Category Archives: Daily Devotional

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

Do not be drunk with wine, for that is reckless living. But be filled with the Spirit.

— Ephesians 5:18

When we receive Christ we are baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body, but, alas, we are leaky vessels. Every hole is caused by sin, and so we need to be filled with the Spirit. By the way, the verb “be filled” is what is called a “continuous, repetitive tense.” It means not just a one-time action, but something that occurs over and over again. So, too, we need to continuously ask God to fill us with His Spirit.

How vital that prayer is. You can do nothing for Christ—you can’t teach Sunday school, bear witness, preach, or anything else without the Spirit of God enabling you to do so. We need to obey Him, which means a determination to turn from whatever it is God shows us by His Word and Spirit is wrong.

We need to place a guard on our eyes—what we look at; on our ears—what we listen to; on our lips—what we say; on our hearts—what we think; and on our feet—where we go. When we do, God’s Spirit will fill our hearts and minds, and He will guide our steps.

Question to ponder:
How can we continually be filled with the Holy Spirit?

A Longing for the Word of God

As the deer pants after the water brooks, so my soul pants after You, O God.

— Psalms 42:1

Several years ago, around the time that the Soviet Union was imploding, American Christian booksellers were invited for the first time to show their wares at the Moscow Book Fair. One of those booksellers brought 50,000 Bibles to give away to the people there. After several hours, the police stopped the give-away for the simple reason that there was such a mob of people clamoring for Bibles that every aisle of the Book Fair was jammed and traffic was gridlocked. So they were required to stop giving the Bibles away for two hours, then they were allowed to resume for another hour, then another break, then resume for another hour. The police weren’t trying to prevent them from distributing Bibles—they were simply trying to keep the Moscow Book Fair open.

Further down the same aisle of the Book Fair, Madalyn Murray O’Hair was at the American Atheist Society booth displaying their wares. Someone who was there told me that virtually no one even stopped to see what she had to offer. They knew about it all too well. They had had atheism for seventy years and they wanted nothing more to do with it.

What a privilege it is to have the Bible. Let us never take it for granted.

Question to ponder:
Do you feel a longing for the Word of God?

America: A Christian Nation

… although they knew God, they did not glorify Him, or give thanks to Him as God, but became futile in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

— Romans 1:21

“America: A Christian Nation” is a concept that has been so systematically blotted from the collective memory of this country as to sound in the ears of most Americans like an alien philosophy, an intrusion of religion into the tranquility of a secular nation.

This is a nation that was born of the Bible. In 1982, Newsweek Magazine observed that some historians are now coming to realize that it was the Bible, even more than the Constitution that founded this nation.

Today as we look at our country, we see a nation that has ceased to glorify God. When a people forget God, their hearts become darkened. But God still has many of His own in our land—many of whom are calling on His name and living humbly before Him, just as did the Pilgrims, the Puritans, and other godly settlers, along with many of our founding fathers.

We should endeavor to remember that the secret of America’s greatness is the creed that our rights come from God. God-given rights are non-negotiables. This is a great heritage, one that we can pass on to our posterity.

Question to ponder:
What does it mean to be a “Christian nation”?

Christian Heritage of America

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.

— Psalms 33:12

John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the United States, said: “The highest glory of the American Revolution was ______.” What? It secured our independence from England? It got rid of the Stamp Tax? The Tea Tax? It dissolved our bonds with Parliament and the king?

No.

What was the highest glory of the American Revolution? Listen well to what President John Quincy Adams said: “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the precepts of Christianity.” “One indissoluble bond”—government and Christianity. Well, today there are those who have come with their solvents of unbelief, skepticism, atheism, Marxism, humanism, and secularism, and they are doing everything in their power to completely dissolve that indissoluble bond.

You and I were born in a Christian nation. That may not be said for our children or grandchildren unless we who have received this marvelous patrimony do something other than let it sift through our fingers like sand because we are engaged simply in the pursuit of own “personal peace and prosperity,” as Dr. Francis Schaeffer used to say.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and we should never take our freedom and our great heritage for granted.

Question to ponder:
How can we pass Christian heritage on to the next generation?

“Duty is Ours”

If the foundations are broken, what can the righteous do?

— Psalms 11:3

All nations that have ever existed have either been founded upon some theistic or anti-theistic principle. This is true whether we think of the Hinduism of India, the Confucianism of China, the Mohammedanism of Saudi Arabia, or the Atheism of the former Soviet Union.

If we know our history, we know that America was a nation founded upon Christ and His Word. Those foundations, indeed, are crumbling in our time. There are those in our country today who are busily tearing apart that foundation, those who would gnash their teeth at the idea that this is a Christian nation. They will not be satisfied until they have removed every vestige of our Christian heritage—not only from the minds of the people, but also from the monuments of this country.

We see the hatred people have for God and His Christ, and we tremble at the enormous assault on all things godly. What can the righteous do? Often in history God has raised up one person who has turned things around. One person is not too small. He has called us to be faithful to Him. John Quincy Adams once said, “Duty is ours. Results are God’s.”

Question to ponder:
Is God calling you to help make a difference “for such a time as this”?

At the Right Hand of the Father

Therefore He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, because He at all times lives to make intercession for them.

