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.

Truth For Today

THE VALUE OF SELF-DISCIPLINE

Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty.
[1 CORINTHIANS 9 : 26]

Today’s culture is obsessed with entertainment, sports, materialism, and emotional gratification. In fact, those excessive preoccupations have become the marks of our shallow, amoral, and often immoral society. 

A century ago President Theodore Roosevelt essentially predicted those results when he said that prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich theory of life would eventually destroy America.

One sure antidote to such a lifestyle is the self-discipline evidenced in the genuine Christian life. Your spiritual guidance and power come from the Lord, but you need self-discipline if He is to work effectively through you.

Paul wrote to Timothy, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Tim. 4:8). Ask God to make that true for you.

Truth For Today

RIGHTEOUS ANGER

Be angry, and do not sin. PHESIANS 4:26

You might be surprised to hear that there is such a thing as righteous anger—that is, being angry over what grieves God and hinders His causes. But we are not to be so angry that it results in sin.

Don’t be angry for your own causes. Don’t get angry when people offend you. And don’t let your anger degenerate into personal resentment, bitterness, sullenness, or moodiness. That is forbidden. The only justifiable anger defends the great, glorious, and holy nature of our God.

Anger that is selfish, passionate, undisciplined, and uncontrolled is sinful, useless, and hurtful. It must be banished from the Christian life. But the disciplined anger that seeks the righteousness of God is pure, selfless, and dynamic. We ought to be angry about the sin in the world and in the church. But we can’t let that anger degenerate into sin.

Truth For Today

A CHRIST-CENTERED LIFE

You have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him.
~ EPHESIANS 4 : 20 – 21

As Christians, we are no longer controlled by a self-centered mind; we learn from Christ. Christ thinks for us, acts through us, loves through us, feels through us, and serves through us. The lives we live are not ours but are Christ living in us (Gal. 2:20). Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” An unsaved person walks in the vanity of his own mind, but a saved person walks according to the mind of Christ.

God has a plan for the universe, and as long as Christ is working in us, He’s working out a part of that plan through us. Paul noted that He “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 3:20). Every day should be a fantastic adventure for us because we’re in the middle of God’s unfolding plan for the ages.

Truth For Today

A FORETASTE

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. 
~ EPHESIANS 1:3

Presently we don’t live in heaven physically, but in a sense we do live in the heavenly realm. Though we are not in heaven, we are experiencing heavenly life. We have the life of God within us. We are under the rule of a heavenly King, and we obey heaven’s laws. 

As a result, we experience “a foretaste of glory divine,” as Fanny Crosby noted in the hymn “Blessed Assurance.” We are living in a new community, enjoying a new fellowship that will fully come to fruition in a place called heaven.

Truth For Today

THE FAILURE OF LEADERS

I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.
~ PHILIPPIANS 2:20

Church history May record ours as the era of disastrous collapse within the leadership of the church. The standards for leadership have been lowered, and many thousands have tragically lost their way.

Where are the godly and truthful men? Where are the humble, unselfish models of virtue? Where are the examples of victory over temptation? Where are those who show us how to pray and overcome trials or adversity?

We have a sick and distorted church because we’ve lost sight of Christ, His Word, and the Spirit. We’ve lost sight of our clear pattern for growth in the life of the apostle Paul. And we have tolerated a lower standard for leadership than the Bible allows. The essence of Christianity is becoming more like Christ. Matters such as right relationships, service, and evangelism will be taken care of if we just pursue that one holy goal.