Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It was a beautiful wedding. May God bless them forever.
ENDURANCE WITH A PURPOSE
[2 Timothy 3:10-14]
I pray that you will have the endurance to withstand the persecution inevitable in a godly life in Christ. Remember that the Lord will give you the grace and strength to carry on. I pray that you will persevere and not be shaken – persecutors will go on deceiving and being deceived. I pray that you will finish the race and achieve the purposes of God in your life. May God grant you endurance today.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Victory in the War Within
We have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
Several weeks ago, I received a phone call from a Hollywood production company asking if I would be open to participating in a new reality show called “The Preachers of Dallas.” They explained that they would send their cameras and follow me around 24 hours a day for one week. They would film me at church. They would film me at home. They would capture my public moments and my private moments. The point of the show would be to allow people across America to see me just as I am. I quickly said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Trust me when I tell you that it would not be a benefit to the kingdom of God for people to see me just the way that I am.
Don’t misunderstand: it is not that I walk around every day spewing profanities, getting drunk, and watching pornographic movies. That is not my lifestyle. But I struggle with the same kinds of things you struggle with. I struggle with temptation. I sometimes struggle with losing my temper. There are times I do not feel like reading my Bible. And I do not think it would be particularly helpful for everyone to see that struggle. That is why I am fascinated by Romans 7, because in this chapter the greatest evangelist and theologian the world has ever known allowed us to see him as he truly was. And though he sometimes lost the struggle with sin, he explained how we can experience victory in this very real war within every believer.
Paul began by talking about our relationship to the Law before we are saved. If you are not a Christian, then you are still under the Law. What does that mean? Without Christ, you are under not only the requirements of the Law but also the penalty of the Law. The penalty of the Law is that everyone who does not keep all of God’s Law 100 percent perfectly deserves eternal death. Deuteronomy 27:26 says, “Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.” By that standard, we are all guilty. But here is the good news: when you trust in Jesus Christ as Savior, you are placed in Jesus Christ. And what happens to Jesus happens to you.
What did Jesus do for us? He fulfilled the requirements of the Law. He is the only person who met God’s standard 100 percent. Not only that, but Jesus also paid the penalty for our failure to keep the Law. When Jesus died on the cross, He died for our sins. So when we trust in Christ as our Savior, God looks at us just as He looks at Jesus Christ. Because Jesus fulfilled the Law, God looks at us as if we fulfilled the requirements of the Law. Because Jesus paid the penalty for our sin, God looks at us and says, “You don’t owe me anything. The penalty has already been paid.”
What is our relationship to the Law? If we are in Christ, then we are freed from the Law. We are dead to the Law. The Law has no more jurisdiction over us because just as Christ died, we have died. We have been set free from the Law.
TRAINED BY THE WORD
[2 Timothy 3:16-17]
I pray that you will spend time each day reading and studying God’s Word. May the Word of God teach and train you, so that you may stay faithful to God’s ways. May it rebuke and correct you, so that you may grow in righteousness. I pray that the Word of God will thoroughly equip you for every good work. May you never go through a day without God’s instructions from His Word.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I will keep today the oath I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel: ‘Surely Solomon your son will be king after me; he will sit in my place on my throne.’”
[1 Kgs 1:30 NET]
David had sworn to Bathsheba that her son Solomon should reign as king. He now declares to her that his oath will be sacredly kept. One of the marks of the man who shall abide in God’s presence, is, “He sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.”
Too many persons find it very easy to “forget” to do what they have solemnly said they would do. Pledges sit very lightly upon them. Vows are thoughtlessly made, and just as thoughtlessly broken.
There should be no need for an oath – one’s simple word should be held irrevocably binding – just as binding as one’s most solemn oath. Forgetfulness is no excuse for failing to keep promises. If our memory is defective, we should put down our promises in writing, and keep them so before our minds that it will be impossible for us to forget them.
One who can be implicitly relied upon, who never fails any one who trusts in him, is like a fragment of the Rock of Ages.
Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men.
Colossians 3:23, HCSB
As a teenager, Elizabeth Tilley traveled with her parents to the New World from Plymouth, England in September 1620 aboard the Mayflower. One of her fellow passengers, John Howland, fell overboard but was miraculously rescued. Shortly after their arrival, the two were married. They had 10 children and 88 grandchildren, providing rich legacy of Mayflower descendants. Among the number: Franklin D. Roosevelt, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Humphrey Bogart, and Phillips Brooks, the author of “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”
Elizabeth outlived her husband by fourteen years, and she was an extraordinary active mother and grandmother, always busy cooking, sewing, cleaning, gardening, and caring for loved ones. If you visit her gravestone, you’ll see it inscribed with these words: “It is my will and charge to all my children that they walk in fear of the Lord, and in love and peace towards each other.”
Mothers who do their work enthusiastically for the Lord leave a legacy that shapes history.
I give and commit my soul unto Almighty God my Savior and Redeemer in whom by the merits of Jesus Christ I trust and believe assuredly to be saved.
~ Elizabeth Tilley Howland ~