November 16, 2019
Today is my 68th birthday. As I approached my daily reading through the Bible this morning, I began by asking God to speak to me directly about something I needed to hear on this particular day—a message straight from His heart to mine for this coming year. Here is the passage that arrested my attention on this very personal day.
WHERE CHRIST WENT … AND WHY.
The Son of God was willing to go to the hardest, most misunderstood place. He went, with His cross, to die outside the city. It was a place of refuse (literally, the city dump). It was the most dishonorable environment in the city. But He went there for a purpose: to take the place of sacrifice, suffering, and self-denial so that, in so doing, it would bring life to others.
And, it worked. His self-denial set countless millions free!
But that is not the end of the story. Because of His glad surrender, the Father honored and resurrected Him and “gave Him the name that is above every other name.” He raised Christ to the place of greatest splendor, for His was the path of greatest suffering. God always rewards the best to those who follow Him most fully.
WHERE I MUST GO … AND WHY.
My calling—in whatever days I have left—is to join Him there. It is just that simple.
I must continue to follow Christ, regardless of the places it might take me or the sacrifice it might cost me. For His way is the way that leads to life and fruitfulness. Even though I am in the last third of my life, it is not a moment to seek ease, comfort, or self-glory. The greatest thing I can do to help my children and grandchildren and future generations; the most effective way I can bring life to other people, is to simply, faithfully follow Jesus each common day, even if that takes me through valleys of greater surrender or suffering. For death to self always births life to others.
Along the way, I must joyfully, thankfully remember this: I am not living for this world. I don’t need the world’s possessions, honor, adulation, blessing; its comforts or pleasures. This world and all it might give me is temporary, but I must “seek the city which is to come.” In that place, every step I have taken following Christ will be rewarded. And, that reward and that place will last forever!
Even if some of the coming days are hard, I should never complain, vainly trying to convince those around me how much I might be suffering or how “noble” I am. Every step is a privileged journey with the Risen Christ! I should be the most visibly and vocally grateful person possible, continually offering up a “sacrifice of praise to God.” My gracious God has blessed me with the honor of living this life with His Son and joining Him in the glorious life to come!
That’s God’s Word for me this year! I wonder what God’s Word is for you?
November 20, 2019
Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing this moving devotional. It has helped to set my spiritual attitude for the coming week.
A privileged Journey Wow. No matter how hard or whats in the distance. You’re saying count it all joy and that even in a hard task or test we receive, He is due praise becaues No Test No Testimony. Bill I needed this today! Thank you and may God continue to bless your journey..
Happy birthday! That’s a good word; very encouraging. As followers of Jesus, we continue to take the Ministry of Reconciliation as Ambassadors to the lost in the world as long as we are able.
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December 03, 2020
In scientific equations there are certain elements that cause certain reactions. If those elements are not present, you do not have what you intended. For instance, if you take hydrogen out the equation of H2O, you will not have water, one of the most essential combination of elements in the universe.
... is the essential element for the believer. And faith, in itself, has several parts ...
December 02, 2020
November 24, 2020
All of us appreciate a good accounting system, even if we are not the ones administering it. You are grateful when you go to a store, that they will only charge you what is advertised. In business, you want to know how things will be recorded and have a clear understanding of what will be done, particularly when it’s your money that is involved.
God has an accounting system and Paul, when finally enlightened, realized that it was completely opposite of what he had operated under for years.