Truth For Today

HOLDING ON TO WHAT’S GOOD 
 
Cling to what is good. 
~ ROMANS 12 : 9

As a servant of Jesus Christ, God wants you to bind yourself to everything good, to whatever is inherently right and worthy. That task requires the use of discernment. With the help of God and His Word, you must carefully evaluate everything and thoughtfully decide what to reject and what to cling to (1 Thess. 5:21–22).

As you separate yourself from worldly things and saturate yourself with Scripture, that which is good will increasingly replace that which is evil. Then, you will fulfill Paul’s message to the Romans: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you May prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (12:2).

Truth for Today

A CHANGE OF NATURE 

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
~ 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17

When you receive Jesus Christ, are born again, and enter into God’s kingdom, you become a totally different individual. The change that occurs when you’re saved is more dramatic than the change that will occur when you die because then you already have a new nature and are a citizen of God’s kingdom. Death simply ushers you into God’s presence.

In his epistles, the apostle Paul says that when God transformed us, He gave us a new will, mind, heart, power, knowledge, wisdom, life, inheritance, relationship, righteousness, love, desire, and citizenship. He called it “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). Some teach that when a person becomes a Christian, God gives him something new in addition to his old sin nature. But according to the Word of God, we don’t receive something new, we ourselves become new!

Truth for Today

INTIMATE COMMUNION

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
~ JOHN 10:27

The apostle Paul taught the Ephesians that one of the functions of the church is to build up the people in “the knowledge of the Son of God” (4:13). The word knowledge refers to full knowledge that is correct and accurate. That is the knowing of which Jesus spoke in today’s verse. He was not speaking of merely knowing their identities but of knowing them intimately, and that is the way He wants His people to know Him.

Paul’s desire is for every believer to develop this deep knowledge of Christ by building a relationship with Him through prayer and faithful study of and obedience to God’s Word. Growing in this deeper knowledge of Christ is a lifelong process that will not be complete until we see the Lord face-to-face.

Truth for Today

DRAWN TO CHRIST

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 
~ JOHN 6:44

Jesus Christ is the One who introduces men and women to God. Those whom He ushers into the Father’s presence all have a loathing of their sin, a desire to be forgiven, and a longing to know God. Those attitudes are the work of God in drawing us to Christ. A response to the gospel message thus begins with a change in attitude toward sin and God.

Beyond that initial change in attitude is the transformation brought about in every believer at the instant of salvation. 

Christ didn’t die just to pay the penalty for sin: He died to transform us. Deserted by most of His followers, Christ hung in darkness and agony on the cross, crying out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46). Those were moments that Jesus felt incredible rejection and hostility. Yet out of those very circumstances Christ triumphed by atoning for sin and providing a way for men and women to be introduced to God and transformed. It was a triumph He Himself would soon proclaim (1 Pet. 3:19–20)

Truth for Today

A TENDER RESPONSE

A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all. 
~ 2 TIMOTHY 2:24

A Christian is to explain his faith “with meekness and fear” (1 Pet. 3:15). This indicates a tender and gracious spirit in speaking. The kind of fear we ought to have is a healthy devotion to God, a healthy regard for the truth, and a healthy respect for the person we’re talking to. That’s why you can’t be quarrelsome when defending your faith.

A Christian who can’t carefully, thoughtfully, reasonably, and biblically give a clear explanation for his faith will be insecure when faced with hostility and might be inclined to doubt his salvation. The enemy’s blows will devastate those who haven’t put on “the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:8).

Truth for Today

THE TRUE PICTURE

I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
~ 1 CORINTHIANS 2:2

Jesus Christ evokes many images in the minds of people. Some picture Him as a baby in a manger—the Christ of Christmas. Others picture Him as a child, perhaps living in the home of a carpenter or confounding the religious leaders of Jerusalem. Many picture Him as a compassionate and powerful healer who restored the sick and raised the dead. Still others picture a bold and fiery preacher speaking the Word of God to great crowds. And there are those who see Him as the consummate man—a model of goodness, kindness, sympathy, concern, care, tenderness, forgiveness, wisdom, and understanding.

Yet the one image of Christ that surpasses all the rest is Jesus Christ on the cross. To know Christ crucified is to know Him as the author and finisher of your faith—the truest picture of His Person and work. 

Christ’s suffering on the cross is the focal point of the Christian faith. That’s where His deity, humanity, work, and suffering are most clearly seen.

Truth for Today

WHAT DO YOU REALLY LOVE? 

If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple. 
~ LUKE 14 : 26 – 27

Apart from God, nothing could have been dearer to Abraham than his son Isaac. But that was the test: to find out whether he loved Isaac more than God. If we love God supremely, we will thank Him for what He is accomplishing through our trials and sufferings. But if we love ourselves more than God, we will question God’s wisdom and become upset and bitter. If anything is dearer to us than God, then He must remove it for us to grow spiritually.

In today’s verse, Jesus was not indicating that we’re to hate everyone. Rather He meant that if you do not love God to the degree that you willingly, if necessary, cut yourself off from your father, mother, spouse, children, brother, sister, or even your own life, then you don’t love Him supremely. You must determine to do the will of God first and foremost, no matter what appeals others MAY make to you.

Truth for Today

THE NECESSITY OF REPENTANCE
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
~ PSALM 51:10

True confession cannot happen without repentance. Many times we don’t confess our sin because we’re not ready to let go of it. When I was a young Christian, I remember telling the Lord that I was sorry about particular sins I had committed and then thanked Him for already forgiving them. But that was all I did.

I reached a milestone in my spiritual life when I began to say, “Lord, thank You for forgiving those sins. I know they did not please You, and I never want to do them again.” That can be hard to say because sometimes we want to commit certain sins again. But we betray a lack of spiritual maturity when we want to eliminate the penalty of sin but retain the pleasure. For your confession to be genuine, you must turn from your sins.

Truth for Today

RESPONDING TO GOD’S GLORY 

We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
~ 2 CORINTHIANS 3:18

As we glorify God, we begin to grow. Because of the great truths revealed in the New Testament, believers can now view God’s glory more clearly than those under the law could. As we do, we grow spiritually, moving from one level of glory to the next.

At the end of today’s verse, notice that Paul says the Holy Spirit is the one who energizes our growth. The Holy Spirit infuses our lives with His power, taking us through levels of glory toward the image of Christ. 

Don’t become preoccupied with the intricacies of the Holy Spirit’s work or with the details of your own activity. Make sure you focus primarily on the glory of the Lord.