubt means that you’re still seeking answers, and that’s a good thing. Even under the excellent teaching of a well-respected pastor, you should still seek out the answers in the Bible for yourself, reading and memorizing scriptures to tuck away in your heart. Doubt means that you are still growing and learning, and we should never stop doing either of those things. So, the next time you find yourself in a faith/doubt struggle, use it as fuel to fire you up, instead of letting it bog you down.
All of the Old Testament led up to John the Baptist’s proclamation that Jesus Christ was, in fact, the long-awaited Messiah. Amen!
Allowing sin to get comfy in your life is like staging a coup to overthrow Jesus as King of your heart. Who wears the crown?
Put yourself in the shoes of one of the people Jesus healed. Imagine his touch, and spend time in praise for his merciful compassion.
There are many Old Testament references to touch in Leviticus, etc., but thanks to Jesus, we are no longer under the old law. (Col. 2:20-23)
Through Jesus’ grace comes forgiveness, redemption, and salvation. (Ephesians 1:7)
Read Eph. 1:19-20 and let it sink into your heart until it is engraved there. God’s mighty power is at work in those who believe in Jesus!
2 Corinthians 5:21 says that Jesus stands in the gap for us. Our sin causes a huge rift between us & God, but Jesus bridges the chasm.
Yes, following Jesus is costly, but think of it as an investment with eternal rewards. No earthly perks can compare to knowing him!