God’s Shaping Tools

It’s important to spend time with God every day. Just like any other relationship, your relationship won’t grow without communication. Reading the Bible for yourself, praying and earnestly seeking God will keep Him forefront in your mind. Sometimes just meditating on God and His Word more makes all our problems seem less daunting. When we keep our eyes on Jesus and what He did for us at the Cross, we’ll be more heavenly minded, and the obstacles in this life won’t seem quite as monumental.

12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Romans 12:1–5 KJV

MARCH 01, 2021 MONDAY

God’s kindness is demonstrated by the fact that He doesn’t leave us in the condition we were in before salvation. Throughout our life, the Lord uses certain tools to shape us into the image of His Son.

God’s Word. We grow in Christ when we spend time reading the Bible, because Scripture is like food that nourishes our soul (Matt. 4:4). Yet sadly, some Christians rely only on the Sunday dinner of the Word served up by a pastor. 

Prayer. We learn to depend on the Lord by coming to Him with our needs and concerns as well as our praise and gratitude. As we regularly draw near, our intimacy and love for Him grows. Instead of seeing prayer as a duty, we’ll realize our time with the Lord has become a delight. 

The Church. The body of believers is another important factor in our transformation because that’s where we learn to love one another.  It’s also where we find encouragement, receive biblical instruction, and experience accountability.

Our culture has no shortage of worldly voices and pressures that fill minds and influence behavior. But when we intentionally schedule time for God, His Word, and His people, He does His transforming work in our life.

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.

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

U is for Understanding

One of the most common reasons why many people give up on reading the Bible is because they say that it’s too difficult to understand. Indeed, the Bible is a complicated text, and even the most learned scholars admit that they can’t fully understand the depths of it. You could study the Bible your whole life and still only scratch the surface of the wisdom contained within its pages.

What’s the point in reading it if we can’t understand it then? Well, the Bible is unlike any other book. As strange as it may sound, with the reading of it comes understanding. No, it won’t happen suddenly, but the more you read the Bible and pray for understanding, the more it will gradually begin to make sense to you.

Part of what’s so cool about the Bible is the way God uses it to communicate with us. We might read a passage one day and get a certain message out of it and then read it again months down the line and get a different message from it – something that we didn’t see before.

Ask for God to guide your reading. Express your desire to know Him better and to glean understanding from the Bible’s pages.

Everything in the Bible might not make sense to you now. But someday it all will. We have such a privilege that we can freely read the Bible. Study it to learn more. Its pages can provide you with beauty and comfort if nothing else, but when you couple you thirst for understanding with prayer, you’ll be surprised just how much more you’ll start to understand.

Blogging A to Z Challenge: U