DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life. – John 5:24
I know little about nuclear fission or uranium and other elements used in making nuclear
explosives. Yet I believe in the atomic bomb, and so do you. But how can we believe that it exists, if we don’t understand it or have any scientific knowledge about the way it works?
The answer is obvious. Others understand nuclear fission even if we don’t, and others have seen what happens when a nuclear reaction takes place, even if we haven’t. We read what they say, and we accept it as the evidence of reliable witnesses.
I spend much of my time perusing the pages of a book – the Bible. In it I discover that centuries ago God acted and spoke, and reliable witnesses have written it down. God even
guided them as they wrote, so that now I read the very words of God Himself.
I may not understand everything there is to know about God – but I know Him and trust Him, because I read of Him in the Bible. Most of all, I know He came down to this earth in the person of His Son, and “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ: (John 1:17).
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
The Fragrance God Loves To Smell
May the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. – 1 Peter 5:10
God is always in charge of the sifting process. There is never a time when the trials and tribulations of life are beyond His control. Even when you feel frustrated and confused,God is in the driver’s seat. Satan never has the upper hand. And though the enemy may seek to discredit you, God has justified you through your acceptance of His
God uses sifting not only to remove the impurities in our lives, but also to surface the qualities He desires to use greatly. Most of us have heard about how fire refines gold. It is
in the heating up of the material that the dross is made visible and removed. The hotter the fire, the purer the gold.
God doesn’t sift and refine us in relaxed and beautiful settings. Often the purging comes in times of tempest and trial. In her devotional classic Streams in the Desert, Mrs. Charles
Cowman wrote, “Sometimes God sends severe blasts of trial upon His children to develop their graces. Just as torches burn most brightly when swung to and fro; just as the juniper plant smells sweetest when flung into the flames; so the richest qualities of a Christian
often come out under the north wind of suffering and adversity. Bruised hearts often emit the fragrance that God loves to smell.”
Dear Lord, when my heart is bruised, let it emit the fragrance You love. Bring forth Christ-like qualities in my tough times.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN
Pull The Root Of Bitterness
My dear child,
Did someone who should have been a friend turn out to be an enemy? Has your surprise turned to hurt? Has your hurt turned to righteous indignation and you indignation to
anger? Can you now feel that anger putting out little roots of bitterness that will dig into the soil of your tender heart and hold tight? Let me help you now, my child. For bitterness will not only poison your life, but it will ruin many other people. Whatever pain you are in, however much you feel you have been wronged, pull up that bitter root before it takes over and spoils the spiritual climate of your whole life.
My Son stands beside you. He lives within you. More than anyone, he understands what it is like to be betrayed, denied, mocked, and wronged. And yet, listen to his haunting words. Let them echo down the caverns of your pain: “Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing.”
Can you say these words in your situation? Only my Son can give you the grace and the power to do so.
Let him do it.
WEEKLY GOSPEL AND PSALM READING
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife
and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow
servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who hear him.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
It Is Finished!
I have finished the work which You have given Me to do —John 17:4
The death of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment in history of the very mind and intent of God. There is no place for seeing Jesus Christ as a martyr. His death was not something that
happened to Him— something that might have been prevented. His death was the very reason He came.
Never build your case for forgiveness on the idea that God is our Father and He will forgive us because He loves us. That contradicts the revealed truth of God in Jesus Christ. It makes the Cross unnecessary, and the redemption “much ado about nothing.” God forgives sin only because of the death of Christ. God could forgive people in no other way than by the death of His Son, and Jesus is exalted as Savior because of His death. “We see Jesus . . . for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor . . .” (Hebrews 2:9). The greatest note of triumph ever sounded in the ears of a startled universe was that sounded on the Cross of Christ— “It is finished!” (John 19:30). That is the final word in the redemption of humankind.
Anything that lessens or completely obliterates the holiness of God, through a false view of His love, contradicts the truth of God as revealed by Jesus Christ. Never allow yourself
to believe that Jesus Christ stands with us, and against God, out of pity and compassion, or that He became a curse for us out of sympathy for us. Jesus Christ became a curse for us by divine decree. Our part in realizing the tremendous meaning of His curse is the conviction of sin. Conviction is given to us as a gift of shame and repentance; it is the great mercy of God. Jesus Christ hates the sin in people, and Calvary is the measure of His hatred.