From: October 1, 2018
Scripture for today: Isaiah 62:6-65:25; Philippians 2:19-3:3; Psalm 73:1-28; Proverbs 24:13-14
From: October 1, 2017
This is the problem with the idea that we can live a good enough life to please God and earn entrance into heaven–– “our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” We make the mistake of comparing ourselves to those around us and concluding that we are as good as the next person, maybe better. We look at ourselves and feel that our good deeds outweigh the bad, but we miss the fact that even our good works are polluted by sinful attitudes and motivations. We know that we have sin areas, but we also dare to believe that we have good areas too. Yet from God’s perspective, our very best deeds and thoughts are like “filthy rags” (Literally, “menstrual pads” or “leper’s bandages”). We have chosen the wrong standard of righteousness for comparison. Only when we consider the righteousness of God as revealed in His Word, both written and incarnate, do we realize the vast chasm separating us. You see, it’s not only that He is without sin, but that His every word and deed shine as bright and pure as sunlight. It is this Light that reveals how truly we live in darkness. But God did not send His Son to condemn us, but that through faith in Him, we might be saved (John 3:17-21). When we come to Christ, we receive that which we could never earn, we receive His righteousness, a righteousness that fully pleases God.
From: October 1, 2016
After describing a coming day of the Lord’s judgment, Isaiah prophesied of a “new heaven and a new earth” (Isa.65:17), a time when the predator and the prey will no longer be at enmity. With the new creation, there will be a new order where peace will reign. This prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.
From: October 1, 2015
Do you “draw near to God” every morning? Do you take a moment to lift your eyes above your circumstances to contemplate His holiness, to read His Word, to seek His direction, and to receive a fresh filling of His Spirit? Drawing near to God, we put our “trust” in Him and we fill our mouths with His praise, so that we “declare” His works all day long. Or do you attempt to live life on your own, depending on your own strength and wisdom? Why not join the psalmist and every believer throughout the ages who has discovered this secret of living: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
From: October 1, 2014
Paul warned the Philippians against the Judaizers who would have the Christians live under the law of circumcision once again, rather than the law of the Spirit. He taught them to “rely” on Christ’s finished work on the cross, rather than their own human effort. When we have acknowledged and accepted the finished work of Christ, we are able to have the complete joy and freedom that we are fully accepted by God. Our confidence, and therefore our joy, is in Christ alone!
From: October 1, 2013
Paul commended Timothy to the Philippians, saying “I have no one like him.” Through the years of ministry together, Timothy had proven himself as one who really sought Jesus in all things. Paul had seen enough of those so-called ministers who were really in it for their own interests. I wonder what Paul would think of our ministry? More importantly, what does Jesus think? Are we seeking His interest in all things, … or our own?
From: October 1, 2012
We sometimes struggle with questions of fairness. We ask,”Why do good people suffer, while bad people prosper?” Our question implies that God isn’t fair. That He has somehow taken His eye off the ball and allowed injustice to happen. We suffer from a limited perspective. We don’t see how things will end. But God does. Trust Him with judgment. He hasn’t missed a thing. Ultimately, no one will doubt His justice.