Fasting When You're Still Eating


While authorities disagree about the benefits of fasting, many believe it gives the digestive system a needed rest so it can rid itself of toxins. 

Fasting and prayer is certainly Scriptural.(1)

But I want to suggest some fasts that have nothing to do with food – fasts to rid our souls of toxins that may be damaging our spiritual health.

How about:

1. An entertainment fast(2)
Give up Secular TV, movies, books and music for a determined time to regain sensitivity to the ungodly toxins they contain.

2. A spending fast(3)
Refuse to buy anything except necessities for a determined time to regain perspective on the difference between wants and needs.

3. A social media fast(4)
Turn off technology and actively invest in your flesh-and-blood relationships.

4. A noise fast(5)
Try sitting silently with God’s Word and see if the world’s noise has been drowning out His voice.

So what do you think? Do you need to do some fasting?
---------------------
(1) These are some of the New Testament references to fasting:
Matthew 6:16-18; Luke 4:2-4; Acts 13:2-4; Acts 14:23

(2) These 1-minute devotions might help you ponder your entertainment choices Biblically:
Haunted, No Shades of Grey, Soft-Core Christians.

(3) For helpful 1-minute devotions about material wealth, see the archive of Money & Things.

(4) For helpful 1-minute devotions about relationships, check out the Relationships Archive.

(5) Check out this 1-minute devotion about noise: Cacophony - Psalm 46:10.

If you liked this devotion sign up below for a free subscription and have a 1-minute devotion delivered to your email each weekday.
After signing up, you'll be sent a FEEDBURNER email. Click link in that email to start your subscription
 .

Enter your email address

Biblical Guard Rails, Safety Rules, and Exit Ramps


“A fence at the top of the precipice is far better than an ambulance at the bottom of it.” J. Sidlow Baxter*

Some Christians overemphasize rules, but not all rules are bad. Some are like fences or guardrails that prevent our car from careening over the edge into a valley of sin.

Sometimes we need guardrails and other times we need safety rules. 

When we come to an intersection we need to look both ways, evaluate the oncoming dangers, and proceed only if the road is clear. 

We’ve all had “spiritual accidents” and ended up on unsafe roads that led to overeating, overspending, anger, immorality, irresponsibility, etc.

If we get ourselves in the middle of a temptation traffic jam, God promises to provide a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). But He warns us to avoid unsafe roads altogether (2 Timothy 2:22).

We need guardrails and safety rules; and if neither work, we need to hurry off the exit ramp that God provides.

* Awake My Heart (Nov. 9-11) by J. Sidlow Baxter, Zondervan, 1960

If you liked this devotion sign up below for a free subscription and have a 1-minute devotion delivered to your email each weekday.
After signing up, you'll be sent a FEEDBURNER email. Click link in that email to start your subscription
 .

Enter your email address

Grace and Works, Faith and Obedience

Grace and Works, Faith and Obedience are Intertwined

Paul addresses a heresy in Romans 6 that is growing in popularity today. 

This heresy claims that since we're saved by grace and forgiven:
1. Our behavior doesn't matter.
2. God is always pleased with us.
3. Those who emphasize obedience are legalists.

Grace and Works, Faith and Obedience are Intertwined
Legalism focuses on human effort, stresses external actions, and brings bondage.(1)

Faith stresses yielding to God so He can change us from the inside out (Philippians 2:12-13). It brings freedom because it's motivated by our love for Christ and our desire to please Him (Ephesians 5:8-13).

As A.W. Tozer explains: “Faith and obedience are two sides of the same coin and are always found together in the Scriptures.” 

Ephesians 2:8-9 which says we're saved by grace, not works is in the same Bible as James 2:17 which says faith without works is dead.

The best way to rid our churches of this dangerous heresy is to encourage personal Bible study. Scripture clearly links grace and works, faith and obedience (see below). So should we!
---------------------------------------
Matthew 7:21Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

John 14:21: Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. 

1 John 2:4: Whoever says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

1 John 3:24: The one who keeps God's commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

1 John 5:2: This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 

1 Peter 1:2: God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.

Romans 1:5: Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name's sake. 

Acts 5:32: We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.
------------
(1) Legalism focuses on the letter of the law, not the spirit of the law (See Calvin & Hobbes).

If you liked this devotion sign up below for a free subscription and have a 1-minute devotion delivered to your email each weekday.
After signing up, you'll be sent a FEEDBURNER email. Click link in that email to start your subscription
 .

Enter your email address

5 Ways We Reflect God's Image

5 Ways We Reflect God's Image

Have you ever wondered at the meaning of the phrase "spittin' image"?

Some experts believe it started as “splitting image,” a reference to the mirror effect of wood grain when it's split.

Others believe it originated as "spirit." 

I'm voting for this last possibility because it's a good reminder that mankind is the only part of God’s creation made in His "spirit image."

"God created mankind in his own image..." Genesis 1:27.

5 Ways We Reflect God's Image
This doesn't mean we have physical features like God. It means we reflect God's character in certain ways.

For example:

1. We're Creative
We can design, build, paint, sculpt.

2. We're Intelligent
We can plan, reason, think critically.

3. We're Communicative
We can speak, write and sing.

4. We're Relational
We can have meaningful relationships with God and others.

5. We're Loving
We are capable of love.

6. We're Spiritual Beings.
We're not simply products of evolution. 
    The better we know God, the more clearly we reflect His image. 

    It's interesting that Scripture compares God's Word to a mirror (James 1:23-24). In order to reflect God's image we must look into His Word and obey what it says .

    Reference: The Phrase Finder  
    This devotion originally published on Bible Love Notes in 2012.

    If you liked this devotion sign up below for a free subscription and have a 1-minute devotion delivered to your email each weekday.
    After signing up, you'll be sent a FEEDBURNER email. Click link in that email to start your subscription
     .

    Enter your email address

    Guard Against Plank-Eye

    Plank-Eye Disease: Cause and Cure - Matthew 7:1-5

    It has troubled the planet from the beginning of time, but it seems to be more epidemic of late. It’s a terrible vision problem that damages the mind and eventually affects the heart. 

    Plank-Eye Disease: Cause and Cure - Matthew 7:1-5
    Unfortunately, most folks who have it are in denial and never get the help they need. 

    What is it? 

    It’s plank-eye disease described in Matthew 7:3-4: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?”  

    It comes from overlooking our own sins and concentrating hypocritically on the sins of others. It causes us to lose perspective of the truth.

    The cure: 
    Listen for God's conviction and genuinely repent of our sins. Only then will we “see clearly” enough to deal with our own sins and help others deal with theirs (Matthew 7:5; Galatians 6:1). 

    To do a short Bible Study on this devotion, check out today's Bite Size Bible Study.

    If you liked this devotion sign up below for a free subscription and have a 1-minute devotion delivered to your email each weekday.
    After signing up, you'll be sent a FEEDBURNER email. Click link in that email to start your subscription
     .

    Enter your email address
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...