Surrender #198

Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?” And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him. (Luke 22:63-65)

The willingness of Jesus to endure humiliating injustices showed His determined self-control to accomplish human redemption. Submitting to the Father’s will means we will undergo whatever hardship comes our way and endure whatever obstacle arises in order to be faithful and true. What an amazing example Jesus sets for us to follow as He humbly accepted the reproach of sinners. He endured this and so much more so that we can be saved from our sins. Today, follow His example of complete surrender to do God’s will.

The Lord’s Compassion #197

And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled. (Mark 5:18-20)

After Jesus healed the demon-possessed man named Legion, he longed to continue with Jesus. Instead, Jesus urged him to go tell others of the great blessings he had received from the Lord. God still has compassion on the broken-hearted and those weighed down by sin. He is ready to free your soul from the bondage of sin and rescue you from the spiritual chaos it causes in your life. Make today the day you go to Jesus for God’s compassion and salvation (read how to be saved in Acts 2:36-41). If you have already received God’s forgiveness, then tell others of His great compassion. Tell the good news to others so they can also be saved by Jesus!

Holy Fruit #196

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:20-23)

As a Christian you have been freed from the bondage of sin and death and are a willing “slaves of God”. Freedom from sin does not mean freedom to sin; quite the opposite. Christians choose to shun sin and to serve God, bearing the fruit of holiness. The result of a holy life is everlasting life, but sin always brings death. Being saved in Christ compels you to bear holy fruit in your life that reflects your freedom from sin. Use today to serve God with all holiness.

The Gospel is God’s Wisdom #195

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-19)

The gospel of Jesus Christ will not penetrate the heart of the “natural man” (who defines wisdom by himself and by this world, see 1 Corinthians 2:14); he has no interest in spiritual things. So, he rejects the gospel as foolishness while living in the arrogance and lusts of sin. His path leads to eternal death. But, those with open hearts listen to and discern the “message of the cross” as being from God, and believe it. You may meet someone today who will try to convince you the gospel is foolish. If so, remember that their message will do nothing to save your soul. The good news of a Savior who loves you and sacrificed himself so you can live eternally is the wisdom of God. It commands you to believe and confess your faith, to repent and to be baptized to be saved (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; Romans 10:9-10). Be wise; trust and obey the gospel, the wisdom of God.

Grace to Help #194

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

The fact that Jesus was fully tempted yet did not succumb to sin provides many great spiritual blessings to Christians. Among them is his ability to understand the trials of being tempted in the flesh. Jesus is our High Priest in heaven, and through him we obtain God’s help when we are weak and in danger from temptation. Take your struggles and trials to God in prayer, and continue to hold fast your confession. Do not yield to temptation; help from heaven is available through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Resist Temptation #193

Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. (Luke 4:13)

The devil never stops tempting us to sin, but he can be resisted. Do not draw the conclusion from the record of Christ’s temptations that the devil never returned to tempt him; he did. Satan looked for “an opportune time” to continue tempting Jesus (see Luke 22:28). Never think you are beyond temptation. If you do, then the devil have you exactly where he wants you: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). Instead, be sober and watchful, resist the devil and be steadfast in the faith. You are not alone – “the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Pet. 5:8-9). Keep resisting temptation!

Conviction to Refuse Sin #192

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only You shall serve.’ ” (Matthew 4:8-10)

The devil does not stop tempting us. Although Jesus resisted prior temptations, the devil still tried to defeat him with sin. With the conviction of truth Jesus refused the devil’s allurement to rule the world while escaping the cruelty and humiliation of Calvary. But, the cost was too great. For Jesus to give in to this temptation would be to worship power, pleasure and self-interest rather than sacrifice Himself in service to the Father. What your eyes see can turn your attention away from God and lead you to worship created things instead of the Creator. When you are tempted by sinful attractions, remember you worship God and only serve Him – whatever the cost. Then, with Jesus you can say, “Away with you, Satan!”