DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
In the World, Not of the World
They are of the world…. We are of God. – I JOHN 4:5-6
The Gulf Stream flows in the ocean, and yet it is not absorbed by it. It maintains its warm temperatures even in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.
Believers are in the world, and yet they must not be absorbed by it. If Christians are to fulfill their purposes in the world, they must not be chilled by the indifferent, godless society in which they live. The Bible says, “Do not be conformed to this world” (Rom. 12:2). It is true that Jesus dined with publicans and sinners, but He did not allow the social group to overwhelm Him and conform Him to its ways. Instead, He seized every opportunity to present spiritual truth and to lead a soul from death to life.
Our social contacts should not only be pleasant, they should be opportunities to share our faith with those who do not yet know Christ. As you have contact with others this day, will they sense the warmth of Christ’s presence through you?
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. – John 15:5
Suckers are small leafy offshoots on tomato plants. As harmless as they appear initially, they must be constantly pinched off from the main stems to produce healthy, abundant tomatoes. Permitted to grow, they divert the soil’s nutrients into leaves and stems instead of fruit.
As Christ prunes your life, He carefully removes habits, addictions, misplaced priorities, and other extraneous matters that deplete your spiritual growth. Divinely schemed, the purging is executed so that the life of Christ might saturate your soul. The more God prunes, the more you experience the power of the Holy Spirit and bear His pleasant fruit.
Do you want more of the life of Christ? More of His peace, joy, kindness, and patience? Do you desire to be made like Him? Know that His pruning is for this sweeping purpose.
Never forget this fundamental factor – you have been placed into Christ by God, and He has been placed into your life through the habitation of the Holy Spirit. This is the significance of Christ’s illustration of the Vine and the branches.
You are permanently and unalterably attached to the Vine. God’s shears of loving care don’t impair your fellowship with Christ. Instead, his using them is a sign of your vital union with the Vine, Jesus Christ. You belong to Him for eternity, and He has pledged Himself to constantly work for your good.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
Do Not Fall In Love With The World
My dearest child,
The world holds out to you a surface sort of happiness that depends on favorable circumstances. But I hold out joy.
The world offers relationships fraught with hidden agendas and self-serving motives. I offer love, gracious and unconditional.
The world holds out blame and shame and condemnation. I hold out forgiveness and the road to a new beginning.
The world rewards you with addictions and compulsions and momentary gratification. But I will fill you with peace that passes understanding.
The world offers broken contracts, vows, and promises. I give you my Word that never changes.
The world runs hot and cold. One day you’re valued and respected; the next you’re forgotten like yesterday’s headlines. But my character is love, and I am the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Oh, my child, do not fall in love with the world. It holds out to you only an imitation of life. I hold out life, abundant and free.
Choose life! – God
Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Moral Benefits of Wisdom
2 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— 3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.
12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse,
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
Abraham’s Life of Faith
He went out, not knowing where he was going —Hebrews 11:8
In the Old Testament, a person’s relationship with God was seen by the degree of separation in that person’s life. This separation is exhibited in the life of Abraham by his separation from his country and his family. When we think of separation today, we do not mean to be literally separated from those family members who do not have a personal relationship with God, but to be separated mentally and morally from their viewpoints. This is what Jesus Christ was referring to in Luke 14:26.
Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason—a life of knowing Him who calls us to go. Faith is rooted in the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest traps we fall into is the belief that if we have faith, God will surely lead us to success in the world.
The final stage in the life of faith is the attainment of character, and we encounter many changes in the process. We feel the presence of God around us when we pray, yet we are only momentarily changed. We tend to keep going back to our everyday ways and the glory vanishes. A life of faith is not a life of one glorious mountaintop experience after another, like soaring on eagles’ wings, but is a life of day—in and day—out consistency; a life of walking without fainting (see Isaiah 40:31). It is not even a question of the holiness of sanctification, but of something which comes much farther down the road. It is a faith that has been tried and proved and has withstood the test. Abraham is not a type or an example of the holiness of sanctification, but a type of the life of faith—a faith, tested and true, built on the true God. “Abraham believed God. . .” (Romans 4:3).