The Power of Consistency

If we are consistent in anything, let it be toward the Lord.

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;

And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.

Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.

Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.

Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.

All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.

Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.

10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

12 Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.

13 Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

15 Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.

16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.

19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.

20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.

22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

23 Then was the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.

24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.

26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.

27 He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Daniel 6 KJV

FEBRUARY 18, 202 THURSDAY

We live in a noncommittal world, where perseverance is all too rare. If a job is difficult or boring, people often think, Why not find another one? Or when a marriage becomes unhappy, many wonder, Should I be with someone else?

Sadly, this mindset is also found among believers. At the first sign of conflict, some Christians hop to another church instead of working through difficulties with their local body of believers. And when it comes to our personal walk of faith, many of us struggle to maintain a consistent quiet time with the Lord.

Daniel was a man of steadfast loyalty. Not even the awareness that he could be killed interfered with his practice of praying three times a day. Such commitment to the Lord was noted by others. Jealous officers and governors used Daniel’s consistency to trap him, but the king made a remarkable statement: “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you” (Dan. 6:16). Apparently, he believed Daniel’s devotion would be the key to the young man’s deliverance.

Daniel’s victory in the lion’s den led to great influence, as it inspired the king’s decree to worship the Lord. Have you considered that the Lord was able to use him because of his unwavering obedience and worship? Imagine what God can do with you when you also commit yourself to Him.

Daily Devotions

Our Amazing Bible

All throughout history, people have fought for their right to read God’s Word for themselves. So often we take that precious gift for granted. We have the freedom to read the Bible whenever we want. That’s not the case everywhere in the world. The Bible is God speaking directly to us, so if we want to communicate with Him and get to know Him better, we should read it often. Undertaking reading the entire Bible might seem overwhelming, but try a daily Bible reading plan to help you stay on track. Our soul needs God’s Word like our body needs air, food and water.

97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.

99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

102 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.

103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

13 Psalm 119:97-104 KJV

FEBRUARY 13, 2021 SATURDAY

13 Psalm 119:97-104 We often take our Bibles for granted. But have you ever considered how astounding it is that the God of the universe cared enough about humanity to give us His written Word so we could know Him? The Scriptures record God’s thoughts, words, desires, and purposes as well as His interventions in human history. The climax of His revelation is encompassed in the coming of His Son as our Savior, His plan of redemption, and Christ’s future return as King of Kings.

Amazingly, the Scriptures were compiled from the writings of more than three dozen people, recorded over period of about 1,400 years! Each book of the Bible reflects its human author’s personality, background, and vocabulary, yet every word was inspired as God Himself spoke through each writer (2 Peter 1:20-21). What’s more, though written by multiple hands over multiple centuries, Scripture is a cohesive compilation: Its message is consistent in truth, purpose, and prophecy.

Without God’s Word, we would know very little about Him and nothing about redemption. So never take your Bible for granted. Each time you open it, you are hearing God’s voice speaking directly to you. Take advantage of this privilege and read it regularly.

Daily Devotions

I love this Bible. It’s my favorite one. If you have trouble understanding the meaning of passages, the Expositor’s Bible with Jimmy Swaggart’s notes will greatly help you. I read this entire Bible last year. I followed a Bible-in-a-year reading plan, and I feel like I learned so much. I firmly believe Swaggart’s notes were truly inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Accepting God’s Solution

When we ask God for something, it can be easy for us to try to dictate the terms. For instance, when my grandmother was in the hospital with amiodorane toxicity in her lungs, I prayed for healing.

I’ll never forget when God used one of my closest friends to begin to prepare me for His will. She called me late one night and talked to me a long time about my grandmother. Then, she told me that she was praying for healing and for God’s will to be done, and she explained to me that He would answer that prayer—that she would either be healed in her physical body or she would be healed permanently by going to be with the Lord.

Well, I wasn’t ready to hear that. I wanted her here with us, so I began to try to coerce God into doing what I wanted. I began to pray specifically for her to be healed and live.

Alas, it didn’t turn out that way, and my faith was shaken for a while. Everyone says God answers prayer. If that was true, why didn’t my grandmother live?

