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Post  Admin on Tue 26 May 2020, 12:59 pm

Date: May 26, 2020 at 12:00 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord Is My Shepherd

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-and I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10:14-15 

Scripture Focus: John 10:11-18

Almost anyone-young or old-knows the famous first phrase of David's twenty-third psalm: "The LORD is my shepherd." While David would be called into conflict many times in his life, perhaps this very phrase brought him assurance. He may have repeated it as a lion had to be overpowered to save the flock, as Goliath was to be slain to preserve Israel's army, as whole nations had to be subdued to maintain the kingdom committed to his trust. 

But out in the quiet fields with nothing extraordinary happening, there was just the sound of a shepherd boy's harp stirring the twilight air. The flocks lie safe and peaceful under the comfort of his watchful eye. The sheep sense the steadfastness of their young shepherd. For the moment, no marauding predator-man or beast-can invade the fold committed to David's care. When the peaceful moments of life evaporate and the marauding predators press in, repeat the words you have known since you were a child. Believe them. 

Search for no other comfort. For the Lord alone is your Shepherd.

Insight: Cares of this world will try to impede and ravage your life. Sometimes they will succeed. But always the Good Shepherd is there for you.

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


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Post  Admin on Sun 17 May 2020, 12:21 pm

God’s Pleasure
 
   
   
 
“'Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?' says the Lord God, 'and not that he should turn from his ways and live? … Therefore turn and live!'” – Ezekiel 18:23, 32 NKJV

The Bible is filled with warnings. Ezekiel, for example, was called to deliver messages of judgment. It is possible to read these warnings and assume that God desired vengeance. But His Word gives us a more complete picture.

Yes, God does deliver prophecies of judgment. Yet, as He made clear to Ezekiel, He warns us not because He desires to punish, but because He loves us and wants the best for us. The warnings are designed to help us.

In fact, He has no pleasure in the death of anyone, not even the wicked. His plea, through Ezekiel, was that all who are not living in accordance with His laws would turn and live, that they would change.

God’s true desire was clearly demonstrated when He sent Jesus. The fact is that He loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” He did not send Jesus to condemn us “but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).

He is a loving Father who wants the best for His children. He simply wants us not to be fooled by deception and false promises, to stay away from temptations, and to live according to His purposes. He wants us to be saved.

Remember, God desires the best for you. Cooperate with Him. Experience His love. And pray for the salvation of the lost.

Prayer
Father, help me turn away from sin and anything that displeases You. I love You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Extended Reading

Ezekiel 18

Date: May 16, 2020 at 1:05 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  Melting Mountains

Melting Mountains

"The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth." Psalm 97:5  

Scripture Focus: Psalm 97 

What would a mountain look like if it melted like wax? Think of a volcano with thick streams of fiery rock sliding down the mountain's sides. But what if the whole mountain melted? What if there were no solid layer of rock under the lava, but every inch from top to bottom simply collapsed, dripped, slid, and melted away? It's hard to imagine that happening because mountains are so big, the highest of them beckoning only the bravest climbers to adventure to their tops. 
Mountains don't move. We use them to mark our way and help us when we're lost. Their strength is almost incomprehensible. A plane might crash into the side of a mountain, but the mountain itself looks barely changed. Yet before the Lord, the psalmist says, the mountains melt like wax. This is why Jesus deserves not only our awe, but also our faith, fear, and worship. He is the Lord; "by him all things were created" (Colossians 1:16). On His day of judgment, "the mountains [will] melt beneath him, like wax before the fire" (Micah 1:4).

Insight: Almighty God, teach me to fear you above all things; to know my weakness and to trust your strength.

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


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Post  Admin on Fri 15 May 2020, 11:49 am

Date: May 15, 2020 at 12:27 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  Depths of the Earth

Depths of the Earth

"In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him." Psalm 95:4   

Scripture Focus: Psalm 95

When I was seven, I once tried to dig a hole to the other side of the earth. I imagined that if I dug straight, eventually I would pop out, upside down, in some bustling Chinese marketplace. What kid hasn't dreamed of doing this? I didn't know then that my 7,916 miles of digging would end not in China, but would be in the middle of the Indian Ocean. 

I can laugh now at the thought of my ambitious undertaking. After the dirt of my own farmyard, I would have had to dig through miles of rock before reaching the mantle, the outer core, and the inner core with its white-hot combination of nickel, aluminum, and iron. Who knows what else I'd find along the way? 

