Friday

Still Our Biggest Problem

1 John 2:3-6, Sin, Christian view of sin
Christ completely paid for our sins on the Cross - past, present and future. 

But sin is still our biggest problem.

If we love Christ:
1. We'll be more concerned about our sins, not less (1 John 2:3-6).
2. We'll remember the awful price Christ paid for our sins (1 Corinthians 6:20).
3. We'll deliberately deal with our sins, knowing we can have victory in Christ's strength (Ephesians 1:15-23).

If we blame-shift, excuse, ignore, or justify our sins, we're in a dangerous place:

"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives." 1 John 1:8-10

We can welcome sin or welcome God's Word; not both.
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Thursday

The Culture Cure

Discipleship, love of the world, John 2:15-17
When I watch a 1980's movie, I can't believe I once wore those huge shoulder pads, over-sized blazers, and bulging pleated pants.

Our culture is a powerful force influencing what we wear, do and think, and we listen more than we realize.

There have been times in the history of various nations when Biblical values were widely accepted by the culture. We are not living in one of those times.

When Christians think we can act, think and look like the world and still follow Christ, we put ourselves in a dangerous position: 

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." 1 John 2:15-17

Let's ponder this passage today, dear Christians.

The 1-minute devotion Rejecting or Protecting Error also talks about discernment.

Wednesday

"Solid Food" Faith

1 Peter 2:2, Hebrews 5:11-14, growing up in our faith
Infants can survive on milk alone. It's easy on their young digestive systems, providing calcium to fuse the gaps in their skulls and strengthen their bones.

But there comes a time when milk is not enough. Solids must be added to their diet so their digestive system can mature and operate as God designed.

We immediately recognize a problem if a toddler never progresses beyond the bottle.

Unfortunately, we don't always recognize this problem when it's spiritual.

We all need the pure spiritual milk of the Gospel to provide a "skeleton" for our beliefs (1 Peter 2:2), but we must move on to solid foods to build muscles of faith (Hebrews 5:11-14).

Eating solid food means:

1. Studying Scripture ourselves instead of letting others tell us what it says (2 Timothy 2:15).

2. Applying Scriptural principles to our lives in relevant, practical ways. "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power." 1 Corinthians 4:20

What's on your menu?  
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Tuesday

That's Not Jesus

Another Jesus, Who Jesus Really is, John 14:23
I often hear people talk about a Jesus who isn't the Jesus of the Bible. 

The Jesus they refer to is usually popular with unsaved folks, which is the first sign that he isn't the real Jesus (John 15:18). He doesn't talk about sin, judgment, or hell like the real Jesus does (Matthew 18). He doesn't say he is the only way of salvation like the real Jesus does (John 14:6). He doesn't say what the real Jesus says about obedience and love (John 14:21-24).

Unfortunately, many Christians also have an incorrect view of Jesus. They believe He's pleased with them no matter how casual their faith is. But Jesus is clear:
“If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine... All who love me will do what I say." Matthew 10:38; John 14:23 NLT

Let's read our Bibles and make sure we know the real Jesus! He loves us too much to be satisfied with a watered-down faith.

Another devotion that discusses this truth is "Another Jesus."
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All Scripture references NIV unless otherwise noted.