Truth For Life



Truth For Life Daily Devotional

A daily devotional from "Morning and Evening," written by C.H. Spurgeon and updated and revised by Alistair Begg.

Ephesians 4:15

Many Christians remain stunted and limited in spiritual things and never seem to make progress from year to year. No surge of growth and spiritual interest is seen in them. They exist but do not "grow up in every way into him."

Should we be content with being in the green blade when we might advance to the ear and eventually ripen into the full corn in the ear? Should we be satisfied to believe in Christ and to say, "I am safe" without wishing to know in our own experience more of the fullness that is to be found in Him?

It ought not to be so; we should long as good traders in heaven's market to be enriched in the knowledge of Jesus. It is all very well to keep other men's vineyards, but we must not neglect our own spiritual growth and ripening. Why should it always be wintertime in our hearts? We must have our seedtime, it is true, but oh, for a springtime--yes, a summer season that will give promise of an early harvest.

If we would ripen in grace, we must live near to Jesus--in His presence--ripened by the sunshine of His smiles. We must hold sweet communion with Him. We must leave the distant view of His face and come near, as John did, and rest our head upon His shoulder; then we will find ourselves advancing in holiness, in love, in faith, in hope--in every precious gift. As the sun rises first on mountaintops and gilds them with its light and presents one of the most charming sights to the traveler's eye, so is it one of the most delightful contemplations in the world to observe a spiritual glow on the head of some saint who has risen in stature, like Saul, above his fellows until, like a mighty snow-capped Alp, he reflects among the chosen the beams of the Sun of Righteousness and bears the glow of His radiance high for all to see, and seeing it, to glorify his Father who is in heaven.

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright (c) 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission. Today’s Bible Reading material is taken from McCheyne Bible reading plan and used by Truth For Life with permission. Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright (c) 2001, Good News Publishers.

Posted: October 20, 2017, 11:00 am

This article originally appeared here at Truth For Life.

Drawing Near



GTY: Drawing Near Daily Devotional

Drawing Near offers you 365 days'' worth of practical, verse-by-verse nuggets of truth from Scripture. This devotional is designed to strengthen your overall understanding of the Bible and provide spiritual nourishment you can apply to day-to-day living.

"The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart" (Ps. 19:8).

Knowing your life is on the right track is a source of great joy.

What brings you joy? Your answer will reveal much about your priorities and the direction your life is heading spiritually.

The psalmist wrote, "How blessed [happy] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers" (Ps. 1:1-3).

That psalmist knew that true joy and happiness come from knowing God and abiding in His Word. That was David's confidence when he wrote, "The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart" (Ps. 19:8).

"Precepts" in that verse speaks of divine principles and guidelines for character and conduct. God created you and knows how you must live to give glory to Him. And He revealed in His Word every precept you must know to do so.

Every divine precept is "right." It shows you the path that is right and true. What a wonderful confidence that is! While many around you may be discouraged or despondent because of their lack of direction and purpose, God's Word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Ps. 119:105). It guides you through the difficult mazes of life and gives your life eternal significance. Don't live simply for your own pleasures. Your life has a high and holy purpose, and each day can be filled with joy as you see that purpose unfold.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Ask God to help you be mindful of your eternal purpose today and every day.
  • Ask Him to direct you to someone who needs Christ and is sensing a lack of purpose in his or her life.

For Further Study

Read Colossians 3:1-4.

  • How did Paul describe Christ?
  • What should be the focus of your thinking?
  • Are you heeding Paul's exhortation?



From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

Additional Resources
Posted: October 20, 2017, 7:00 am

This article originally appeared here at Grace to You.

Daily Bible



GTY: The MacArthur Daily Bible

This unique resource takes a portion of the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs for each day of the year, with background notes and explanations from John MacArthur to help guide and inform you.

Reading for Today:

  • Jeremiah 25:1–26:24
  • Psalm 119:25-32
  • Proverbs 27:17
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17

Notes:

Jeremiah 25:11 seventy years. Here is the first specific statement on the length of the exile. This period probably began in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, when Jerusalem was first captured and the temple treasures were taken. It ends with the decree of Cyrus to let the Jews return, spanning from ca. 605/04 B.C. to 536/35 B.C. The exact number of Sabbath years is 490 years, the period from Saul to the Babylonian captivity. This was retribution for their violation of the Sabbath law (Lev. 26:34, 35; 2 Chr. 36:21).

Jeremiah 26:12 Jeremiah spoke. Leaders and people threatened to kill him (v. 8). The prophet defended himself while in extreme danger. He did not compromise but displayed tremendous spiritual courage. He was ready to die (v. 14), yet warned the crowd that God would hold the guilty accountable (v. 15).

Proverbs 27:17 iron sharpens iron. The benefits of intellectual and theological discussion encourage joy through a keener mind and the improvement of good character which the face will reveal.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 the mystery of lawlessness. This is the spirit of lawlessness already prevalent in society (1 John 3:4; 5:17), but still a mystery in that it is not fully revealed as it will be in the one who so blatantly opposes God that he blasphemously assumes the place of God on earth which God has reserved for Jesus Christ. The spirit of such a man is already in operation (1 John 2:18; 4:3), but the man who fully embodies that spirit has not come. taken out of the way. This refers not to spatial removal (therefore it could not be the Rapture of the church) but rather “a stepping aside.” The idea is “out of the way,” not gone. This restraint will be in place until the Antichrist is revealed, at the midpoint of the Tribulation, leaving him 42 months to reign (Dan. 7:25; Rev. 13:5).

