Friday, May 27, 2022

What is Truth

Then Pilate said to Him, "So you are a King?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a King. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world— to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice." Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" (John 18:37, 38, ESV)

Worldly people will always be callous and cynical about spiritual things. Pontius Pilate illustrates the insincerity of the worldly man, as he sarcastically scoffs at truth when it is standing right before him —"What is truth?" He had no real interest in truth, but in establishing and maintaining his own agenda, while denying and defying the authority of the Kingdom of God. Pilate was blind to the truth and blind to the Savior standing before him — and that continues to be true of the worldly man, even today. Pilate was not simple enough to believe, and his worldly mindset missed the most profound expression of truth there will ever be —Jesus. All he saw in Jesus was weakness, and his eyes were blind to the King of Glory who stood before him. If we are not careful, there will be a little "Pilate" in us, and we too will miss Christ in the crucial moment, because we are looking for someone or something "great." May we all take the more earnest heed to all the Lord is revealing — lest we, like Pilate, fail when we are tested.

 

"I am the way, the truth, and the life."

 

Let's Pray - Father, I accept the truth You spoke to me in Jesus, and in Him alone. He is enough for me, and the truth is found in Him. Amen.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Guarding Against Pride

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23, 24)

Pride is the most dangerous of sins, because it is blind to itself. It is a bold affront to God, and we're all guilty of it; yet it is so subtle that we rarely detect it, confess it, or pray about it. Pride plans, acts, and thinks independently of the Lord, even in ministry. Pride distorts our self-concept, props us up, puffs us up, and makes us believe things of ourselves and others that are not true. It makes us consider ourselves first and last, it takes and demands more credit than it deserves, and it thinks about itself more than it should. The prideful man doesn't respond to correction very well. Now, I'm sure each of us can immediately point to at least one person who fits this description. The proof that we are prideful is we didn't point to ourselves.

 

Pride can be most dangerous when we insist on being right. Only God is good, only God is wise, and only God is right; and we do well to remember that. As long as we stand on our Christian principles, our doctrines, and our knowledge, we will miss the heart of God every time; His is a heart of love. He is not at all impressed with rightness, but righteousness — and the Bible makes it clear that we have no righteousness of our own to stand on. Only in Jesus Christ do we find moral perfection, and He expressed that perfection through service and sacrifice, not by being right or superior to others. Remember, we are born again into a life that follows His example of humility, love, service, and sacrifice. That is where our pride dies, and Christ comes alive in us. That is what it means to be led in the "way everlasting." Search us and lead us in the everlasting way, Lord. Amen.

 

Let's Pray - Lord, forgive me for the sin of pride. I am guilty of thinking more of myself and less of others. Please help me to walk in the humility of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Increase Our Faith

And the apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith." (Luke 17:5) 

Beware of a romanticized view of faith. Faith is not a tool to get what we want from God, but a means for God to get what He wants from us! Faith teaches us to wait, pray, and obey, while never imaging that God is anything but completely trustworthy, and that He will keep us and His promises to us. It is a partnership whereby we submit ourselves to God, believing and walking with Him toward things we can't yet see and what we don't yet have. But what we do have is most important, and that is a life hidden with God in Christ.

To increase our faith is to exercise our belief in God, so that it becomes the useful and powerful tool He intended. God is faithful, and as our faith increases, we glorify Him for all to see. Everything He permits in our lives, whether blessing or hardship, is to make us more like Jesus. He was tested and tempted, yet He remained faithful. The same will be true of us, if we abide in His love and heed His counsel. May our lives take on the sweetness of a faith-building adventure — joyful, and expectant; and may the Lord enrich and increase our faith, as we abide in Him daily.

Let's Pray - Father, may we not miss the opportunities You give us to increase our faith. May difficult times cause us to seek You more and more, and to worship You on a deeper level than we ever thought possible. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Test of Faith

But Sarai was barren; she had no child. (Genesis 11:30)

Our difficulties are not difficult at all to God, even though they can frustrate us greatly and make us wonder if He is even aware of what we are facing down here! I believe the Lord tests us all at one point or another, just to teach us to believe in the power of His Word over the limits of our flesh. Abram and Sarai could not conceive a child, yet God was going to call them to be the father and mother of a holy nation, Israel. They would eventually become a man and woman of faith, and they would learn to walk with the Lord and wait on Him — but it wasn't going to be easy; and it's not going to be easy for us, either.

