Category Archives: Devos

Who… What can help us in our deepest trials and difficulties?

depression

Have you been going through a terrible trial and no one seems to really understand? Everyone seems to have words and plenty of advice… but somehow their words seem empty, and sometimes downright cruel!

Job, the ancient patriarch, would understand!

He told his “comforters” – His so called “friends”: “Worthless physicians are you all! Oh that you would keep silent, and it would be your wisdom!” (13:4-5) Now, I’m sure they were sincere in their desire to help. They thought they knew the reasons for Job’s problems, and they certainly thought they had the answers for him.

But Job told them, “In the thought of one who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune!” (12:5) Wow! Isn’t that true! It’s easy to criticize when you’re comfortable – answers abound when it appears that we’re the ones that “have it all together” and things are going well!

Job went on, however, He asked, “Will it be well with you when God searches you out? Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses are defenses of clay!” (13:9, 12)

Our friends usually mean well, but there are limitations on what they can do. Compassionate comforters understand the value of “presence” and carefully weighed words of encouragement and counsel.

But frankly, where does the best help come from? From Someone who has been through trials like ours and understands us and our situation at the deepest level… Someone with unlimited ability to know our situation and help us! That “Someone” is the Lord Jesus Christ! Here’s what the Bible says about Him, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need!” (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Let me be one voice to encourage you to do precisely that! Talk to Him frankly about your situation, your feelings, your struggle! He understands! He can help you!

Devotion or Despotism

Devotion or Despot… One expresses itself in a voluntary, self-giving, deep love relationship – the other is characterized by bondage, victimization, and abuse and even death! Devotion describes the life of a redeemed, deeply committed, disciple of Christ. Servile existence under the cruel despot, Satan, describes those who under the deceitful guise of “freedom” become the slaves of sin!

We see case studies of both around us… Selfless, devoted servants of the Lord – free to serve the Lord and others with love, joy, and peace. On the other hand, our world is filled with unhappy people, living in bondage to Satan and sin, victimized by the deceptive “freedoms” they have chosen.
I read about both today during my time of “coffee with the Lord”…

“Are we to go on sinning because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! … Thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness… Just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness… The end of those things is death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (From Romans 6:15–23 ESV)

Which have you chosen? I’m so glad that I have chosen to serve the Lord and to be the devoted “slave” of all that pleases Him! And as God leads and helps me I want to lead as many as I can out of bondage to sin into the wonderful moral and spiritual freedom of Christ… Hey it leads to REAL freedom, righteousness, and ultimately eternal life!

“It’s easier said than done!”

easier said than done“Easier said than done!” … is a classic, “tongue in cheek” response people give when they believe they have received a simplistic solution to a complex problem.

However, some thorny problems have rather simple solutions (even if the application of the solution is, as they say… “Easier said than done!” Here’s just a sample…
 “Don’t spend what you don’t have!”
 “Plan ahead… It pays off later!”

Overcoming sin and living a victorious life as a Christian is a bit like that… It really has a simple solution (but the application of it – the doing of it can be challenging – and probably requires an ongoing process of application) … I read about it this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” – Romans 6:1-11…

The secret to overcoming sin and living a victorious Christian life is fully identifying with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (and it’s all pictured in water baptism)!
 Jesus died for our sin… And His death is somehow our death to sin!
 Jesus was buried… Our identification with His burial is pictured and realized in our baptism!
 Jesus rose from the dead! And by identifying with His resurrection we are enabled to live new, overcoming lives!

So… “CONSIDER YOURSELVES to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Jesus Christ!” Do that publically and decisively at the time of your water baptism… Then consider His death for your sin – your death to sin; His burial – your burial of your old sinful self; His resurrection – your resurrection to live a new life, overcoming sin by His power and enablement!

Here it is right out of the Bible (read it, reflect on it, believe it, and appropriate it day by day!)…

“So should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead… So you also must consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:1-11 the New Living Translation)

“Easier said than done?” I know – believe me, I know! But I also know it’s God’s Word, it’s God’s provision in Christ Jesus, and it’s God’s promise… and IT WORKS!

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