22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you will have eternal life. This statement is not the hopeful thought of a human; it is a promise from God. Now that you have freed yourself from things of the world, you are ready to follow Jesus. If you have not taken this step in faith, now is the time. Christ accepts us all, just as we are. Changing your life style will not be easy, but as we have read in earlier devotions, Christ gives us direction for making these changes possible. Read His Word daily and begin your life with Him today.
Dear Lord, thank You for the true love that You have for me. I know that You want to bless me this very day. I can’t even comprehend the things that You want for me. I will trust Your Word and be faithful. Please help me to continue to grow as a Christian so that I may live as Your Word commands.
15 Be very careful, then, how you live- not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
What is the Lord’s will? How do we know if we are living in His will? God gives clear and concise direction on how He wants us to live our lives. Every detail is found within the Bible. The only true way to know if you are in God’s will is to have a relationship with Him and request that He make His will known. Once you have established a relationship with Him you will then want to learn more about Him and read His Word daily. For those who are married, compare this with your relationship to your wife. How could you ever know how she feels or what she needs if you didn’t communicate with her regularly? It’s simple, you wouldn’t! Do not fool yourself; you can not possibly know Christ without a deep, daily, true relationship with Him. Once you develop this walk with Him, you can expect to be guided on how you should live your Christian life.
Dear Lord, thank You for Your Word. Thank You for desiring to have a true relationship with me. Let me come to You daily, seeking knowledge and wisdom as to the way I should live my life. I would like to start today with a more fulfilling life, fully dependent on You.
James 1: 2-4
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
How in the world could someone consider it pure joy to face trials of many kinds? The answer lies within the question itself. “The world” can not find any joy in such situations. Only those who live in Christ could possibly find these trials as rewarding. God uses less than ideal circumstances to allow us to learn and grow. It is through those times that we learn to be strong in our faith and depend on His Word. His goal in this is to draw us closer to Him and to make us more like Christ. When we as believers look back on certain trials in our lives, we can see that He was right there with us the entire time. His ultimate responsibility is not to see that we are comfortable here on earth, but to make sure that we are ready on the Day of Judgment.
Thank you, God, for caring so deeply about my soul. I know that You are with me always. Please continue to show me that I grow as a Christian through each trial. Let others see my joy in Christ, even as I experience what would appear to them as the worst of times.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, the sins of past are washed away. God says that we are a new Creation. Not only did He create us as humans, but now He recreates us as believers in Jesus. Though we must repent of our sins, we should not let them weigh on us any longer. God wants us to remember right from wrong but not be mired down by our past so much that we can not function properly. Take on your new life and move forward in Christ. Take this time to thank God for making you new. The Word does not say He rebuilt the old you, you are brand new in His eyes. Show Him your appreciation for this transformation by learning from His Word and ministering to others who need to know of His love.
Dear God, thank You for making me new. Your grace has given me freedom; I am now able to do Your good work with no reluctance. Please help me to lead others to experience Your grace and mercy.
10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
In these verses, Jesus has cleansed the heart of a woman who had committed a great sin. If each of us use this time to confess our sins to the Lord, and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we can begin these final days leading up to the Lay Renewal with a fresh clean heart. Ask Jesus to cleanse your heart and life and start a new relationship with Him so that you may be prepared to open your heart for new things to come for ourselves and our Church.
Dear Lord, please forgive me of my sins. Accept me, with a new clean heart and fill me with Your Spirit. Prepare me to hear Your word and begin a new life, walking with You and learning from Your word.
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
If we watch television for just a few minutes, we will soon see a commercial attempting to sell pills or juices for weight loss and muscle growth. If you were to order these pills or formulas, your new package would arrive and inside you would certainly find the product along with instructions for a highly regimented exercise plan. You see, the pills have very little to do with obtaining the fit body that you may desire. It is through daily exercise, hard work and a proper diet that others are able to achieve success in this area. No pill can repair a broken spirit or strengthen a weak Christian. It is from daily Bible reading, spending quiet time with God and studying His Word that allows us to be the strong Christian that God desires us to be.
Dear Lord, thank you for providing the true words for us to live by. Let me read your Word daily with a willing spirit and a desire to become the man or woman of God that You want me to be.
10 Create in me a pure heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Once again we find someone in the Bible who has found himself deep in sin. In this case, the person has been told of his sin by another believer and is now convicted. David is repenting and asking God for forgiveness. In order to worship properly, we must first be cleansed of our sins. We all commit sins daily. We feel that some sins are small and others we may feel are terrible or unforgivable. God wants us to be clean of all sin so that we can worship Him with a pure heart. Now, the Holy Spirit can dwell in us and we can experience God fully.
God, thank you for having a forgiving heart. Your word teaches me that I may come to you with my transgressions and be freed from the bondage of sin. Please show me where I fail you Lord. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may worship You with all of my soul. Let no sin place a barrier between us.
John 7: 16-17
16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. 17 If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”
Jesus was sent to earth as a human being. Though he was fully human, His word and teachings were straight from God. He challenges us to begin to live in God’s perfect will. As we begin to take this journey we soon learn that His words are true. We can not experience God as He has planned for us until we submit to His will. To find out exactly what He has willed for us, we must walk with Him daily and read His word. Through study and prayer we can ask God to make His plan for our lives known.
Dear God, open my heart that I may learn Your will for my life. Allow me to experience You as I never have before. I trust that Your plan is made perfect for me. Let today begin the journey that You have in store for me.
4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me: I have found my lost sheep.” 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
Let’s help God find the “one.” Search for and reach out to the one person that you know is lost. Help bring them to the Lord. This is one way that we can be God’s hands. There will be great joy in reaching this lost soul. There will also be a possibility that this person knows others who are lost that he himself may be able to reach. One lost person can certainly lead to many. Only Jesus can save a soul but we can be the link that unites the two. Those who are saved must be used as instruments to lead others to Christ. Our goal as Christians is to grow the kingdom of God through love.
Dear God, use me this very day. Help direct me to someone who is lost. When I find that person, give me the strength to lead them to You. Let me show true love and genuine care in bringing other people to come to know You. Let them see something in me that would give them a burning desire to have a relationship with You.