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More to Life

More to Life


More to Life

Devotions for Life

Legible Letters

“You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by
all men” (2 Cor 3:2 NASU).
In Paul’s day, itinerant preachers often carried letters of
recommendation because there were many wolves in sheep’s
clothing making a fairly good living fleecing the flocks.
But even false teachers obtained letters, perhaps forgeries,
to make a good living.
Perhaps some newcomers in the Corinthian church wasn’t satisfied
about Paul’s reputation, but wanted letters of recommendation before
they allowed him back into the church. Paul denied such need because
he said they were his letters of recommendation, known and read by
all men, and written by God through Paul’s ministry there.
Paul called them an epistle of Christ. “Epistle” is another word
for letter. Today, letter writing is disappearing. E-mail and
text-ing today are substitutes for letters.
  Whether its e-mails or letters,
I see a wonderful comparison between letters and Christian character.
First, letters are written to be understood. There is a message being sent.
We too, as Christians, wish to be understood, and not misrepresented.
Second, letters are not always written carefully, and the message is
distorted by the readers to say something the writer never intended.
Today, Christians must make sure that they live in such a way that
people will not get the wrong message about our character, and
stand for morals and biblical teaching.
Third, if the letter is well written, it still might be misunderstood
because of ignorance, or carelessness, or even an evil heart.
Likewise, a Christian may live a upright life, and his motives
and goodness may be questioned because of
the faults of observers. They may despise the Christian, and try
to find anything to discredit him.
Fourth, upbeat letters are written to bring joy to the readers.
“As cold waters to a thirsty soul, So is good news from a
far country” (Prov 25:25 ASV). Christians are a blessing to
everyone who takes time to “read” them.
Today, we ask every Christian to live a legible life, and send
the right message to others.

Hymn: “Tell Me The Story Of Jesus”

Dear loving Father, may the change that Your Spirit has
made in our lives through Your word shine forth clearly
that You may bless others through us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Rob Redden, Arroyo Grande, CA

The Wondrous Cross

“For the Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (I Corinthians 1:22-24).
One of the most horrible execution instruments ever devised has become viewed as wondrous. What made the cross wondrous? Why do people wear crosses as jewelry? Why do people hang crosses on their walls? This is the only instrument of execution to be so revered. What is so wondrous about the cross?
God pictured death by crucifixion as a curse (Deuteronomy 21:22-23). When the Israelites sinned against God in the wilderness, God sent fiery serpents to kill them. God gave the people a means of salvation by telling Moses to cast a bronze serpent and raising it on a pole. Those who were bitten could look upon the serpent and live (Numbers 21:6-9). Jesus used this to picture His being lifted up so that we can be saved (John 3:14-15).
Christ Jesus became a curse for us by being crucified (Galatians 3:13). All of mankind sins; thus we are enemies of God. Jesus saves us by His death from the wrath of God (Romans 5:6-11). We have peace with God because Jesus died a really horrible death on a cross in our place.
What makes the cross wondrous? The fact that the Son of God died on the cross becoming a curse for us. Jesus freely took God’s wrath upon Himself so that we are spared that wrath. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Love makes the cross truly wondrous. Paul understood that love and surrendered his life to Christ (Galatians 2:20). As the last line of the song below says, “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”
Song: “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross”
Loving Father, I am in awe of the extent of Your love. I surrender my all. In Jesus my Redeemer’s name. Amen.
Ed Wittlif, Denver, Colorado

An Upright Voice

“They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing. No good thing will be withheld from them that walk uprightly” (Ps. 84:11).
Jesus did not set the kind of rules by which the world’s judges condemn those who are Christians. The supposition is often that any follower of Jesus who misses a worship service, or is seen with a sinner, or eats or drinks what they consider sinful or taboo must not be a spiritual or upright person.
However, you can’t fool God who judges the heart of man. The desire to be like Jesus in what is said in that body of people who give of their time and fortune for the cause of Christ can appear hypocritical outside the body of worshippers.
Rumors and innuendoes can do an injustice. At one time, I taught second grade and had a lesson for seven year old son what is said about others being hurtful, truthful or not. I’d have the class form a circle around the classroom and then whisper a short statement to the child at the beginning of the line to be passed on as quickly as possible.
Passed through thirty or more students’ ears and lips . . . Well, you know what happened . . . The message came out differently than first proposed. Something like, “I guess we’ll have liver for lunch,” might reach the end of the circles with, “My hunch is she’s a little fibber.”
In hearing from our brothers and sisters in Christ, we, too, may become confused or mistaken in what we hear or be too willing to pass it on to others. Such talk can be critical, particularly in our judging of speech, or song leaders, or preaching, or in the fellowship shared in communion.
Jesus told of His live for all mankind, praising those who did the things considered vital to our relationships. Being forgiven, we do our best to live His example, He said, “I am come that they may have life. . . More abundantly” (Jn. 10:10).
Hymn: “Just A Closer Walk With Thee”
Gracious Father, please guide us in our appraisal of other’s doing, judging not their effort in relation to our own. Silence our lips, tune our ears to self in judgment. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Gordon V. Herrmann, Santa Maria, CA