Read: 1 John 1:5-10
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the
truth is not in us. - 1 John 1:8
The British are having trouble with foxes. According to The
Wall Stmet Journal, the sly little fellows have moved into London
and are making a general nuisance of themselves. They knock over
rubbish cans, swipe shoes left out to dry, destroy gardens, and
leave a foul odor. With the city borders being pushed farther
into the comityside, the little troublemakers are adapting rather
than moving - and many Londoners are frustrated and upset.
When you stop to think about it, little "foxes" can become
great aggravations for followers of Christ who are trying to
honor Him. What we may consider "little" or "harmless" sins can
be our downfall. "Stretching the truth," for example, is actually
lying. And gossip is nothing less than character assassinstion.
The trouble is that those little sins will inevitably grow
larger. Before we know it, we'll need to do some serious
repenting and confessing.
If some little foxes have crept into the backyards and
gardens of your spiritual life, the time to deal with them is
now. With the help of the Holy Spirit, identify them. Admit your
guilt, confess these pesky little practices to God, and get rid
of them before they ruin the entire landscape of your life. -
Today pull up the little weeds, The sinful thoughts subdue, Or
they will take the reins themselves And someday master you. -
THE MOST DEADLY SINS DO NOT LEAP AT US, THEY CREEP UP ON US.
WHO SAYS WHAT'S RIGHT?
Read: Romans 2:12-16
Gentiles, who do not have the law ... show the works of the law
written in their hearts. - Romans 2:14-15
People who reject absolute standards of right and wrong are
often inconsistent When they think they are being treated
unfairly, they appeal to a standard of justice that they expect
everyone to adhere to.
A philosophy professor began each new term by asking his
class, "Do you believe it can be shown that there are absolute
values like jusfce?" The free-thinking students all argued that
everything is relative and no single law can be applied
universally. Before the end of the semester, the professor
devoted one class period to debate the issue. At the end, he
concluded, "Regardless of what you think, I want you to know that
absolute values can be demonstrated. And if you don't accept what
I say, I'll flunk you!" One angry student got up and insisted,
"That's not fair!" "You've just proved my point," replied the
professor. "You've appealed to a higher standard of fairness."
God has given everyone a conscience to tell right from wrong
(Rom.2:1415), and His moral standards are written in the Bible.
Every time we use the words good and bad, we imply a standard by
which we make such judgments. Biblical values are true for any
age, because they originate with an eternal, unchanging God. -
Dennis De Haan
God has not left us in the dark About what's wrong or right, For
through His works and in His Word His Spirit gives us light. -
D. De Haan
ONLY GOD HAS THE RIGHT TO DEFINE WHAT'S WRONG.
HE IS THERE
Read: Psalm 139:1-12
He will not leave you nor forsake you. - Deuteronomy 31:6
Tanya's fiance David was lying in the intensive care unit
after a delicate procedure to repair a brain aneurysm. David's
eyes focused on Tanya, who had hardly left his side in several
days. In wonder, he said, "Every time I look up, you're here. I
love that. Every time I think of you, I open my eyes and you are
That young man's appreciation for the woman he loves reminds
me of the way we should feel about God's presence in our lives.
He is always there. The Lord's presence gives us comfort and
security. He has promised, "I will never leave you nor forsake
you" (Heb.13:5). Who knows us more cornpletely? Who loves us more
fully? Who cares for us so well?
In Psalm 139, we read what King David thought of God's
precious presence. He wrote, "O Lord, You have searched me and
known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; ... and are
acquainted with all my ways .... If I ascend into heaven, You are
there" (w. 1-3,8).
No matter what happens to us, we have this assurance: "God
is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Ps..
46:1). Open your eyes and your heart. He is there. - Cindy Hess
When we are walking through the green pastures, Or over mountains
rugged and bare; Precious the thought and sweet the assurance,
Jesus is always there. - B.Lillenas
WE CAN FACE ANY FEAR WHEN WE KNOW THE LORD IS NEAR.
THIS IS A WARNING
Read: Deut. 28:58-63
Just as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply
you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you. -
My wife purchased a birthday card containing these words
from a paraphrase: "The Lord has rejoiced over you and has done
such wonderful things for you" (Deut 28:63 TLB). It was such a
beautiful thought that she turned to the passage to read more.
She found that the words printed on the card were only part of
one sentence in a section where God warned His people what would
happen if they turned away from Him and disobeyed His commands.
The entire verse reads, "Just as the Lord has rejoiced over
you and has done such wonderful things for you and has multiplied
you, so the Lord at that time will rejoice in destroying you; and
you shall disappear from the land" (Deut.28:63 TLB). Now that
would be an unusual birthday greeting!
