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

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

Master Creator

We are created in His image

LAST SUPPER OF JESUS

How Has God Revealed Himself in You?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

The Master Creator

Genesis 1:1 and the entire creation story reveals God’s creativity. He is the Master Creator who delights in diversity and variety.

Creativity is a gift God gives to people by the power of his Holy Spirit. Exodus 31:1-4 described a person who used his artistic skills and craftsmanship to make beautiful things for God’s glory.

The Lord also said to Moses, “Look, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence, and skill in all kinds of crafts. He is able to create beautiful objects from gold, silver, and bronze.

Hebrews 11:3 proclaims God as the ultimate source of all creativity.

By faith we understood that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

from Living Water for Those Who Thirst Tyndale House Publishers (2000), pp 37-8


The “great raveled knot,” as the famous English psychologist Sir Charles Sherrington called the brain, is about the size of a grapefruit and weighs approximately three pounds. It is composed of some twelve to fourteen billion cells.…It is the almost limitless number of cells-plus-interconnections that makes the human brain an intellectual instrument of unparalleled supremacy.
JOHN P McNEEL, The Brain of Man

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

IN HIS IMAGE

We are created in His image

Return unto the Lord thy God

Return unto the Lord thy God

 

How much do you see God in his creation?

Have I looked at the sun shining in the skies, or the moon walking down its silver pathway, and been secretly enticed to worship them? If so, I should be punished by the judges, for it would mean I had denied the God of heaven.

Job 31:26-28

We understand the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

Hebrews 11:3

Sunsets and chromosomes

A student stood on the crest of a hill silently admiring the sunset. As the colors came to a brilliant crescendo, he suddenly shouted, “Way to go, God. Fantastic!” Then he raised his hand in praise to the Creator.

Dr. Carl Sagan marveled that a single human chromosome contains 20 billion bits of information. This corresponds to four thousand 500-page books — and that’s only one chromosome! Yet Dr. Sagan never professed any belief in God.

When it comes to praising God for his incredible work in creation, some of us are more like Dr. Sagan than the student. We are quick to condemn those who deny that God created the universe, yet we, too, often forget to praise him for all that he has made.

We praise God for salvation but forget to praise him for creation. Whether we look at the grandeur of the heavens or the intricacies of a chromosome, we should stand in awe of our Creator. Praise him today for his masterful work.

The unwearied sun, from day to day
Does His Creator’s power display,
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty hand.

JOSEPHADDISON

adapted from The One Year® Book of Psalms by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen, Tyndale House Publishers (1999), entry for February 5

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

A CONTINUING WORK

God will never stop working in our lives

Nature 4(MobileWap.Mobi)

He who began will not quit

“And I am sure that God, who began a good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.”

Philippians 1:6 NLT

Let this encourage God’s holy people to endure persecution patiently and remain firm to the end, obeying his commands and trusting in Jesus.

Revelation 14:12

About this week’s promise:

God’s promise to continue working in our lives requires perseverance on our part.

Whether you are an athlete undergoing grueling physical conditioning, an employee struggling under a mountain of work, or a Christian suffering persecution, the key to perseverance is a clear vision of the goal.

While the goal of an athlete is to win the race and goal of the employee is a job well done, the goal of the believer is nothing less than eternity in the presence of the Lord.

The writer of Revelation encourages Christians to keep their eyes on Jesus, who will reward the faithful, and to obey his Word to the end. When you feel like giving up, remember the glory that awaits you as a child of God.

From the TouchPoint Bible with commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers (Tyndale) p 1136

For more on this week’s topic, check this Tyndale resource:

I Told the Mountain to Move by Patricia Raybon (2005)

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