Well, God does. He knows every inch of what He has made. I like thinking about that. As strong as the earth is under my feet, God is stronger. He holds in His hand every continental shelf, every ocean, every seven-year-old with a shovel. Lots of things are impossible for me, but nothing is impossible for God, even rising up from the grave with salvation for me.

Insight: Is there something you think God is incapable of doing? There is nothing too deep or too high for Him!

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


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Post  Admin on Tue 23 Jul 2019, 10:31 pm

Date: July 23, 2019 at 1:22 AM

Topic: +DEV+  Deeds of Deliverance

Deeds of Deliverance

"He made known, his deeds to the people of Israel."  Psalm 103:7b

Scripture Focus: Psalm 103

We know that oftentimes celebrating a person means praising their accomplishments: "Thirty years with the company - what an esteemed employee!" Or "Ten years and two championships for the team - he's this town's hero!" Or "First member of the family to graduate college - we couldn't be more proud of you!" In a similar manner, God's ways revealed to Israel something about who He is, making Him praiseworthy, indeed. 

He delivered Israel out of bondage, fear, and indignity in Egypt, calling them to be His people. He did this with great deeds. He released them from Pharaoh's iron grip. He took them across the Red Sea, and He defeated their enemies in the Exodus. Through these deeds God displayed to Israel who He is: the One full of steadfast love and faithfulness to His people. 

Let us not think He is done "making his deeds known" for us! "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). As strange as it may seem (1 Corinthians 1:18), this is His greatest deed. 

Insight: Take time today to reflect on all god has accomplished for you in the gospel, and in the countless ways he continues to be faithful.

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


Michael D. Inman

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Post  Admin on Mon 22 Jul 2019, 10:14 pm

Date: July 22, 2019 at 1:17 AM
Topic: +DEV+ The Gospel According to Moses

The Gospel According to Moses

"He made known His ways to Moses," Psalm 103:7a

Scripture Focus: Psalm 103

Did you know that God revealed the gospel to Moses? Even in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve had sinned, God promised a Savior, the woman's offspring, saying to Satan (who tempted through the serpent), "He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel"(Genesis 3:15). And when the Lord revealed the law to Moses, He revealed not only His character but also the works that Jesus would accomplish for us. 

Truly there are many references to Christ in the biblical books Moses wrote: the garden; the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the priest-king, Melchizedek; the flood and Noah's ark; the Passover lamb; the bread from heaven; and even the tent in which God met Moses! Since the beginning of the Bible, God's revelation of His ways points us to Jesus who Himself gave us this example when, "Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself" (Luke 24:27). 

How thankful we are that the whole Bible calls out the name of Jesus who came to save us! 

Insight: "I know that everything god does will endure forever, God does it so that men will revere him." (Ecclesiastes 3:14)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site: http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm

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Post  Admin on Thu 18 Jul 2019, 3:10 pm

Date: July 18, 2019 at 12:31 AM

Topic: +DEV+  The Cry for Justice

The Cry for Justice

"The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed."  Psalm 103:6

Scripture Focus: Psalm 103

Early in life a child learns the age-old cry, "It's not fair!" Though adulthood lowers the frequency and volume of the lament, the truth is that it continues to ring in our hearts. Racism tears apart our social fabric. People around us lie and cheat yet are rewarded for it. 

We try to do the right thing, but we are unrecognized and uncompensated. So with all our hearts, we cry out, "It's not fair!" David tells us of the God who hears these cries and promises to make things right. He will work righteousness and justice for all who cry out, "It's not fair!" What sweet comfort and hope this gives us in a world that seems so unjust! You can be certain that it will not always be so. Yet, as good as this news is, we also tremble when we realize that we ourselves are often the oppressors and the unjust. 

Thanks be to God for Christ Jesus, who lived a life of righteousness and justice and who suffered injustice and oppression on our behalf. Because of Him, we will face God's justice not as His enemies, but as His friends. 

Insight: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." (Matthew 5:6)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


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Post  Admin on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 4:00 pm

Date: July 16, 2019 at 12:51 AM

Topic: +DEV+  Discovering Our Role

Discovering Our Role

“…who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion."  Psalm 103:4

Scripture Focus: Psalm 103

Life is a story. Some people's stories make the front pages of newspapers or the covers of magazines. Some become interviews on popular talk shows. When the story features a hero, we all wish to be cast in the leading role as the one who saves the day. 