It is a snare to believe that faith leads to a smooth and trouble-free life — quite the opposite is true. Overcoming faith leads us to God, and it will bring us to a deep and abiding dependence on Him. Faith is the beginning and the end of our relationship with God, and it is generated and maintained in that relationship alone; therefore, it is impossible to approach the Lord on any other basis. There is no other way to please Him than to trust and obey Him at His Word. That is what faith is and does; it is our trust in God, and it always trusts in God. Do you always trust in God? Do you have faith?

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Let’s Pray – Lord, I learn through Abraham and Sarah that I can trust You with my life and the desires of my heart. I have come to believe that nothing is impossible for You.  Thank You, Father. Amen.


Monday, May 23, 2022

Who May Abide?

Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. (Psalm 15:1-2)

Honesty is an essential trait of God’s children, and God can only reveal Himself to those of us who recognize and speak the truth in our own hearts. When we entertain any deception or dishonesty, we may see Jesus, but not accurately, and not as Lord and King. The longer we refuse to accept the truth about ourselves or anything else, the longer it takes for us to recognize what Jesus Christ has come to do in our lives. We will never find our true identity in what others say about us, or even what we say about ourselves. But immediately when the Lord speaks the truth and we receive it, we are set free to see Him for who He is, and to see ourselves for who we truly are.

And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me, I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified.’” (Leviticus 10:3) 

The Holy Spirit searches our hearts with the intention of making us aware of anything that is an offense to Him. Drawing near to the Lord is not a frivolous thing, and those who come to Him must do so with pure intentions, for He will not be compromised by sin or fleshly agenda. Oh, that more of those who call themselves ministers would realize this; that the Lord is holy, and He will not partner with anyone or anything unholy. Let those who serve the Lord remember, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom . . . (Proverbs 9:10). Take heed, men and women of God!

Let's Pray - Father God, please teach me to hallow Your presence, and may I always serve You humbly and acceptably. I tremble before Your Word. In Jesus, Amen.


Sunday, May 22, 2022

Pure in Heart

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (John 1:47-49)

How is it that Nathanael received the truth about Jesus so readily, when all Israel failed to recognize their Messiah? It was because Nathanael possessed integrity, which Jesus immediately recognized and acknowledged — “. . . an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” This was a man who was honest with himself and others, a man who kept his word, a straight-shooter, one who meant what he said and said what he meant. Jesus commended him for his truthfulness, because it made the way for him to see the Messiah. 

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8) 

The Lord is willing to share life and truth with any man or woman, as long as they are honest. The moment we lie to God or ourselves, or refuse to acknowledge the truth we've been shown, we grieve the Holy Spirit away. The Lord will not partner with lies or liars, and integrity is a non-negotiable in the Kingdom. There are those who believe they can get away with something less than uprightness, but the Word makes it clear that is not so — Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14) 

May we all, like Nathanael, be guileless, open-hearted, and prepared to receive the truth when it is presented to us. And remember, Jesus is the truth.

Let's Pray- Father, bless me with purity of heart today. I want to see You more clearly than ever before. In Jesus alone, Amen.


Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Good Fight

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)

There are many fights in life, but only one good fight. The good fight is the battle we wage to be sure God is glorified in everything we do. One thing matters — “Is God honored in this?” Peter says, If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. (1 Peter 4:14)

Paul reminds and encourages us to show up every day and fight the spiritual battles the Lord sets before us, to finish the course, and to keep the faith delivered to us once and for all by our Savior, Jesus Christ. So, be encouraged today. Ignite the flame within you with the Word of God and stand with the saints like never before. Lift your hands through the clouds and darkness all around you and be the conqueror God says you are. Put on the full armor of God, get in the fight, take back all Satan and sin have stolen from you, and magnify the Lord in all you do. Most importantly, know this — you have the victory in Christ Jesus. And remember, the only spiritual battle you can lose is the one you refuse to fight! Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)

Let's Pray - Dear Father, make me a soldier in Your army, and deploy me on the mission to bring many souls to glory. Amen.