READ: “Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to” Lk 13.24.

THINK: Behind the phrase exert every effort is a word that means to fight (for), combat, compete, run (BGAD). This intense term, whence comes our word agonize, indicates maximum effort, “expend all one’s energy to reach a significant goal” (EDBW). This fighting effort is needed in knowledge, Prov 2.1-5, in prayer, Col 4.18, in meeting with the church, Heb 10.24-25; 12.1, and in the gospel, Phil 1.30, among other areas. Continue reading

READ: “You have purified your souls by obeying the truth” 1 Pet 1.22.

THINK: Obeying the truth is the same as obeying the Lord Jesus, Mt 7.21. This truth is revealed in Scripture. Obedience purifies the soul from sin, which means redemption, Eph 1.7. Eternal salvation is for those who obey Jesus, Heb 5.9. Faith without obedience is useless for justification, Jas 2.14-26. Continue reading

READ: “Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him.” Lk 17.3.

THINK: We can’t refuse to forgive a brother and expect God’s forgiveness, Mt 6.12-15. Forgiveness is more than not taking a brother’s error into account; it seeks his restoration through loving confrontation. He who loves rebukes; letting a brother continue in sin shows a lack of concern for his eternal destiny. Continue reading

READ: “Then he said to them all, ‘If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it’ ” Lk 9.23-24.

THINK: To follow Jesus, the self cannot survive. Dying to self is a daily task. The true person is not in the ego, but in following Jesus. Self-preservation is a diabolical act; self-denial is a divine act. Following Jesus is the way of salvation. A condition of following him: death! Continue reading

On the Portuguese devotional site, we began today a 52-part series on the actions of the follower of Christ. Below is the first in the series.

READ: “He who believes and is immersed shall be saved” Mark 16.16 MEG.

THINK: Whoever obeys the commandment of the Lord Jesus knows he is saved, according to his promise. Salvation is based, not on feelings, but on the reality of Christ’s offering and on the possibility of verifying if we are saved or not. See 1 John 5.13. We can be sure of our salvation when we obey what Jesus commands. Continue reading

What a sad day when no one was found who cared enough for the people of God to keep them from being destroyed.

I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.
Ezekiel 22.30 NLT

The people of Israel were destroyed because no one sought to stop the idolatry and injustice in their midst. Continue reading