But who wants to be interviewed as the helpless victim being saved? Not many! Yet Scripture teaches us that we are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). While we were pronounced "dead at the scene," the amazing thing is that a Hero arrived to save us (vs. 5). It is in Jesus Christ that we find our true Hero who gave to us a believing heart that now beats with eternal life (see John 5:24)! So why wait to be featured in a story about you? Be cast in a supporting role of God's Story of Redemption

This is a chronicle of being rescued and redeemed from the present evil age by the will of God (Galatians 1:4). Let us never forget God's steadfast love to us as the one "who redeems your life" and who has written us beautifully into His magnificent story. 
Insight: "All my hope lies in this: I am a sinner, I trust him, then he came to save me, and I am saved." (Charles Spurgeon, 1898)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


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Post  Admin on Mon 15 Jul 2019, 11:12 pm

Date: July 15, 2019 at 12:48 AM

Topic: +DEV+  The Healer



The Healer

"Praise the LORD, O my soul, who, heals all your diseases."  Psalm 103:2-3b
Scripture Focus: Psalm 103

Are you or someone you know suffering physically right now? In our text today, it assures us that the Lord "heals all your diseases." Our diseases may be illnesses, injuries or weaknesses, but they include spiritual disabilities as well.

John Calvin comments that not only has God forgiven our sins, but He also "cleanses us from our corruptions, and restores to us the healthy condition of a godly and upright life." In His earthly ministry, Jesus showed His care for sick people. He made the paralyzed and lame to walk again, He caused the blind to see, He healed the bleeding woman, and He raised the dead to life. He is able to heal our physical and spiritual diseases. 

In His own death on the cross, "he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;,and by his wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). If you are in Christ, someday Our Savior will usher you into a new heavens and earth, where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, “…for the former things has passed away" (Revelation 21:4). 

Insight: "Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise." (Jeremiah 17:14)

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Post  Admin on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 1:10 am

Date: July 12, 2019 at 1:15 AM
Topic: +DEV+  Inside Out Worship


Inside Out Worship

"All my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul."  Psalm 103:1-2a

Scripture Focus: Psalm 103

When you worship God, how deep down into you does your adoration go? Words of songs pass through your lips. But does their truth sink into your mind? Does the stunning splendor of God's glory and grace lay hold of your very core, stirring awestruck wonder? Or does your worship stay safely on the surface, lest God's reality rock your world? 

It is all too easy to say the right words of praise to God while our hearts focus elsewhere: "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me" (Mark 7:6). David knows he must summon every fiber of who he is-"all my inmost being"-to praise his God. Such wholehearted praise does not come naturally to our self-centered hearts. In fact, only one man in all history could truly say, "I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart" (Psalm 40:8). 

He is the God-man Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:5-10). Fixing our heart's gaze on Jesus gradually attunes our inmost being to His delight in praising His Father, and we worship from the inside out. [Dr. Dennis Johnson, Seminary professor, Escondido, CA]

Insight: “…serve {god} with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts." (1 Chronicles 28:9)
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Post  Admin on Thu 11 Jul 2019, 12:00 pm

Date: July 11, 2019 at 12:21 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Talking to Yourself

Talking to Yourself

"Praise the LORD, O my soul." Psalm 103:1a

Scripture Focus: Psalm 103

Do you talk to yourself? Of course you do. We all do, at least silently (I call it bad when you aregue and loose the argument with yourself), if not out loud! What do you discuss with yourself? Worries and fears? Complaints? Criticisms? Or do you rehearse the abundant gifts of God? Each November we observe a national holiday called Thanksgiving. Although often overshadowed by football games and Christmas shopping, Thanksgiving's roots lie in an earlier generation's gratitude to God for a harvest sufficient to get them through the harsh winter. They stopped toiling and "took stock" of the generosity of their Creator, Provider, and Redeemer. 

In Psalm 103 David is "taking stock." He is talking to himself, reminding himself of God's grace. He lists not gifts he hopes to get, but gifts the Lord has already lavished on him. David savors the Lord as his heart's chief treasure and the theme that he loves to share. Let David's self- talk, his list of God's gifts in Jesus, sweeten the flavor of your internal conversation with heartfelt thanks. 

