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Devotions for Life

A Healthy Faith

Today’s Verse: “I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake” (1 John 2:12 NASU).

How would you describe a healthy faith? First, in this devotional, let’s see what a healthy faith is not.In extreme cases, some believe God tells them to do horrible things. A few years back a lawyer killed his family to save them “for fear they were straying from their religion.” He said he shot them execution style and then knelt and said prayers for them.

We would be missing something, however, if we think that dysfunctional faith only exists in the lives of those who are deeply disturbed. There are many people whose religion makes them more miserable than happy. They believe they can never please God, and they will never be good enough for God. Guilt overwhelms them.

Others feel they are special, and suffer with a haughty self-righteousness. They believe they are better than others because they “have the truth” and others are just too ignorant to see it.

Some live a life of sin believing that God’s love will overlook a lack of repentance. They think their general goodness, and religious service somehow compensates for their sins and that there is no need to repent.

We need to understand that grace does not give us the right to sin, nor should we think that we are out of grace every time we fall. “But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:7-10 NASU).

Song: “His Grace Reaches Me”

Dear loving Father, remind us that Your grace forgives us, and we should, therefore, forgive ourselves. Remind us to let go the past, and move forward. May we serve You in humility, and never take You for granted. In our Lord’s name, Amen.

Rob Redden, Arroyo Grande, CA
rredden604@aol.com



False Assumptions

Today’s Verse: “But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s'” (Mark 8:33 NAU).

When Jesus first announced to His disciples that He would be killed in Jerusalem, Peter took Jesus aside and rebuked Him. When I recently read again this statement in Mark, it was as if I was reading it for the first time. I was deeply moved. Peter acted upon an impulse of concern, but he did a horrible thing. Good intentions cannot mask the disrespect and discouragement given to Jesus. Who among us would ever think to rebuke our Lord Jesus? Why did Peter feel it was in Jesus’ best interest to rebuke Him? He thought that Jesus was speculating because of the confrontations and threats He had received.

Jesus was wrong, according to Peter. Peter felt that the twelve could easily protect Jesus from harm. Peter even felt that he would sacrifice himself to save Jesus. In his heart he felt this. But Peter was wrong. His assumption that Jesus was exaggerating the seriousness of the situation was wrong. He was wrong in thinking that he could protect Jesus from being killed. He was wrong in the way he handled his false assumptions.

Have you ever discovered that you were wrong even though you had good intentions? I have. Many times. Have you ever felt something was best for someone and you expressed it and found out later you were wrong? Have you ever failed to take someone seriously and something bad happened. I have. How often have we had first impressions about someone that were proved completely wrong after we got to know him?

Sometimes it’s hard to be a Christian. We suffer a sense of failure in more ways than people of the world. We take things more seriously, or we should, when we find out how wrong we were about a person. We are more sensitive to guilt for even the things done with good motives that turned out bad.

The world has it easy – in a sense. But this ease is loaded with potentually dangerous consequences. Jadedness may easily overtake the people of the world, and even Christians if we neglect keeping our hearts tender. Come to think of it. There’s nothing about being a Christian that is easy, nor would I really want it to be any other way.

Song: “Thomas’Song”
Dear Father, You do not need our counsel, nor can we teach you, All Wise Father. May we seek Your wisdom, and counsel to be wise ourselves in our perceptions and insights. Humble us in our conceits and make us less sure of our own wisdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Rob Redden, Arroyo Grande, CA
rredden604@aol.com



Disadvantages In Being A Christian

Today’s Verse: “And He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me'” (Luke 9:23 NAU)
If a salesman spent time talking about the disadvantages in buying a new car, he wouldn’t be employed long. When we think about the advantages of being a Christian, we must remember Jesus said we must count the cost.


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