DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
Children of Light
You, brethren, are not in darkness…. You are all sons of light. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:4-5
The born-again Christian sees life not as a blurred, confused, meaningless mass, but as something planned and purposeful. His eyes have been opened to spiritual truth.
In Christ’s first sermon at Nazareth He said that one of the reasons He had come to earth was to preach “recovery of sight to the blind” (Luke 4:18). By nature we are all spiritually blind because of sin. But the Spirit of God helps us see our sin and our helplessness and shows us God’s redeeming grace in Christ. The Spirit reveals the truth of Jesus’ declaration: “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).
In the Bible we are called “children of light and children of the day” (1 Thess. 5:5 NRSV), because it pleased God to share His mysteries and secrets with us. We are no longer in the dark—we know where we came from, we know why we are here, and we know where we are going. In the midst of a world living in spiritual darkness, walk as a child of the light!
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Psalm 32:1
Once his sin was exposed, David was filled with remorse. Over the years he had enjoyed a close, personal relationship with God. When he found out that his fellowship with God was in jeopardy, he cried out, “I have sinned against the LORD” (2 Sam. 12:13 NASB). God forgave David, yet the consequences of his sin remained, and the child who was born as a result of his adultery with Bathsheba died.
Sin corrupts. It’s like rust on a new car; it eats into the finish and hides in hard-to-see places. Often when it is too late, the rust is exposed, but the car is ruined. David knew his only hope for restoration rested in God’s forgiveness.
Psalm 32 is a beautiful testimony to God’s cleansing touch in David’s life. It also is a witness to us of God’s mercy and unconditional forgiveness. No matter what you have done, God can and will forgive you. He promises to restore the years the locusts have eaten away—the years sin and disappointment devoured your purity (Joel 2:25).
In Isaiah 1:18, He tells us that He will make our sins as white as snow. Are you telling yourself that God can never use you because of something in your past? That is Satan’s lie. God uses the broken and chipped things of this world to prove His redemption is complete and extended to all mankind. It is yours, and you can depend on His forgiveness when you come to Him as David did.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
When You Have Fallen Short, Look To Jesus
When you have sinned and fallen short of my glory, believe me, you are in the company of great Christians everywhere! “All have sinned and are not good enough” for my glory – there are no exceptions.
I know how devastating sin can be to everyone it touches. That is why I sent my perfect Son into the world as an offering for sin. When you have fallen short, look to him.
How did he deal with the fallen men and women of his day? Once a woman caught in adultery was brought before him. He heard his accusers, who wanted to stone her. And the first thing he did was get rid of them!
(If Satan has become your accuser, trying to destroy you, speak out the name and the truth of Jesus, and he must back off! If he insists n reminding you of your past, remind him of his future! Remind him of Calvary and the empty tomb. Remind him whose heel is not upon his head! That should shut him up!)
After getting rid of the woman’s accusers, Jesus lifted her to her feet and spoke to her words of affirmation and healing. He lovingly sent her off, telling her to sin no more. In short, he restored her. And that is what he wishes to do for you. Don’t remain in the devastating aftermath of your sin. Go to Jesus now.
24 “But in those days, following that distress,
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[a]
26 “At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 I tell you the truth, this generation[b] will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The Day and Hour Unknown
32 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert[c]! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
Psalm 80: 1-7, 16-18
1 Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock;
you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth
2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might;
come and save us.
3 Restore us, O God;
make your face shine upon us,
that we may be saved.
4 O LORD God Almighty,
how long will your anger smolder
against the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears;
you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
6 You have made us a source of contention to our neighbors,
and our enemies mock us.
7 Restore us, O God Almighty;
make your face shine upon us,
that we may be saved.
16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire;
at your rebuke your people perish.
17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you;
revive us, and we will call on your name.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
Nothing of the Old Life!
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new —2 Corinthians 5:17
Our Lord never tolerates our prejudices— He is directly opposed to them and puts them to death. We tend to think that God has some special interest in our particular prejudices, and are very sure that He will never deal with us as He has to deal with others. We even say to ourselves, “God has to deal with other people in a very strict way, but of course He knows that my prejudices are all right.” But we must learn that God accepts nothing of the old life! Instead of being on the side of our prejudices, He is deliberately removing them from us. It is part of our moral education to see our prejudices put to death by His providence, and to watch how He does it. God pays no respect to anything we bring to Him. There is only one thing God wants of us, and that is our unconditional surrender.
When we are born again, the Holy Spirit begins to work His new creation in us, and there will come a time when there is nothing remaining of the old life. Our old gloomy outlook disappears, as does our old attitude toward things, and “all things are of God” (2 Corinthians 5:18). How are we going to get a life that has no lust, no self-interest, and is not sensitive to the ridicule of others? How will we have the type of love that “is kind . . . is not provoked, [and] thinks no evil”? (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). The only way is by allowing nothing of the old life to remain, and by having only simple, perfect trust in God— such a trust that we no longer want God’s blessings, but only want God Himself. Have we come to the point where God can withdraw His blessings from us without our trust in Him being affected? Once we truly see God at work, we will never be concerned again about the things that happen, because we are actually trusting in our Father in heaven, whom the world cannot see.