2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10 the lawless one. He will do mighty acts pointing to himself as supernaturally empowered. His whole operation will be deceptive, luring the world to worship him and be damned. The career of the coming lawless one is more fully described in Revelation 13:1–18.


DAY 20: What is the “falling away” that Paul speaks of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4?

The Day of the Lord cannot occur until a deliberate abandonment of a formerly professed position, allegiance, or commitment occurs (the term was used to refer to military, political, or religious rebellion). Some have suggested, on questionable linguistic evidence, that this refers to a “departure” in the sense of the Rapture. Context, however, points to a religious defection, which is further described in v. 4.The language indicates a specific event, not general apostasy which exists now and always will. Rather, Paul has in mind the apostasy. This is an event which is clearly and specifically identifiable and unique, the consummate act of rebellion, an event of final magnitude. The key to identifying the event is to identify the main person, which Paul does, calling him the “man of sin.” Some texts have “man of lawlessness,” but there is no real difference in meaning since sin equals lawlessness (1 John 3:4). This is the one who is called “the prince who is to come” (Dan. 9:26) and “the little horn” (Dan. 7:8), whom John calls “the beast” (Rev. 13:2–10, 18) and most know as the Antichrist. The context and language clearly identify a real person in future times who actually does the things prophesied of him in Scripture. He is also called “the son of perdition” or destruction, a term used of Judas Iscariot (John 17:12).

“The falling away” is the abomination of desolation that takes place at the midpoint of the Tribulation spoken of in Daniel 9:27; 11:31 and Matthew 24:15. This man is not Satan, although Satan is the force behind him (v. 9) and he has motives like the desires of the devil (Is. 14:13, 14). Paul is referring to the very act of ultimate apostasy which reveals the final Antichrist and sets the course for the events that usher in the Day of the Lord. Apparently, he will be seen as supportive of religion so that God and Christ will not appear as his enemies until the apostasy. He exalts himself and opposes God by moving into the temple, the place for worship of God, declaring himself to be God and demanding the worship of the world. In this act of satanic self-deification, he commits the great apostasy in defiance of God.



From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

Additional Resources
Posted: October 20, 2017, 7:00 am

This article originally appeared here at Grace to You.

Strength For Today



GTY: Strength For Today Daily Devotional

This devotional helps you build a healthy study habit that can change your life. Each reading includes the day's date, discussion of a crucial issue, and suggestions for prayer and suggestions for prayer and further study.

“I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification” (Romans 6:19).

You must live consistent with your new nature.

It is a truism that in the spiritual realm, no one stands still. Sin leads to more sin, while holy living leads to further righteousness. All unbelievers are slaves of sin and have no choice but to sin; yielding to sin comes naturally to them. They are inwardly full of “impurity” and hence outwardly given to “lawlessness.” They continually spiral downward; sin leads to more sin, which leads in turn to still more sin. Ultimately, sin will drag a person into the depths of Hell.

For Christians, however, the spiral is an upward one. Having become new creatures at salvation (2 Cor. 5:17), believers are no longer servants of sin. The Christian life is the process of bringing one’s lifestyle into line with one’s nature. As believers “present their members as slaves to righteousness,” the inevitable result is further “sanctification.” Decreasing frequency of sin, therefore, is a sure sign of a mature believer.

Paul knew all too well from his own experience that the believer’s body is a battleground. In his spiritual autobiography he wrote, “I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:21-24).

How are you faring in the daily battle with sin? If victories are few and far between, perhaps you have forgotten Paul’s exhortation to “present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Rom. 12:1).

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray with the psalmist, “Establish my footsteps in Thy word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me” (Ps. 119:133).

For Further Study

Identify one area in which you lack self-control. Use a concordance to see what Proverbs teaches about your problem.



From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

Additional Resources
Posted: October 20, 2017, 7:00 am

This article originally appeared here at Grace to You.

Daily Readings



GTY: Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1

This devotional focuses on the life of Christ. Many years of careful study provide rich insights to help you ponder Jesus' life and contemplate its meaning. This is the perfect supplement to a daily intake of God's Word.

“‘. . . so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life’” (John 5:23–24).

The Father’s purpose in entrusting all judgment to Jesus is “so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father.” It is only fitting that those equal in nature (vv. 17–18), works (vv. 19–20), power and sovereignty (v. 21), and judgment (v. 22) would be accorded equal honor. The Father’s honor is not diminished by the honor paid to Christ; on the contrary, it is enhanced.

Although the unbelieving Jews thought they were truly worshiping God while rejecting His Son (cf. 16:2), instead the opposite was true: “he who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” “He who hates Me,” Jesus warned, “hates My Father also” (John 15:23). Those who refuse to honor the Son while claiming to honor the Father are actually self-deceived.

That the Father and the Son are to be afforded equal honor forcefully asserts Christ’s deity and equality with God, who declared through the prophet Isaiah, “I will not give My glory to another” (Isa. 42:8; cf. 48:11). Yet the Father has commanded that “all will honor the Son.” Willingly or unwillingly, everyone will eventually obey the Father’s command to honor Jesus Christ. The blessed promise to those who believe is that they “do not come into judgment, but [have] passed out of death into life.”

Ask Yourself

Many in our culture today still don’t have a lot of trouble believing in God, but Jesus is quite another matter. Are you sometimes convinced that a person is spiritually sound because he talks favorably of God and exhibits some good qualities? How do you speak to an individual like this about his or her need for Jesus?



From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, www.moodypublishers.com.

Additional Resources
Posted: October 20, 2017, 7:00 am

This article originally appeared here at Grace to You.