Truth for Today

GOD’S DIVINE PURPOSE 

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.
~ EPHESIANS 1:4

While Israel was still wandering in the desert of Sinai, Moses told them, “The Lord did not set His love on you or choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deut. 7:7–8). God did not choose the Jews because of who they were but because of who He is.

The same is true of God’s choosing believers. He chooses solely on the basis of His divine will, purpose, and love. There’s nothing you did to earn or gain salvation; it’s all of God. Be thankful that He chose you from before the foundations of the world.

Truth for Today

THE GOODNESS OF GOD’S FAITHFULNESS

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

~ LAMENTATIONS 3:22 – 23

The goodness of God’s faithfulness to believers is apparent, because even when we are unfaithful to Him, He remains faithful to us. The prophet Micah rejoiced in God’s faithfulness, exulting, “Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy” (Mic. 7:18).

Whenever you’re in need, you can rely on the faithfulness of God’s promises, such as these: “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him” (Ps. 91:15); “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

Truth For Today

RESPONDING TO FALSE PROPHETS

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
~ MATTHEW 7:15

In Jude’s brief letter to believers, the apostle firmly warns against false prophets and tells us how to respond to them. “Keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 21). Our primary response to false teaching is simply to be right with God in the first place, to make sure we are in fellowship with Him and receiving His blessing and power. Then we can “have mercy on some, who are doubting” (v. 22, NASB)—believers who doubt their faith because of false teachers need reassurance.

Another necessary response might be to “save others, snatching them out of the fire” (v. 23, NASB)— unbelievers bound for hell after hearing false teaching need to be rescued before it’s too late.

Finally, Jude tells about a third response to false prophets: “On some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh” (v. 23, NASB). We sometimes must confront false prophets and their followers, doing so with a special dependence on the Lord and being careful not to get contaminated by their false teachings.

Truth for Today

DISCIPLESHIP IS SERIOUS

For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost.
~ LUKE 14:28

You can pay nothing to earn salvation; yet living for Christ is a serious matter of discipleship. To be a Christian means to rely on Christ’s power rather than your own and to be willing to forsake your way for His. Being a Christian can mean facing persecution, ridicule, and tribulation. Jesus forewarned the disciples, “‘If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you’” (John 15:20).

But with His warning about the cost of discipleship, the Lord promised that your heart would rejoice “‘and your joy no one will take from you’” (John 16:22). And He also told His followers to “‘be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’” (16:33). You won’t escape the difficulties of discipleship, but Jesus will enable you to handle them.

Truth for Today

THE REPENTANT LIFE

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 
~ JAMES 2:17

If you have turned away from your sins and turned toward God’s way of righteousness, you will live a changed life. The theme of 1 John is that the truly redeemed person will demonstrate a truly transformed life. “Whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:5–6).

Those who teach that repentance and the repentant lifestyle aren’t a necessary part of the gospel are not presenting the gospel Jesus offered. Such a gospel of self-satisfaction and self-righteousness is from the world, not God.

Truth for Today

CHILDLIKE DEPENDENCY 

Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

~ MATTHEW 18:3

When speaking of genuine salvation, Jesus made an apt comparison to the characteristics of young children. To be saved, you must come to Christ with the dependent attitude and outlook of a little child: simple, helpless, trusting, unaffected, unpretentious, and unambitious. 

It’s not that children are without sin, but that they are naïve and unassuming, dependent on others and free from selfish claims to grandeur. They submit to the care of their parents and other loved ones, relying on them to meet all their needs. That’s the kind of humble and dependent attitude anyone must have who seeks to enter the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Truth For Today

BROTHERLY LOVE

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love. 
~ ROMANS 12:10

Brotherly love reflects the nature of Christians. That’s why Paul doesn’t hesitate to remind believers to practice that virtue, “Concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another” (1 Thess. 4:9).

The true disciple of Jesus knows intuitively he should love his brothers and sisters in Christ. Because they have the same heavenly Father, love among believers is as normal as the affection between members of a family. If you are a true disciple, such love will be true of you.