Verse of the Day and Devotion

November 11, 2017

Scripture

…But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. – 1 Corinthians 6:11 NKJV


Devotion

I’m not what I used to be. I used to be a real piece of work. I didn’t think so at the time, but the longer I live the more I realize how far I was from the way God wanted me to be. I used to live for myself and no one else. Everything I did was for my benefit. I didn’t consider the thoughts and feelings of others. It was always about me and only me. I did what I wanted to do and never thought about whether it was the right thing to do. I simply assumed I was right because I judged myself by my own standards, rather than the standards of God.

I’m not what I used to be. Thank God, I’ve changed a lot. Of course, it wasn’t me that made the change. It was God who changed me. Spiritually, He washed me in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God. As a result, I transitioned from being a non-Christian to being a Christian. At the same time, He also justified me. That is, He pardoned my sins and accepted me as being righteous. I didn’t always act righteously, but God accepted me as righteous anyway. At the end of my days, heaven awaits me instead of hell.

God also sanctified me in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God. That is, He began the process of sanctification in me. Slowly but surely, I began to walk away from my former way of life. I stopped focusing on me and me alone. I started to think about the concerns of others, especially my fellow believers. Instead of directing my life in accordance with my own thoughts and desires, I began to seek after and follow the lead of the Lord Jesus. He became my shepherd. He became the Good Shepherd to me. (Psalm 23).

I’m not what I used to be- but I’m not perfect. There are times when I drift back to the things I used to do. There is, however, a big difference between back then and now.

Now I know that a person who has been washed, justified, and sanctified shouldn’t act in those ways.

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Verse of the Day and Devotion

November 7, 2017

Scripture

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” – John 12:24 NIV


Devotion

In our verse for today, Jesus states a law that holds for the realm of plants. More specifically, he states a law that holds for wheat plants. If a wheat kernel is never sown into the ground, then it will remain a single seed and will not produce a harvest of many seeds. On the other hand, if it is sown into the ground, it will die. It’s death, however, will give life to a stalk of wheat and, ultimately, to a harvest of many wheat seeds. The death of the wheat kernel is necessary for there to be a multiplication of wheat seeds.

Jesus, of course, uses the law that holds for wheat as an analogy for a spiritual law. More specifically, he uses the law as an analogy for his own mission on earth. If Jesus hadn’t been crucified and buried in the ground, then he would have remained a single individual and would not have produced the many Christians that came after him. Since he was crucified and buried, he has given spiritual life to his many followers. His death was necessary for the spiritual life that was in him to be released and to produce a spiritual harvest.

The law may also serve as an analogy for our own lives. If we are never spiritually crucified with Christ, if we are never spiritually buried with him through baptism, then we will never produce a spiritual harvest of any kind. Our old way of being in the world, our sinful spiritual selves, must die and be buried if we are ever going to truly live spiritually, if we are ever going to produce a spiritual harvest. In Christ, and in him alone, is true spiritual life. In Christ, our lives begin to move in a spiritual direction that produces the life of Christ in every area of life.

The law may also serve as an analogy for our own lives on a daily basis. Whenever our sinful spiritual selves try to rise up from the grave, whenever they try to take control of us again, we must, as it were, stuff them back down into the grave.

With the Lord’s help and through the power of His Spirit, we must stuff them back down where they belong.

1 & 2 Timothy Devotional Study


So many times we despise who we were before Christ saved us, but the truth of the matter is, God can use our “before and afters” for His glory. The transformative work Jesus did in Paul’s life made his testimony powerful. It encouraged others and gives us hope that if Christ could take a man like Paul who was once a persecutor of Christians and turn him into a preacher – this man who once murdered Christians turned missionary – then there is hope that God can do the same in our lives. 

Friend, don’t despise who you were before Christ. Like Paul, share your “before and after” testimony. In doing so, you’ll encourage others that the amazing work God did in you, He can do in them, too. 

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for your patience in my life. Thank you for not viewing me as I am, but instead through the lens of love, grace, and mercy. Thank you for your patience as I continue to be a work in progress. Amen. 

Here is a true statement that should be accepted without question: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and I am the worst of them. But I was given mercy so that in me Christ Jesus could show that he has patience without limit. Christ showed his patience with me, the worst of all sinners. He wanted me to be an example for those who would believe in him and have eternal life. Honor and glory to the King who rules forever. He cannot be destroyed and cannot be seen. Honor and glory forever and ever to the only God. Amen.
1 Timothy 1:15‭-‬17 ERV

http://bible.com/406/1ti.1.15-17.ERV

1 & 2 Timothy Devotional

Friend, remember this today when those voices of accusation attack your mind and regrets from the past weigh heavily upon your heart: despite Paul’s past, Jesus extended grace, faith, and love to him, and He does the same for you. What matters most to God is not who we were formerly, but who we are now that we are His. LIVE in the freedom of His grace. Allow His waves of faith and love to wash over your heart and renew your mind through His Word.

Dear Jesus, 

Thank you for extending your grace, faith, and love to me. Like Paul, I don’t like who I was before you came into my life. Help me to see that the old me is gone, and you have given me a new life and a new future (2 Cor. 5:17)! Amen.