True Freedom! Good Morning Devotional for 11.19.2021

November 19 (JPG)

Good morning! God sends His Spirit to apply what the Father authored and the Son accomplished–our rescue from our brokenness. The Spirit frees us from the bandage of sin and frees us to obey the One to whom He points: Jesus Christ.

When we think of freedom, we often believe that this means we are free to do whatever we please. Not so! We are free through the truth that not only Christ brings but also that Christ is.

Are you free from the clutches of sin? Are you set free to obey Christ?

How Measureless and Strong: Good Morning Devotional for 11.18.2021

November 18 (JPG)

The love of God is greater far
than tongue or pen can ever tell;
it goes beyond the highest star,
and reaches to the lowest hell.
The wand’ring child is reconciled
by God’s beloved Son.
The aching soul again made whole,
and priceless pardon won.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
the saints’ and angels’ song.

When ancient time shall pass away,
and human thrones and kingdoms fall;
when those who here refuse to pray
on rocks and hills and mountains call;
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
all measureless and strong;
grace will resound the whole earth round—
the saints’ and angels’ song. [Refrain]

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
and were the skies of parchment made;
were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill,
and ev’ryone a scribe by trade;
to write the love of God above
would drain the ocean dry;
nor could the scroll contain the whole,
though stretched from sky to sky.

–Frederick Lehman (1868-1953)

God’s Holiness Leads to Glorious Praise: Good Morning Devotional for 11.17.2021

November 17 (JPG)

“There is none holy like the Lord:
    for there is none besides you;
    there is no rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2).

Good morning! While we rejoice in the love, justice, and mercy of God (among other attributes), God’s holiness befits Him and Him alone. Here, this expression of praise comes from the lips of Hannah who, after a long season of infertility, was blessed with a child who would become the prophet, Samuel. She vowed to give him to God from the very beginning.

God’s holiness does lead to praise because we know of one Being in the universe who is perfect in all He does, says, and thinks. There is no shadow of sin or imperfection in Him. And, since we are His children, we are called to “be holy as he is holy” (1 Peter 1:17) and to “strive for holiness” (Hebrews 12:14), for we want no obstacle to inhibit our fellowship with Him.

Do we rejoice in His holiness? Are we harboring some sin in our hearts that inhibits our fellowship with Him? If so, why? Confess and repent of that sin immediately so that the joy of the Lord will once again be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Christianity is Not a Killjoy–It’s Outright Joy! Good Morning Devotional for 11.16.2021

November 16 (JPG)

Good morning! Growing up, we sang a Hymn during our worship gatherings called “Trust and Obey.” I still remember the chorus:

Trust and obey! For there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey!

Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm, logging in at 176 verses (yes, this psalm is longer than some New Testament books). Psalm 119 reinforces the nature and purpose of God’s Word. A helpful exercise is to go through this Psalm and look at the different synonyms for the Bible (precepts, commandments, etc.), and then go back through and see how God’s people must react to His Word. One word captures it all: joy.

“Wait a minute! You’re saying following God’s Word brings joy? It’s more like a killjoy. I’ve seen Christians who say they believe the Bible–and they are bo-ring.”

I would say that if we are living as we are created, with the Spirit living and working in us, we will have joy because our identity matches our created reality.

Are you living in light of your Creator? Have you been born again by the New Creator, Jesus Christ? Our joy increases the more we are aligned with Christ and His Word.

God’s Forgiveness Unleashes His Faithfulness: Good Morning Devotional for 11.15.2021

November 15 (JPG)

Good morning! God’s forgiveness releases us to God’s faithfulness. Isaiah encountered God’s presence and holiness, much-needed after the tragic loss of King Uzziah after his 52 year reign (and troublesome ending).

God’s holiness reveals our sinfulness. Isaiah acknowledged his sin and the sin of his people. God cleansed him and readied him for his ordained ministry.

When we receive God’s deliverance, that deepens our devotion and dependence. Christ is our Deliverer–He was the One on the throne (John 12:37-41). Have you been rescued by Christ the King? Are you ready to go where He sends in full dependence?

Spurgeon Saturday: “It is the Spirit of God Who Must Bless Your Labour”

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“Look you, sir, you may study your sermon; you may examine the original of your text; you may critically follow it out in all its bearings; you may go and preach it with great correctness of expression; but you cannot quicken a soul by that sermon. You may go up into your pulpit; you may illustrate, explain, and enforce the truth; with mighty rhetoric you may charm your hearers; you may hold them spellbound; but no eloquence of yours can raise the dead. Demosthenes might stand for a century between the jaws of death; but the monster would not be moved by anything he or all human orators might say. Another voice than ours must be heard; other power than that of thought or suasion must be brought into the work, or it will not be done. You may organize your societies, you may have excellent methods, you may diligently pursue this course and that; but when you have done all, nothing can come of it if the effort stands by itself. Only as the Spirit of God shall bless men by you, shall they receive a blessing through you. Whatever your ability or experience, it is the Spirit of God who must bless your labour. Therefore, never go to this service with a boast upon your lip of what you can do, or with the slightest trace of self-confidence; else will you go in a spirit which will prevent the Holy Ghost from working with or through you.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “Come from the Four Winds, O Breath!” (1890)