Insight: "Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done." (Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1897)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site: http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm

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Post  Admin on Wed 10 Jul 2019, 11:54 am

Date: July 10, 2019 at 1:14 AM
Topic: +DEV+ A Mighty Fortress

A Mighty Fortress

"The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress." Psalm 46:11

Scripture Focus: Psalm 46

Martin Luther, the German-born Protestant Reformer who labored tirelessly to spread the message of God-given righteousness by faith in Christ, was no superhero. He was often tired and discouraged. In those times, it's said he would turn to his colleague Philip Melanchthon and say, "Let' s sing the forty-sixth psalm.” 

A Mighty Fortress is Our God, written by Luther and sung today in almost every known language, is based on this psalm. Verse two of the hymn captures the confidence God's people have: "Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing, were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God's own choosing. You ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is he; Lord Sabaoth his name, from age to age the same; and he must win the battle.” 

Lord Sabaoth, reflecting the Hebrew (vs. 7, 11), means "the commander of heavenly armies." Five hundred years ago today Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door. The Lord of the heavenly armies still calls to unworthy sinners like you and me, all because of Jesus.

Insight: "Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same; and he must win the battle." (Martin Luther, 1535)

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Post  Admin on Tue 09 Jul 2019, 11:11 am

Date: July 8, 2019 at 12:34 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Our Sweet Savior

Our Sweet Savior

"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy." 1 Peter 1:8

Scripture Focus: 1 Peter 1

Martin Luther could be like a bull in a china shop when defending truth. Sometimes he said things he shouldn't have said. But he was a work in progress like any of us and, for all his faults, he could make the good news of Jesus beautiful for despairing sinners. He called Jesus "joy and sweetness" to broken hearts. 

It wasn't just about 95 theses and disputations for Luther-it was about the enduring love of Christ for people who desperately need Him. Peter wrote his first letter to people who suffered "all kinds of trials" (1:6). They were far from home, persecuted for their faith, and struggling to remember Jesus. 

In the middle of life's dark moments, it can be hard to remember the hope that's in store for us. When our hearts are broken, we forget the beauty that awaits God's people. But when we believe in Jesus, we're "filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy." Is your heart grieved and broken? Are you looking for hope? Remember your sweet Savior. Believe in Him and be filled with the inexpressible joy of salvation.

Insight: "For Christ is the Joy and Sweetness to a broken heart." (Martin Luther, 1535)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site: http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm

Michael D. Inman



Date: July 9, 2019 at 1:10 AM
Topic: +DEV+ The Event

The Event

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Scripture Focus: Galatians 2

When October comes to a close, it means Christmas is just around the corner. A friend of mine who works for a major store chain tells me the company prepares all year for Christmas, or what they call "The Event." "The Event" is their biggest revenue season of the year. 

The Event that Christians celebrate at Christmas isn't about revenue at all. It's about the greatest gift ever given-Jesus Himself. Paul says that when the Son of God came from heaven to live among us, He wasn't motivated by personal gain but by pure kindness and love. Because of that selfless love, we receive the dividends of divine mercy. Without this mercy, we're left with obedience to God's law as the only way of salvation. But we're not up to that task. 

Jesus summed up the law as love for God and love for others. He fulfilled both for us when He lived the perfect life of obedience to the Father and when He gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin. It was The Event that brought us redemption, and it means the world to us all year long!

Insight: "Out of pure kindness He loved me, loved me so that He gave Himself for me." (Martin Luther, 1535)

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Post  Admin on Wed 03 Jul 2019, 10:39 pm

Date: July 3, 2019 at 1:14 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Gospel Substitution

Gospel Substitution

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

Scripture Focus: Isaiah 53

The Book of Isaiah has been called the Fifth Gospel. It's the Mount Everest of the Old Testament, with steep slopes that are slow going but offer beautiful gospel vistas at the top. Isaiah 53 is one such point where the view takes our breath away. It's a prophecy about Jesus, who He would be, and what He would do. 

Isaiah 53:5 shows us that Jesus' horrible suffering and death were substitutionary; they stood in our place. He suffered and died for our transgressions, for our iniquities, for our sins. Martin Luther once said, "We all carry about in our pockets His very nails." That chilling thought could make us try to make up for the sins we've done. Luther certainly tried in his early days of following God, and he always fell short. But he finally understood that Jesus willingly bore the wounds we deserved so that we could be made whole again. 

All our efforts to atone for our own sins are superfluous: If Christ has born our sins, we need not attempt to bear them again. Gospel substitution is good news for sinners in need of grace.