— Hebrews 7:25

The Apostles’ Creed declares that Jesus “sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.” What does that mean? It indicates a completion of His work of atonement and the beginning of His work of intercession. Hebrews 10:11–12 tells us that every priest stands daily ministering and offering sacrifices that can never take away sins. But Jesus, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.

Christ has finished His work as our High Priest. His blood made full atonement for all our sins. Now He sits in the seat of authority at the right hand of God. Not only has He taken away our sins and made us right with God, He invites us to come boldly before His throne. Christ Himself hears our prayers and intercedes with the Father on our behalf. Jesus is our advocate with the Father and therefore we can pray with confidence.

Question to ponder:
Picture yourself clean and spotless, standing before God Almighty Who awaits your prayer. How will you pray and what will you ask for?

The Threat of Humanism

Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart departs from the LORD.”

— Jeremiah 17:5

For every effect, there must be a sufficient cause. What is the reason, the etiology, of this disease, which is eating away at the very core of America? There is, without question, an absolutely new philosophy, a philosophy of secularism, of humanism—or, as it is called, “secular humanism.” This philosophy has taken over the educational elite of this country and if they have their way, it will be imposed upon virtually every teacher, school, and textbook in America.

There are those who like to decry this and say that secular humanism is a myth. I read an article recently that said secular humanism is something invented by television evangelists. The American people are often so credulous that they will believe such an idea in spite of the fact that there is in existence the American Humanist Association—of which John Dewey was the first president. There is also The Humanist Magazine, which must have obviously dropped out of the sky because, according to them, there is no humanist organization printing it.

Humanism is not to be confused with humanitarianism, which is doing good for humanity. Humanism is trust in man, in opposition to God. But God’s Word declares: “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD” (Proverbs 21:30).

Question to ponder:
Are there any ways in which you trust in yourself rather than in God?

The Second Mile

And whoever compels you to go a mile, go with him two.

— Matthew 5:41

Centuries before Christ, Cyrus the Great was a mighty monarch of the Persian Empire, which stretched from one end to the other of the known inhabited world. He invented the first national postal system, probably because the decrees of the king of the Medes and the Persians were inviolable and could not be changed, so it was important that the people heard about it when the king made a decree. In the process of putting that huge postal service in place, Cyrus the Great issued a decree that the couriers could require any person to carry any burden on his person, his mule, his cart, a horse, in a ship or whatever, for one mile. After that, he could not impress or compel him any further.

The Romans adopted this postal system, along with the custom of compelling a person to carry a burden for a mile. It was a very onerous thing for the Jews, who already detested the fact that they had to pay taxes to the despotic and tyrannical Roman conquerors.

When Jesus said we should go a second mile, it was unthinkable to His Jewish hearers. It was unconscionable. Then they would have to walk two miles back—that’s four miles. Does Jesus know what He is asking? Ah, yes, He knows. Jesus not only taught it by precept, he taught it by example. It is one of the most difficult things anyone will ever learn to do. It is the art of true Christian forgiveness carried through to the end.

Question to ponder:
How can you apply the second mile principle in your life today—showing kindness to someone who may not deserve it?

God and the Arts

One thing I have asked from the LORD … to see the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.

— Psalm 27:4

Christianity has been a great patron of the arts—from paintings to music to the great cathedrals.

Now there are those who have supposed that the second commandment against graven images forbids the use of visual arts altogether. However, God also gave all of the instructions for the building of the tabernacle, and in that tabernacle were all manner of visual arts. On the veil that separated the holy place from the Holy of Holies there were flowers and pomegranates and palm trees and many other things. Note what it says about the high priest’s clothing: “And you shall make holy garments for your brother Aaron, for glory and for beauty” (Exodus 28:2).

God is a God of beauty. He changed the chaos into the cosmos—a thing of beauty. The very word means order and beauty. Cosmetology is the practice of beautifying the face. God is the great artist who beautifies His creation, giving us the magnificent sunsets He paints for us every evening. He gives us the glory of the budding flowers and the beautiful trees and plants that we all enjoy. God is not opposed to art. He is the Great Artist. What God forbade was idolatry, the worship of an idol or even of the true God through an idol.

Question to ponder:
What place does art play in your life in general and in your spiritual life particularly?

Available for God

… according to your days, so shall be your strength.

— Deuteronomy 33:25

What is the greatest ability we can have when it comes to serving God? Is it the ability to preach great sermons and lead thousands to Christ? Is it the ability to cross the ocean and serve in some great missionary enterprise? Is it the ability to stay home and rear children in the Christian faith? All of these things are important and have their place.

I believe, however, that the greatest ability that the Christian needs is availability. Are you available to God? Are you available to Him today and each day to use you?

When we make ourselves available to God, He equips us for every good work He wants us to do. He gives us the strength to accomplish that which He has set before us.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV). Someone recommended taking that verse and repeating and emphasizing separately each succeeding word. “I can do all things through Christ,” not merely the apostles, or the martyrs or super saints, but “I can do all things through Christ.”

That is a promise to you. Do you believe it? “I can do all things … I can do all things.” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Question to ponder:
If you knew you couldn’t fail—because God was in it—what great thing would you attempt for His glory and others’ good?