The experience reminded me how easy it is to select pleasant
phrases from the Bible while ignoring their context and meaning.
Today's passage is a warning from God to His people. It is worth
pondering for what it is a n expression of certainty as firm in
the spiritual realm as the law of gravity in the physical realm.
The Bible contains words of encouragement as well as words of
warning. It's important to appreciate both for their instruction
in our walk with Christ. - David McCasland
God's Word provides the nourishment That every Christian needs to
grow: Supplying strength from day to day By teaching what we need
to know. - Sper
THE MORE WE MEDITATE WITH THE SCRIPTURES, THE CLOSER WE'LL WALK
WITH THE SAVIOR.
RIVERS OF LIVING WATER
Read: John 7:37-44
Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. - Jhon 7:38
Just below the snowy peak of Mt.Shasta, near the headwaters
of the Sacramento River in California, an icy-cold underground
spring gushes out of the side of a cliff. My brother, who used to
live there, says that people flock there to fill their jugs with
the refreshing liquid.
Water quenches our thirst and sustains our life. In
Scripture, water serves as a word picture of the sufficiency of
the Holy Spirit. In Jesus' day, during the Feast of Tabernacles a
choir sang while a priest filled a gold pitcher with water and
poured it out, This reminded all those present of the water that
gushed from the rock during the wilderness wanderings (Num.
As this ritual was taking place, Jesus stood and said in a
loud voice: "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,
out of his heart will flow rivers of liv ing water" (John 7:39).
This source is the Holy Spirit, who is like a well of
satisfaction (7:39). Earlier, the Lord had made the dramatic
claim that the believer would have a continual source of
spiritual refreshment (4:14).
Are you thirsty today? Confess your sin, and Christ will
fill you with His Spirit. As you yield to His will, He will
graciously fill you with living water springing up to eternal
life. - Dennis Fisher
Gracious and Almighty Savior, Source of all that shall endure,
Quench my thirst with living water, Living water, clear and pure.
ONLY CHRIST, THE LIVING WATER, CAN QUENCH OUR SPIRITUAL THIRST.
A WORD FROM THE WISE
Read: James 3:1-12
Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.
- Proverbs 21:23
James, a "pillar in the early church" (Gal.2:9), recognized
the great destructive power and the danger of an uncontrolled
tongue. He was not alone. Men and women in many cultures have
warned us about the need to guard our speech. This bit of verse
by an unknown writer says it well:
"The boneless tongue, so small and weak, can crush and kill,"
declared the Greek
The Persian proverb wisely saith, "A lengthy tongue, an early
death." Sometimes it takes this form instead: "Don't let your
tongue cut off your head"
While Arab sages this impart: "The tongue's great storehouse is
From Hebrew wit, the maxim's sprung: "Though feet should slip,
don't let the tongue."
A verse from Scripture crowns the whole: "Who keeps the tongue
doth keep his soul."
Is it any wonder that James likened the tongue to a little
fire that sets a great forest ablaze, or to the very small rudder
that turns a mighty ship in a storm? (James 3:46).
O Lord, help us to learn a lesson from the wise. Help us to
hold our tongue and not let it slip. - Haddon Robinson
There are some silent people Whose praises should be sung;
They preach a mighty sermon By guarding well their tongue. -
WISE IS THE PERSON WHO KNOWS WHAT TO SAY AND WHEN TO SAY IT.
THE PAIN MACHINE
Read: Acts 24:16; Ephesians 4:31-32
I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense
towards God and men. - Acts 24:16
Dr. Paul Brand, who served as a medical missionary in India,
told about lepers who had terrible deformities because their
nerve endings could not feel pain. It didn't hurt when they
stepped in a fire or cut their finger with a knife, so they left
their wounds untended. This led to infection and deformity.
Dr. Brand constructed a machine that would beep when it came
in contact with fire or sharp objects. It signaled the warnings
of injury in the absence of pain. Soon machines were attached to
the patients' fingers and feet. That worked well until they
wanted to play basketball. They took the machines off, and often
became injured again without knowing it.
Like physical pain to our bodies, our conscience alerts as
to spiritual harm. But habitual and unrepentant sin can numb the
conscience (1 Tim.4:13). To keep a clear conscience, we need to
respond to the pain of appropriate guilt by confession (1 John
1:9), repentance (Acts 26:20), and restitution to others (Luke
19:8). Paul could say with confidence, "I myself always strive to
have a conscience without offense toward God and men" (Acts
24:16). Like him, we should not grow numb to God's painful
reminder of sin but allow it to produce in us godly character. -
My conscience must be well-informed From God's own sacred Word,
For conscience may be much deformed When standards pure are
spurned. - Fraser
A CLEAR CONSCIENCE IS A SOFT PILLOW.