Insight: "If Christ bears our sins, we do not bear them." (Martin Luther, 1535)

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Post  Admin on Mon 01 Jul 2019, 10:06 pm

Date: July 1, 2019 at 12:12 AM
Topic: +DEV+ The Best for the Worst

The Best for the Worst

"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst." 1 Timothy 1:15

Scripture Focus: 1 Timothy 1

It's never good to revel in our sin. That's not what Paul is doing. But recognizing that we are sinners allows us to rejoice in the gospel. That Paul himself admitted he was a sinner is great encouragement to us. When we're overwhelmed by sin, try as we might to resist temptation, there is still hope. Paul gives us reason for hope when we fail. He says, "You think you're a sinner? I'm the worst! But Jesus came to save even the worst of us." 

Try as he might, Martin Luther failed to obey God over and over again. That frustrated him at first, because he had been told that God requires us to live perfectly righteous lives to receive redemption. But we can't do it ourselves. Our best is never enough. Thankfully, Jesus is the best. 

Paul went on: "But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life" (vs. 16). Admit you're "the worst," and rejoice in Jesus' best for you.

Insight: "If we cannot deny that we are sinners, we cannot deny that Christ died for our sins." (Martin Luther, 1535)

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Post  Admin on Thu 27 Jun 2019, 10:11 pm

Date: June 27, 2019 at 12:42 AM
Topic: +DEV+ United with Christ

United with Christ

"When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:4

Scripture Focus: Colossians 3

If there's one thing that constantly drags us down in despair as we live the Christian life, it's our failure to understand what it means to be united with Christ. Often we think about justification, about forgiveness, about being reconciled with God. But we fail to grasp our union with Christ. We think it means to be devoted to Him, to be committed to His cause, to be about what He is about. But that's the wrong picture. 

Paul says that He is our life. Just try to grasp that! Our only hope of one day seeing God is that God now sees Jesus in us. If we have faith in Christ, we no longer exist as we once did. When He died, we died. When He was raised, we were raised. And most gloriously of all-when He appears in glory, we who believe in Him will appear in glory, too. Because of this, we can set our minds on things above instead of the temptations and concerns of this life. 

When we're united with Christ, as Martin Luther said, "Faith connects you so intimately with Christ, that He and you become as it were one person."

Insight: "Faith connects you so intimately with Christ, that he and you become as it were one person." (Martin Luther, 1535)

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Post  Admin on Wed 26 Jun 2019, 9:52 am

Date: June 26, 2019 at 12:45 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Abiding in Christ

Abiding in Christ

"If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5b

Scripture Focus: John 15

One of the wonderful things about our Savior is that He has a way with words. Jesus is a wordsmith, and the Gospels are filled with beautiful imagery about the secure hold He has on His people. In John 15, He gives us the picture of a vibrant grapevine to which we cling like clusters of grapes. His people flourish in Him. Growing up, we had a grapevine that intertwined itself into the orange tree beside our house. 

The grapes split on the vine before they ever ripened. Without a healthy vine, the grapes were no good. That will never happen with those who abide in Christ. Our Savior calls us to bear good, beautiful fruit, even though we can't do it ourselves. We're nothing if we're not continually drawing on the riches of His grace. 

If we try to bear fruit by our own self-effort, our own pride, our own pursuit of glory, we shrivel up as fast as those grapes at my home drying up in the Sinaloa sun. When we abide in Jesus' love, nothing can separate us from Him. We flourish because He is the true vine and holds us fast.

Insight: "As long as I abide in Christ, nothing can hurt me." (Martin Luther, 1535)

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Post  Admin on Tue 25 Jun 2019, 11:51 pm

+DEV+  Lifted Up
Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:48 pm (PDT) . Posted by: "Michael Inman" n0klu
Date: June 25, 2019 at 12:46 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Lifted Up

Lifted Up

"The Lord said to Moses, Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." Numbers 21:8

Scripture Focus: Numbers 21

Jesus' words in John 3:16 might be the most famous words in all of Scripture: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Today's reading is the backstory to the two preceding verses: "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life" (John 3:14-15). There in the wilderness, God's judgment came against sinners in the terrifying form of snakes sent in to destroy. But God provided deliverance. A bronze snake was lifted up in their midst, and anyone who looked at it was saved. Jesus says in John 3, "That was about me." This becomes clear in light of the cross. The snakes sent in to destroy represented the consequences of our sin (Romans 3:23). But God's Son came down from heaven into our midst to be lifted up in our place, bearing the full weight of sin's consequences on His shoulders. Whoever looks to Him will be saved. Turn to Him today!

