A PILGRIM’S JOURNEY

No temptation is too great

How can you avoid the guilt experiences by John Bunyan?

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
Keep me from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me.

Psalm 19:12-13 

Now, all glory to God, who is able to keep you from stumbling, and who will bring you into his glorious presence innocent of sin and with great joy.

Jude 1:24 

A Pilgrim making progress

John Bunyan, who wrote the class The Pilgrim’s Progress, (CLICK LINK TO WATCH MOVIE: PILGRIM’S PROGRESS JOURNEY)had been a godless youth with a “great desire to take fill of sin, still studying what sin was yet to be committed, that might taste the sweetness of it.” However, while still in his twenties, Bunyan was convicted by the Holy Spirit of his sinfulness and his need for a Redeemer.

After this Bunyan’s conscience became so tender that he feared he was committing sins that would not be forgiven. Bunyan spent time studying Scripture, at times finding comfort and at other times being weighed down by guilt.

Looking back on those turbulent days in his life, Bunyan recognized he had made some big mistakes. Although he had prayed for cleansing, he had not prayed to be kept from future sin. In addition, he was not standing firmly on the rock of his salvation, even though he had asked Christ to be his Redeemer (see Psalm 19:12-14).

Perhaps you have trusted Christ to save you, but you still experience spiritual defeat. This is not unusual, but you do need to address the problem. Each new day ask God to help you follow him more closely. But do not be afraid, for, as Bunyan later wrote, our “righteousness is Jesus Christ himself, the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

adapted from The One Year® Book of Psalms by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen,, Tyndale House Publishers (1999), entry for February 6

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Hypocrisy

Lies will be exposed

 

Exposing hypocrisy

“But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves.”

Romans 1:18  

The Lord hates those who don’t keep their word, but he delights in those who do.

Proverbs 12:22 

One day, we’ll all “face the music”

“The expression “face the music” originated in Japan. One man in the imperial orchestra couldn’t play a note, but as a person of great influence and wealth, he demanded to be given a seat; he wanted the emperor to see him “perform.” The conductor agreed to let the man sit in the second row. He was handed a flute, and when a concert began, he’d raise his instrument, pucker his lips, and move his fingers. He went through all the motions of playing but never made a sound. His deception continued for two years.

Then a new conductor took over. He told the orchestra that he would audition each player personally. One by one the musicians performed in his presence. At last came this flutist’s turn. Frantic with worry, he pretended to be sick — but his lies caught up with him. The doctor who examined him declared him perfectly fine. Finally the pretender had to admit he was fake. He couldn’t face the music.

Ready or not, all of us will one day face the music. We will all appear before the Lord, without masks and without deception. Better that we show our true faces to the world now than have someone ask on that day, “Who was that unmasked man?”

from Breakfast with Jesus by Greg Laurie (Tyndale) pp 149-50

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

No Double Standards

 

God is always fair and just

How often do you want to “get even?”

The Lord despises double standards of every kind.

Proverbs 20:10 

Never pay back evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord.

Romans 12:17-19 

Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.

Proverbs 20:22 

God’s measure

How often do we see the evil around us and pray for God’s justice? We wonder, Why does God allow this evil to go on! This kind of thinking leads to two of the most common double standards: (1) judging others more harshly than we judge ourselves, and (2) believing God should judge others but remain lenient with us.

The Lord despises double standards because they elevate one person at the expense of others. These man-made standards also lack the mercy of God.

In our cry for fairness, we should not forget the frightening consequences of justice. As sinners, God could justly destroy each of us today for missing the mark of perfection. When we remember that God’s patience and mercy block his judgment towards us, we will more likely show others patience and mercy.

WISE WAYS Before you rush to judge another person, ask yourself whether you would be able to endure the same standard.

Today, Lord, give me strength to replace judgment with mercy.

