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Archive for September, 2013

The Purified Word

September 30th, 2013

Every word of God is flawless…

Proverbs 30:5

The word translated “flawless” is related to the purification of gold and silver. Psalm 12:6 says, “The words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.” The word of God is different from our words. Our advice to one another must be refined through the fire of experience and often we see them fail. God’s word is not proved by us, it is not refined by us in a process where we separate the true from the false, the relevant from the irrelevant – rather it comes from the mouth of God already perfectly formed, with no deficiency, no impurities, no irrelevancies. Upon one day, one passage from God’s word may speak to us more clearly than another, but that does not mean the other is false, or even irrelevant, for we cannot see or understand our own lives. Often the most relevant passages we dismiss because they do not seem to suit our temperament, even though our very souls are upheld by the truth they proclaim.

Upon one day, when all is sunny and bright, we do not think much of the truth, “And underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27). Our soul seems healthy and fit, life seems as it should be, and we take delight in such truths as, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10), we have no time for the thought that beneath us are the eternal arms of the eternal God.

Then comes another day, and the sky seems dark, our souls feel sad, our journey seems lonely, and our strength is gone. To speak of joy when our hearts are broken can be grating, but then we hear the other truth, that the arms of God are beneath us to uphold us no matter what may happen, and it is spiritual medicine to our souls.

The word of God is already refined before it came from His mouth, and it will suit us in the testing fires of life, it will minister peace to our souls and lift us up and encourage us. It tells us of the Father’s love, of the Son’s sacrifice, of the Spirit’s abiding presence, of the work He has called us to do, of the peace that we have as we follow Him, and of how much we are to mean to one another.

Our words will fail, but God’s word will always achieve the goal for which it was spoken in the first place. Embrace it with faith in your heart and it will become to you a source of endless comfort and peace.

Daily Devotions, Evening Devotionals

Courage Is Always Needed

September 27th, 2013

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:3

Often in athletic events a good team suddenly falls behind in the score and must regroup, rediscover their commitment to win and forge ahead despite the odds. In American idioms, we call this a “gut check” – seeing if we have the courage or “the guts,” to continue even when things do not look in our favor.

In living the Christian life, we also have times when courage is called for – more than once in life we will have to measure up to a new level of challenges that will require maturity, courage, and determination to overcome the odds and opposition set against us. In fact, this will be a common occurrence in our life.

Hebrews was written to second generation Christians who lived toward the end of the Apostolic Age. For many of them, their parents had braved rejection and persecution to embrace Christianity, but would the same level of commitment be required from their children? The answer is an obvious and clear, “Yes!” Of every generation, and at every stage of life, courage to believe is required. We will not face all of the discouragement this world will dish out upon us only at one moment in life, rather at each stage of life we will face opposition from our growth in and service to Christ.

When things seem dark and we feel that our efforts are not producing the results that we would like, when the spiritual ground we seem to have gained earlier through painstaking effort seems to be eroding away, when we feel overwhelmed by unrelenting opposition, when the bevy of problems we are called to face comes in endless supply, then especially we are to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, consider the opposition He faced, so that we will not lose heart.

But we should also be encouraged for we do not follow Christ only by looking at Him, it is not merely our determination that keeps us going forward, rather the overcoming Lord indwells us Himself and as we learn to lean on Him we find His strength becoming ours – a supernatural source of determination for every challenge of life.

Leadership, The Core , ,