Insight: "We must turn our eyes to the brazen serpent, Christ crucified." (Martin Luther, 1535)

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Post  Admin on Sat 22 Jun 2019, 6:07 pm

Date: June 21, 2019 at 12:58 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Look Up!

Look Up!

“…not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” Philippians 3:9

Scripture Focus: Philippians 3

Martin Luther had an impressive moral resume. He was a dedicated Augustinian monk. Like Paul, Luther could say, "If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more." But also like Paul, once Luther understood that he was not declared righteous by his fine record of deeds but by God's free grace, he would say that all such résumés-however impressive-should be crumpled up and tossed in the garbage. 

Many of us live as though our lives were one long job interview with God. We think that if we can't present extraordinary qualifications, we will be rejected. But God doesn't want to see our résumés. It has too many gaps and fabricated facts. If it were up to us, we would be out of the running so fast our heads would spin. We'd be passed over and forgotten. 

There's only one thing God wants to see, and once He has, we're accepted forever-it's Jesus! God doesn't look at us and our record. We shouldn't either. Rather, look up by faith to what God requires: Christ and His righteousness alone.

Insight: I must look to Jesus, for "if I keep on looking at myself, I am gone" (Martin Luther, 1535).

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Post  Admin on Fri 21 Jun 2019, 9:43 pm

God At Eventide  by Two Listeners

June 21 - Yours

Appeal to Me often. Do not implore so much as claim My Help as your right.

It is yours in Friendship’s name. Claim it with a mighty, impelling insistence. It is yours.

Not so much Mine to give you, as yours; but yours because it is included in the Great Gift of Myself that I gave you.

An All-embracing Gift, a Wonder Gift. Claim, accept, use it. All is well.

Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25

Copyright © 2019 Two Listeners, All rights reserved.
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Post  Admin on Thu 20 Jun 2019, 10:30 am

Date: June 20, 2019 at 1:16 AM
Topic: +DEV+ No Fear of Death

No Fear of Death

"Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died." Genesis 5:5

Scripture Focus: Genesis 5

You might be scratching your head if you made it through today's reading, Genesis 5. Are you wondering, What's the point? There is a reason genealogies don't feature in our favorite memory verses. If you skimmed this reading, I hope you at least caught the four little words repeated throughout the chapter: “…and then he died." The stark reality of life's brevity is evident.

But we can rejoice as we read Genesis 5 because God also gave us Romans 5: "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned, if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ" (vs.12, 17).

Romans 5 gives the backstory to Genesis 5 and God's wonderful solution to the depressing refrain of death. Jesus lives, and no fear of death should distress those made alive by faith in Him.

Insight: "Christ is risen from death. Why should we now fear the grave?" (Martin Luther, 1535)

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Post  Admin on Tue 18 Jun 2019, 2:54 pm

Date: June 18, 2019 at 12:48 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Into the Arms of Christ

Into the Arms of Christ

", through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:2

Scripture Focus: Romans 8

Today's reading undergirds Martin Luther's gospel logic. That is, it is only when we have been driven into the arms of Christ by the law, as Luther would say, that we experience the freedom and joy of living the Spirit-filled life, willing and even able to live a life pleasing to the Lord. Paul calls it our "obligation" (8:12). 

But it's not an obligation motivated by the threat of God's law. It's an obligation motivated by God's grace through Jesus and our heartfelt gratitude. The law that said "do this and live"-what Paul calls the law of sin and death-is replaced with "it's done!" And now that it's done, we're in the new realm of the Spirit where our gratitude and joy in salvation set our minds on what the Spirit wants us to be about. 

The Spirit tells us we are God's children (8:16) and teaches us to live like children, forever loved by their Father. By the Spirit, we've been given a new family name. By the Spirit, we learn to live out that new family identity, forever safe in Jesus' welcoming, loving, open arms.