I finally had to come to the realization that God had answered my prayer. My grandmother was healed, and now she’ll live forever.

God knew what I meant when I prayed for her to live. He knew I wanted her here on earth with us longer, but He knew what was best. God always answers prayer. It’s just that sometimes the answer is ‘no’ because He has something better planned.

I know my grandmother is in a better place with Jesus, my granddaddy, her parents, her brothers and sisters, and all our other loved ones who have gone on before. It was still hard to lose her, but God used it for good in my life too. He taught me spiritual lessons and used my grief to draw me closer to Him. With every trial that comes through life, we’re given an opportunity to learn to trust in God’s wisdom and depend on Him more. We learn more about His holy, everlasting character too.

We must trust God to answer our prayers in His way and in His own time. He wants us to bring our needs and wants to Him, but then we’re supposed to fully place them in His hands and have faith that whatever He decides is best—because it is—even if the answer is ‘no.’ Oftentimes, when the answer is ‘no,’ it’s because He has something more amazing than we could have ever imagined planned. Our job is to have faith in Him.

14 Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation;

15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

16 To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.

17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.

18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord.

19 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high.

20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.

22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.

24 And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.

25 And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.

2 Chronicles 20:14-25

FEBRUARY 12, 2021 FRIDAY 12

When we pray about a matter that is very important to us, it’s easy to begin telling the Lord how to answer our request. We’ve all done this, haven’t we? We start out asking God for help, but as our emotions enter in, we become more passionate about explaining what we want Him to do about it.

God promises to answer prayer (Mark 11:24), but sometimes His answers don’t satisfy us. Oftentimes we want relief from pain and difficulty rather than an extra measure of grace to endure in a manner that glorifies God.

King Jehoshaphat may have expected the Lord to answer his prayer by giving the army supernatural strength to win the battle, but God’s solution was entirely unexpected. His method was to send the choir out singing praises. Then God took care of the enemy without any help from Judah’s soldiers.

Instead of dictating a solution, Jehoshaphat trusted God to answer the prayer as He saw fit. And we should do likewise. Prayer is an opportunity to bring our concerns to the Lord and trust that He will answer in a way that brings glory to Him, not to us.

Daily Devotions

Bearing One Another’s Burdens

We’ve all needed someone to talk to before. We’ve all needed help in some form or fashion. We should be able to depend on fellow believers to help us through troublesome times, and we should likewise be willing to help our brothers and sisters when they’re going through trials and tribulations. Rather than casting stones or judgement, reach out to a hurting fellow believer in kindness and empathy as Jesus would have done.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

For every man shall bear his own burden.

Galatians 6:1-5

FEBRUARY 08, 2021 MONDAY

At some point, all of us struggle under the weight of a difficult situation. It might be a sin we cannot overcome, a trial that just doesn’t let up, or a need that remains unmet. However, there’s no need to struggle through it alone, because we have the support of fellow believers as we bear one another’s burdens.

There is an example of this in the book of Acts. Christians of the early church pooled their resources to help meet the material and financial needs of believers who were in poverty (Acts 4:32-35). Paul also displays this concern for others’ welfare in his various letters to growing churches. He knew it was his responsibility and privilege to strengthen them even though he was repeatedly undergoing his own hardships and afflictions.

We can’t wait until life is free from problems before reaching out to others—that day may never come. Though every one of us has his or her own needs, it’s important to remember we can do all things through Christ’s strength. And that includes sharing someone else’s burden.

When we’re willing to wade into a fellow believer’s troubles to help, that person is blessed, and we’re fulfilling the Lord’s command to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Daily Devotions

Made to Be Like Him

After we’ve been saved, our goal should be to reach spiritual maturity. This isn’t something we can do of ourselves. It’s something that happens when we let the Holy Spirit work within our lives and mold us into the image of Jesus.

“Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” -Galatians 3:3 KJV

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:26-39

FEBRUARY 05, 2021 FRIDAY

The Lord makes known His love for mankind in so many ways. Consider, for example, His providential care and kindness to all humanity, our beautiful planet filled with creation’s wonders, and the gift of eternal life to all who trust Christ as Savior. But have you ever recognized that God also shows love by transforming believers into the image of His Son?

