READ: “Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names stand written in heaven” Lk 10.20.

THINK: The saint rejoices in eternal salvation and in his participation in the sufferings of Christ, Mt 5.10-12; Acts 5.41; Heb 10.34; 1 Pet 4.13. Joy overrides circumstances. Trials are reason for joy, Jas 1.2-4. It is contagious, Rom 12.15. With so many reminders in the Bible, it seems that we easily forget our joy. Heavenly joy over repentance ought to be our joy also, Lk 15. Continue reading

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

Glory to God for his great deeds in all of history for the good of man and the recovery of that original communion in the garden of Eden, for his holiness that does not look upon evil, for his patience with his people who soon forget their redemption! Blessed be the God of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whose acts are beyond counting and whose praiseworthy deeds are beyond relating!

Psa 106. Subscribe!

Glory to God for healing in body and soul,
For opening to man discoveries of physical well-being,
And bringing to mankind salvation in Jesus Christ,
For showing that he is Lord over the spiritual and physical,
And demonstrating in every way his mercy and love,
Compassion for the suffering, willingness to hear our pleas.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, for God is good and gracious!

To God give glory for not looking away from our horrendous state of sin, for seeing us as we are, for getting his hands dirty in the person of Jesus, for not ignoring the baseness and perversity of man! Exalt him who knows us through and through and still can love! God be praised for his knowledge of man and for his rescue through the Lord Jesus Christ!

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