Insight: "The law is abolished as far as I'm concerned, when it has driven me into the arms of Christ." (Martin Luther, 1535)

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Post  Admin on Fri 14 Jun 2019, 10:21 am

Date: June 14, 2019 at 12:32 AM

Topic: +DEV+  Wake-Up Call

Wake-Up Call

"So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith."  Galatians 3:9
Scripture Focus: Galatians 3

When we start thinking that we have to add something to the gospel to be made right with God, we need a wake-up call. Paul doesn't mince words when he confronts the church in Galatia: "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you" (vs. 1)? That sounds a little over the top. What would you think if a pastor stood in the pulpit and said, "What's with you people?" We might recoil and take offense. But we shouldn't. It's a wake-up call we all need. The primary job of a faithful herald of the gospel is to remind us of who we are in Christ and call us to the freedom of that wonderful truth. We need to be reminded because too often we forget and start trying to pay our own way to peace with God. When we've forgotten who we are, we need God's Word of forgiveness to grab us by the shoulders and ask, "What's with you?" Again and again we must be reminded that our debt is paid when we rely on Jesus. Isn't that a breath of fresh air? Never recoil at the reminder to rely on the forgiveness and grace of Christ alone.

Insight: "I have brought you the true Gospel, suddenly you drop the Gospel. What has got into you?" (Martin Luther, 1535)

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Post  Admin on Thu 13 Jun 2019, 10:48 am

Date: June 13, 2019 at 12:58 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Jesus is No Javert

Jesus is No Javert

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:17

Scripture Focus: John 3

In Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Misérables, we meet a character named Javert who was born in prison and grew up to be a prison guard. Strict justice is all he knows. He becomes an officer of the law with an undying love for authority and a hatred of rebellion. When the character Jean Valjean escapes prison, it is Javert's all-consuming passion to hold him to justice. Javert simply can't envision a world where grace or mercy exists. Unlike Javert, Jesus can envision a world where grace and mercy exist. In fact, they are the very reason He came. He didn't come hunting down and condemning law-breakers. He came to give His life for them. But He doesn't commute their sentence; He fulfills it. He takes their condemnation on Himself and saves them by His life and death in their place. We're like Jean Valjean-guilty and in need of grace. So it's good news for us that Jesus is not Javert. John tells us "The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (1:17). And that grace is chasing hard after you.

Insight: "Christ is no sheriff. He is 'the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.'" (Martin Luther, 1535)

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Post  Admin on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 2:28 pm

Date: June 12, 2019 at 1:11 AM
Topic: +DEV+ The Body They May Kill

The Body They May Kill

"They called out in a loud voice, How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Revelation 6:10

Scripture Focus: Revelation 6

Luther was very aware of the real threat to his life for taking a stand for truth. He was told to retract his teachings, and after a day of sober reflection, he replied with the now-famous words, "I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me." He said he was bound to the truth and could not waver in his resolve to teach the gospel of grace. A price was put on his head, but he continued faithfully laboring in the service of truth. There will always be a price to pay when we stand for truth. In today's reading, we're given a glimpse into the throne room, and depicted there are those who have lost their lives for their witness to Christ. They cry out, "How long, Sovereign Lord!" They cry out for justice, and rightly so. The answer? They receive a white robe, and they're told to wait. We're not very good at waiting, are we? Justice is coming, and God's kingdom will prevail. We can wait patiently for justice, knowing we've received something even better than justice-the white robes of Christ's righteousness!

Insight: "The body they may kIll; God's truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever!" (Martin Luther, 1535)

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Post  Admin on Tue 11 Jun 2019, 12:42 pm

Date: June 11, 2019 at 12:49 AM
Topic: +DEV+ The Great Exchange

The Great Exchange

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:23-24

Scripture Focus: Romans 3

Many believe that salvation is a matter of canceling out a giant set of scales in the sky. We know we've been bad, but if we can just do enough good, then maybe the scales will balance out and God will accept us. Yet as we work to obey the law and even out that scale, we come to realize the scale is so weighed down with our sin that it's like trying to balance out Mount Sinai with a tiny grain of sand. In fact, this exercise in futility shows us that the problem is deeper than we first realized. The problem isn't only that we're more sinful than good. The law shows us we're sinners by nature. "There is no one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10). But God made a way both to satisfy His justice and mercifully declare us righteous. God's justice and God's mercy meet in Christ. It's the great exchange! Christ took our sins upon Himself and was punished in our place. In return, we're declared righteous by faith in Jesus. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe (see Romans 3:22).

Insight: "By faith Christ changes places with us. He gets our sins; we get His holiness." (Martin Luther, 1535)

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