Genesis 1:26 tells us that in the beginning, God created mankind in His likeness. Though that image was marred when Adam and Eve sinned, God’s purposes were not thwarted. Before He had created anything, the plan for mankind’s restoration was already in place (1 Peter 1:18-21).

God provided salvation through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. Everyone who trusts in Jesus is forgiven, spiritually reborn, and adopted into the heavenly Father’s family. The Holy Spirit enters each new believer’s life and begins the process of molding the renewed heart and mind into Christlikeness. And ultimately the transformation will be completed when we are bodily resurrected and stand before our Father in our glorified state.

But even before we reach that perfected state, God is glorified through His followers—when the likeness of His Son is revealed in our character, conversation, and conduct to those around us.

Daily Devotions

Learning to Wait

Today’s devotional kind of ties in with yesterday’s. It’s hard to wait for answers. We want them now, but sometimes when God doesn’t answer prayers right away, we become discouraged and start to think that He doesn’t answer. However, that’s not true! God ALWAYS answers prayer, but He answers in His own time, and sometimes the answer is no. When the answer is no, we must be humble and obedient and trust that He knows what’s best for us. Oftentimes, when God says no it’s because a) what we’ve asked isn’t good for us, b) it doesn’t align with His will and/or c) He something better in store for us.

25 Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.

Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

10 All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

11 For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

12 What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

13 His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

14 The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

15 Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

16 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.

17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.

18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

19 Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

20 O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.

21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Psalm 25

FEBRUARY 04, 2021 THURSDAY

What are we to think when we have prayed but the Lord doesn’t answer? As creatures limited by time, we can find waiting very frustrating. However, God doesn’t perceive time as we do. He knows the end of a matter before it has even begun. His knowledge reaches from eternity past to eternity future, and nothing is hidden from His sight.

Furthermore, His compassion and lovingkindness surround those who belong to Him. He allows difficult circumstances in our life, not to destroy us but rather to build up our faith and bring us to spiritual maturity. Sometimes He withholds answers because they are not spiritually beneficial for us. Psalm 25:9-10 teaches that waiting on the Lord requires at least three things:

1. Instead of demanding that God do things our way, we must humble ourselves so He can teach us His ways.

2. We must trust the Lord’s leadership, knowing that all His paths are established on His lovingkindness and truth.

3. We must be obedient to Him—which sometimes requires waiting and trusting.

If God seems slow in answering your prayer, realize that He hasn’t left you but is redirecting you onto His path.

Daily Devotions

Rely on God’s Spirit

So many Christians think they have to do something after they’ve been saved. They have to keep improving upon themselves. While it’s great to serve the Lord (and we should do good works), we must be careful that we don’t get into a “works” frame of mind, thinking that our works somehow make us better or warrant us anything. We must always realize that we cannot improve ourselves of ourselves. It is only by allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us that we can grow in the spirit.

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3:1-5

FEBRUARY 02, 2021 TUESDAY

Many years ago I learned a valuable lesson from a missionary who had spent 40 years in China. I told her about a struggle I was having, and I’ve never forgotten her reply. She said, “Charles, you won’t ever be any better than you are, but the Holy Spirit who lives inside you will enable you. You can’t improve your flesh.”

Until then, I’d always thought that if I worked hard enough, I would be a better person. It was an eye-opener to realize that our heavenly Father does not want or need our self-efforts. They can neither earn us salvation nor enable us to live the Christian life. In his letter to the Galatians, the apostle Paul said basically the same thing when he wrote, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3).

In our own strength, we are unable to do anything of eternal value. To become the person God wants us to be and to accomplish His will in our life, we must totally rely upon His Spirit. But it’s important to remember that dependence is not inaction. Paul described it this way: “I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Col. 1:29). Depending fully on the Holy Spirit is how our Father wants us to serve Him.