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Proverbs by Neil S. Wilson, Tyndale House Publishers (2002), entry for March 20

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

 

Morning

James 5:16
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

“He that was healed wist not who it was.”
John 5:13

Years are short to the happy and healthy; but thirty-eight years of disease must have dragged a very weary length along the life of the poor impotent man. When Jesus, therefore, healed him by a word, while he lay at the pool of Bethesda, he was delightfully sensible of a change. Even so the sinner who has for weeks and months been paralysed with despair, and has wearily sighed for salvation, is very conscious of the change when the Lord Jesus speaks the word of power, and gives joy and peace in believing. The evil removed is too great to be removed without our discerning it; the life imparted is too remarkable to be possessed and remain inoperative; and the change wrought is too marvellous not to be perceived. Yet the poor man was ignorant of the author of his cure; he knew not the sacredness of his person, the offices which he sustained, or the errand which brought him among men. Much ignorance of Jesus may remain in hearts which yet feel the power of his blood. We must not hastily condemn men for lack of knowledge; but where we can see the faith which saves the soul, we must believe that salvation has been bestowed. The Holy Spirit makes men penitents long before he makes them divines; and he who believes what he knows, shall soon know more clearly what he believes. Ignorance is, however, an evil; for this poor man was much tantalized by the Pharisees, and was quite unable to cope with them. It is good to be able to answer gainsayers; but we cannot do so if we know not the Lord Jesus clearly and with understanding. The cure of his ignorance, however, soon followed the cure of his infirmity, for he was visited by the Lord in the temple; and after that gracious manifestation, he was found testifying that “it was Jesus who had made him whole.” Lord, if thou hast saved me, show me thyself, that I may declare thee to the sons of men.

Evening

“Acquaint now thyself with him.”
Job 22:21

If we would rightly “acquaint ourselves with God, and be at peace,” we must know him as he has revealed himself, not only in the unity of his essence and subsistence, but also in the plurality of his persons. God said, “Let us make man in our own image”–let not man be content until he knows something of the “us” from whom his being was derived. Endeavour to know the Father; bury your head in his bosom in deep repentance, and confess that you are not worthy to be called his son; receive the kiss of his love; let the ring which is the token of his eternal faithfulness be on your finger; sit at his table and let your heart make merry in his grace. Then press forward and seek to know much of the Son of God who is the brightness of his Father’s glory, and yet in unspeakable condescension of grace became man for our sakes; know him in the singular complexity of his nature: eternal God, and yet suffering, finite man; follow him as he walks the waters with the tread of deity, and as he sits upon the well in the weariness of humanity. Be not satisfied unless you know much of Jesus Christ as your Friend, your Brother, your Husband, your all. Forget not the Holy Spirit; endeavour to obtain a clear view of his nature and character, his attributes, and his works. Behold that Spirit of the Lord, who first of all moved upon chaos, and brought forth order; who now visits the chaos of your soul, and creates the order of holiness. Behold him as the Lord and giver of spiritual life, the Illuminator, the Instructor, the Comforter, and the Sanctifier. Behold him as, like holy unction, he descends upon the head of Jesus, and then afterwards rests upon you who are as the skirts of his garments. Such an intelligent, scriptural, and experimental belief in the Trinity in Unity is yours if you truly know God; and such knowledge brings peace indeed.

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

 

Awareness of justice

God is always fair and just

Do You Understand Justice?

TITUS 3:7
so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Evil people don’t understand justice, but those who follow the Lord understand completely.

Proverbs 28:5

Awareness of justice

Justice means righteousness, lawfulness, and moral rightness, the quality of being true or correct, the moral principle determining just conduct. So justice has a moral quality. It contains a concept of what is right and, therefore, must also have a concept of what is wrong. Only people who understand these concepts of right and wrong can understand and administer justice. By extension, only those who follow the Lord can understand justice. Why? Because they subscribe to the foundational laws of the one who created them.

Thus, as this proverb points out, evil people don’t understand justice. Because they refuse to subscribe to justice’s moral underpinnings given by God in his Word, they are left to discover their own truths. As a result, many conclude that there is no truth. Others conclude that everyone can have different truths. Both perspectives are hopelessly doomed. And as a building without a foundation will crumble, so justice can never be served without the foundation of right and wrong as given by God in his Word.

WISE WAYS  What are you using for your foundation? Where do you get your concept of truth, of right and wrong?

Today, Lord, teach me the foundational truths about life that are given in your Word.

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Proverbs, by Neil S. Wilson, Tyndale House Publishers (2002), entry for February 28


Children are innocent and love justice, while most adults are wicked and prefer mercy.
G K CHESTERTONDelay of justice is injustice.
WALTER S LANDOR

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing Hou