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Devotions for Life

Promise Me

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and my supplication to God is for them, that they may be saved” (Romans 10:1).
She was ninety-two years old. Her children and grandchildren gathered around her during her last hours. She knew where she was going, but she wasn’t so sure about some of them. As she held each of their hands, she whispered, “Promise me that I will see you in heaven.” More than thirty years later, they haven’t forgotten their promise.

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Are You Ready To Be Hated?

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you” (John 15:18-19).

I recently read an article about a presidential candidate. The demand that this person is said to have made is that religion must be changed. Religion must be changed to accept abortion, same sex marriage, and the right to die. This isn’t just one candidate’s view. Many of the candidates support this because they desire to appease a highly vocal minority.

Christians are facing a choice in our culture. They will either love the world by being politically correct or be hated by the world because they love and obey God. “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15). Our Lord has drawn a line in the sand, and He demands that His followers be on the same side as He is.
We pray for our brethren around the world who are undergoing real physical persecution. At the same time, we rejoice that here we are not being persecuted. In the United States, Christians have long sought to blend in with non-believers. Now is the time for Christians to wake up and realize that we cannot be both politically correct and children of our heavenly Father. A choice must be made; we cannot be passively neutral. We will either be God’s friend or the world’s friend.
So when you choose God over the world, be prepared to be hated!
Song: “Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus!”

Allmighty, holy, righteous God, strengthen my heart to stand firm for You. I desire to uphold Your truth. Help my faith and trust not to waver, but to increase. In my Lord Jesus’ name. Amen.

Ed Wittlif, Denver, Colorado
es_witt_504@yahoo.com



“But If Not. . .”

Ponder: Your loyalty to God – conditional or unconditional?
Scripture: “But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up” (Daniel 3:18, NKJV).
Faithful children of God are the best citizens any earthly government has. Unfortunately, non-believers don’t always see it that way. For example, when Daniel’s three friends refused to bow down to the golden image King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, the Babylonian monarch became furious!
He had trained these men who were now serving in his administration; yet in this matter they were deliberately disobeying him. The king gave them fair warning: submit, or die a most unpleasant death! Nebuchadnezzar felt certain that no god would be able to save them from his blazing furnace. (See Daniel 3:1-16).
Daniel’s friends knew something Nebuchadnezzar had yet to learn: their God was not like the king’s gods. In contrast to impotent idols, the one true and living God could easily rescue them from the worst condition any human power could inflict upon them. He had delivered His people before, and Daniel’s friends had the utmost confidence that He could do it again.
Their only uncertainty pertained to God’s willingness, not to His ability. While they felt sure He would deliver them, did not presumptuously to speak for Him. However, their loyalty to God in no way depended upon their being saved from the fire. Three little words make that clear: “But if not . . .” Even if it meant God would let them perish, they still would remain loyal, rejecting the king’s command to worship his god.
Sometimes God rescues His people from harm. Other times, He sees fit to let them endure fiery trials. More than a few have perished in literal flames rather than deny the faith. Virtually never are we in the United States called upon to suffer physical punishment for righteousness’ sake. Regardless, our loyalty to God must never depend on whether He saves us from various trials.
Daniel’s friends practiced unconditional loyalty; they would be burned alive before they would compromise! Since they could do that, surely we can faithfully endure the lesser trials that befall us.
Song: “In The Hour Of Trial”
Prayer: Father, we are soft and spoiled. Our worst trials pale in comparison to what others of Your servants have endured. As we think of brothers and sisters who have suffered greatly yet courageously, and especially as we think of Jesus who suffered unspeakable pain and agony to rescue us from sin, help not to feel sorry for ourselves. Help us to make up our minds here and now that we will be loyal to You come what may. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Joe Slater (Justin, TX)
jaslater1954@gmail.com