Morning Devotional

A NEW CREATION

 

“Wherefore if any man is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.” — 2Co 5:17 (R.V. marg.).

TRUE CHRISTIANITY is very different from much that we see around us, and which is known as such, and is summed up in orthodoxy of creed, in religious service, in gifts and deeds which cost little or nothing. If Christianity is anything, it is self-giving, even to death. If Christianity means anything we must renounce self as the centre of our life and be willing to sacrifice ourselves for others. Nothing will save the world, which is cursed with the spirit of selfishness, but the repetition and filling-up as far as possible of Christ’s sacrifice by those who profess to be His servants and followers. Selfishness is destructive, but the love that gives itself even to blood and tears is constructive.

But we must be sure that the supreme thought of every word and act must be Christ who died and rose again (2Co 5:14-15). Let us not live only for humanity, but for the Son of Man, and as we live for Him the bitter will be sweet and the rough smooth, and we shall find ourselves living for the whole race of men for whom He died.

When this becomes the law of life, we are necessarily a new creation; we live under a new heaven, and walk over a new earth. There is a new aspect upon the most familiar objects of our environment. It is not that they have altered, but that we are changed from self to the spiritual; from the old life of sin to the new life of which the centre is the glorified Saviour. In his book “Grace Abounding,” Bunyan gives expression to this thought of the wonderful change that passes over the face of creation, and the aspect of human life, so soon as the heart is full of the love of God.

Let us notice the emphasis of 2Co 5:18. God was in Christ when He bore the burden of the world’s sin upon the Cross and that we have been brought to know and love Him as of His grace. It is God also who has given us the right to carry the message of mercy and forgiveness to all within our reach. “He hath given to us,” that is, to you and me, “the ministry of reconciliation.” It is for us to go forth into the world, our hearts filled with Christ’s love, telling men and women that this is a redeemed world, and that God is waiting for them to accept His love and mercy. This is the message of Christianity.

PRAYER

O Lord, forgive what I have been; sanctify what I am; and order what I shall be. AMEN.

 

~ F.B. Meyer ~

God’s Definition of True Greatness

But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”

[MATTHEW 20:22]

We all want to move to the top; we want to lead the band. “All of us,” said Carl Sandberg, “want to play Hamlet.” We long for the lead role in the drama of life, so we can be someone and count for something. From birth, we are little bundles of ego, who learn to say “I” before just about anything else. James and John, the biblical “sons of thunder,” wanted to be seated at Jesus’ right and left hands. They asked for places of honor, and they apparently weren’t too shy about doing so. But when they did, Jesus asked them a question: “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” They said they were. “Then you’ll drink my cup,” He told them, “and receive my baptism. But the seating arrangement is not mine to determine.”

True greatness is not about getting a great seat for the show…it’s about following Jesus Christ to the limits of this life and beyond. It’s about drinking His cup of suffering, and being baptized into His death. Greatness comes through service. Living comes through surrendering life. James was the first apostle to be martyred for his faith. He followed Jesus all the way, tasting the cup of suffering, carrying the cross, and ultimately dying for his loyalty to Christ. Do you want to be great? Think carefully before you answer….

~ Dr. Edwin Young ~

Strength Today

When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the sovereign God. Walk before me and be blameless. – Gen 17:1 NET

Moses said, “You have been consecrated today for the Lord, for each of you was against his son or against his brother, so he has given a blessing to you today.”

[Exod 32:29]

Take my life, and let it be

Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

Take my moments and my days;

Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

~ F. R. HAVERGAL ~

I have noticed that wherever there has been a faithful following of the Lord in a consecrated soul, several things have inevitably followed, sooner or later. Meekness and quietness of spirit become in time the characteristics of the daily life. A submissive acceptance of the will of God as it comes in the hourly events of each day; pliability in the hands of God to do or to suffer all the good pleasure of His will; sweetness under provocation; calmness in the midst of turmoil and bustle; yieldingness to the wishes of others, and an insensibility to slights and affronts; absence of worry or anxiety; deliverance from care and fear;—all these, and many similar graces, are invariably found to be the natural outward development of that inward life which is hid with Christ in God.

~ H. W. SMITH ~

Evening Devotional

VICTORY OUT OF DEFEAT

“I will give her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth.” — Hos 2:15.

THE VALLEY of Achor is the emblem of defeat, failure, and the fainting heart. Down its long pass the terrified fugitives had fled, bearing to Joshua the story of defeat (Joshua 7.). Is there a single life without its valley of Achor? Is there one of us who has not gone up against a foe, which in the distance appeared quite insignificant, but it has proved to be more than a match for all the resolutions with which we had braced ourselves to meet it. Can good come out of such evil, and sweetness from such bitter despair?

The tragic story told in the seventh chapter of Joshua tells how that defeat wrought good. The disaster led to the searching out of the sin of Achan, and the cutting away of gangrene, which, otherwise, would have eaten out the heart of Israel. It led to humiliation, self-examination, prayer and faith, and finally to victory. May we not say as much of our defeats? Certainly, it would have been better had they not cast their shadow on our past; but they have not been without their lessons of priceless value. Each valley of Achor has had its door of Hope. Sin has reigned unto death, but the grace of God has reigned unto eternal life. Through our sins we have learned, as never before, to appreciate God’s forgiveness; through our failures we have been taught our own weakness, and led to magnify the grace which is made perfect in weakness.

Out of such experiences comes the song—”She shall sing as in the days of her youth.” You say that the spring and gladness of life are gone for ever. You insist that you must go mourning all your days, and that life will only bring added grief. But God says that you shall sing! Though the summer is gone, there will be a second—an Indian summer, even mellower than the first. God wants to give you a new revelation of His love, to draw you into His tenderest friendship and fellowship, to lift you into the life of victory and satisfaction. And when all these things come to pass, and they may begin to-day as you return to Him, you will find that He has put a new song into your mouth, even praise unto our God.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father,

We thank Thee for opening doors of Hope in the valley of Achor, for giving us beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning. Put a new song into our mouths to-day, and let us taste afresh the glad sense of Thy pardoning love.

AMEN.

~ F.B. Meyer ~