Daily Devotions

God’s Power Working in Us

Even after we’ve accepted Jesus Christ, we’ll struggle with sin because we still live in the flesh. Only when we get our glorified bodies will all sin go away from us. However, when we keep our faith in Christ and what He did for us at the Cross, we give the Holy Spirit latitude to work without our lives and help us to not sin.

This doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll never sin again—because we will. Can you really stop every negative thought from entering your mind? No. But when you do sin, you can repent. (This doesn’t mean this gives us a free pass to sin as much as we want, thinking, “I’ll just ask for forgiveness later.”)

We’re still to try our best to live righteously, but even our best is as filthy rags before the Father (“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” – Isaiah 64:6), which is why we must have the blood of Jesus Christ to atone for our sins.

However, instead of getting caught up in rules and the laws of the Old Testament, we’re to live by the New Covenant, which is grace. When you constantly keep your eyes on the Cross, you’ll obey the commandments as a loving response to our Savior, and you’ll actually hold to an even higher standard, such as forgiving others who’ve wronged you and exhibiting the same mercy our Savior does.

We’re all a work in progress, and it might take time for the Holy Spirit to mold us into who He wants us to be. Jesus serves as our mediator, asking the father for grace and mercy when we fail. None of us can keep the law flawlessly. If we could, there would have been no need for Jesus to come. He is the only one who ever lived perfectly. It is only with the help of the Holy Spirit that we can truly live righteously and experience spiritual success.

And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.

17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:4-18 KJV

FEBRUARY 01, 2021 MONDAY

It’s easy to become discouraged in the Christian life because of our struggle with sin. Even though we want to walk obediently before the Lord, we often find ourselves thinking sinful thoughts, adopting worldly attitudes, speaking rashly, and acting in ways that are anything but Christlike.

Whenever you feel defeated, remember this: As believers, we have all the power needed to live as God desires, because He has given us His Holy Spirit (John 14:17). So, although you may never achieve success as the world measures it, God’s Spirit is always working towards your spiritual success by …

Illuminating your mind to know the truth. Then you can grow in the knowledge of God and His Word (1 Corinthians 2:12).

Transforming your character. He produces His spiritual fruit within you, making you more like Christ (Gal. 5:22-23).

Aligning your desires with God’s will. He works to help you yearn for the things God wants (Phil. 2:12-13).

Strengthening you. He enables you both to endure hardship and to serve God (2 Corinthians 3:4-6).

Human strength and willpower fall short, but the Lord promises to complete the good work He began in us. And He will not fail.

Daily Devotions

The Danger of Error in the Church

It’s so important to read the Bible for ourselves to ensure we know God’s Word for ourselves. It can be too easy to accept statements from ministers as facts, but if what they’re preaching doesn’t align with the gospel, it’s false doctrine. Our ancestors fought for the right to read the Bible, and so often we take this precious gift for granted. God anoints ministers to lead and teach us, but we must be wary of false doctrine. Nothing can take the place of reading the Bible for yourself, for it is through it that God will reveal His true character to you. When you become familiar with scripture yourself, you’ll be able to discern what is false and what is truth.

16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

2 Timothy 2:16-21 KJV

JANUARY 30, 2021 SATURDAY

Ever since the beginning of church history, believers have been in a battle for the truth. That’s why, in today’s reading, Paul admonished Timothy to be faithful—not only in preaching God’s Word but also in refuting false doctrines. Both types of instruction are necessary for the health of a local congregation. False teaching …

• Leads to further ungodliness (2 Timothy 2:16). A false teacher’s words may sound religious, but something counterfeit can never make a person righteous. Apart from the true Word of God (John 17:17), no one can grow in holiness.

• Spreads like gangrene (2 Timothy 2:17). Once deceitful ideas infiltrate a church and are accepted by a few, contagion can ultimately make the entire congregation spiritually sick and prone to ignore the Spirit’s power.

• Overthrows the faith of some (2 Timothy 2:18-19). The church as a whole loses effectiveness when individual members turn away from Christ to embrace error. If we’re firmly grounded in the Scriptures, we can more easily recognize and flee from seductive ideas that would lead us astray. Accurate knowledge of God’s Word is our best protection.

Daily Devotions