Friday

Unashamed

Jesus only way of salvation, Jesus saves
After reading So Many Voices, a woman wrote saying I should be ashamed that I called non-Christian religions "false."

I responded by explaining that the Bible says Jesus is the only way of salvation and those who reject Him go to hell.

Because I believe the Bible, I'd be wrong not to warn people of this truth.

See John 10:9-10, John 14:6, Acts 4:12, 1 John 2:23, and 1 John 5:20 for a sampling of what the Bible teaches about there being only one True God.

I'm not surprised that this truth offends people. Jesus said that the world would hate us for believing He is the Son of God (John 15:18).

And while I like approval as much as anyone, I hope every devotion I write is based on Biblical truth. 

And I pray that I will never be ashamed to share that "Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life" (1 John 5:12).

Thursday

God's Incredible Patience

God destroys whole cities, God's anger, God's patience
Suppose we walked into a room and witnessed this:
"Tommy, pick up your toys."
"Which toys, Mom?"
And without another word, mother sent Tommy to his room for disobedience.

We'd think this mother too harsh.

But suppose we entered the room an hour earlier when she clearly asked Tommy to pick up all his toys... or thirty minutes later when she reminded him he needed to pick them up before company came... or fifteen minutes after that when she told Tommy she'd punish him if his toys weren't picked up soon.

Instead of seeing her as harsh, we'd consider her patient - too patient. 

We'd see her requests as reasonable and Tommy's reactions as rebellious.

When people call God harsh for destroying whole cities in Old Testament times, punishing sin in the present, or sending people to hell in the future, they base their opinion on the end of the story, not the whole story.*

In all cases, God is exceedingly patient. He gives us more chances than we deserve (Psalm 103:8-14).

* For one example of God's patience and willingness to give men more chances, read the book of Jonah.

Wednesday

By Heart ♥

Memorizing God's Word, Dwelling on God's Word, Knowing the Bible by heart
Recently I wrote about knowing a Scripture passage "by heart" (5 Keys) and I began thinking about that phrase.

What a great way to describe "hiding God's Word in our hearts" (Psalm 119:11).

♥ It's more than memorizing words, although that's part of it.

It's letting those memorized words sink deep into our hearts permeating our thinking, speaking and acting (Colossians 3:16).

It's taking those words to heart in every situation where they apply.

It's wholeheartedly believing those words instead of trusting our own reasoning powers or the reasoning of others (Proverbs 3:5)

It's having a heart for the things of God.

It's letting God's truth pierce our hearts (Acts 2:37), bind up our broken hearts (Psalm 147:3), soften our hearts (Ezekiel 11:19), cleanse our hearts (Psalm 51:10).

It's letting God write His Words on our hearts (2 Corinthians 3:3).

Yes! I want to know God's Word "by heart."

How about you?

Tuesday

Old Letters in the Attic

Psalms are divinely inspired letters, heavenly Father's heart, Psalms help us
Imagine finding a box hidden in the attic, forgotten.

You open it to find personal letters to your great grandfather from his children--letters asking him difficult questions, commenting on his importance in history, asking his advice, begging for his help, and gratefully acknowledging his love and faithfulness.

If you wanted to learn more about this family patriarch, you'd study these letters.

This is one reason we study the Psalms--letters, songs and poems written to One far greater than a righteous relative. Divinely inspired, they give us a look into our Heavenly Father’s heart through the eyes of His children who pleased Him, disappointed Him, suffered for Him, shared His glory, and asked Him difficult questions about life.

"I sought the Lord and He answered me..." Psalm 34:4

Reading some of the Psalms each day is a good practice. If you read the number corresponding to the day's date in increments of 30, you'll read the book of Psalms each month. For example, on the first day of the month you'd read Psalm 1, 31, 61, 91, and 121. If you'd like, you can save the longest Psalm - 119 as your only reading for the last day of months with 31 days.
© copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2011

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All Scripture references NIV unless otherwise noted.