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Today's devotional reading for:
Tuesday, Jan 5, 2021

The Antidote to Sin Joy in the Lord Salvation by Faith Get Lost Godly Goals

The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

— Luke 19:10

Suppose a man out in the Florida Everglades is struck by the fangs of a water moccasin and its deadly venom is pumped into his blood. Staggering in agony, he collapses and he soon will be breathing his last. Yet at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale there is a locked cabinet, which contains within it the antidote for that and many other poisons. There are no doubt some orderlies or doctors who have the key to that cabinet.

Now any rational, reasonable person will understand immediately that it is the fault of the orderly that that man has died. Not so, you say . . . and properly so. It is not his fault. He had nothing to do with it. The reason that man is dying has nothing to do with the antidote, the anti-venom there in the hospital or the doctors or the orderlies who have the key. The reason that he is dying is because of the venom of the poisonous snake.

Christ came to save us, not to condemn us. For as His Word says: We were condemned already. We are condemned for our sins because of the venom of that ancient serpent that caused mankind to fall into sin and causes us to manifest that deadly poison in so many vile ways in our lives. That is the reason we are dying. We need to unlock the Gospel and get it out to the highways and byways, so that sinners may be redeemed.

Question to ponder: Do you think there’s any more you can do in your life to help the lost hear the good news of Christ?

…Even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

— Galatians 2:16

The secret of rejoicing always is found in the words: “in the Lord—a secret many people never discover. They are, instead, looking for happiness. In this country we are guaranteed the “pursuit of happiness.” Unfortunately, there are very few people that find it, though many pursue it diligently. The reason is that happiness is determined by happenings. The word “happening” comes from the same root as happenstance.

Happiness is determined by happenings and happenings fluctuate constantly—ever changing and shifting about us. Joy is determined by Jesus, who is the wellspring of joy, the source of all joy.

“At thy right hand there are pleasures [joy] forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). Rejoice in your circumstances? No. Rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the secret of rejoicing, of singing, and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

Jesus said that the best reason for rejoicing is that our names are written in the Book of Life (Luke 10:20). That is something we can count on as a source of joy.

Question to ponder: Are you pursuing true joy or mere happiness?  

…Even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

— Galatians 2:16

When we consider God’s laws, we know that it is impossible to keep them. That is precisely why Jesus came and endured death for us. If we could make ourselves acceptable to God, His death would not be necessary. His work on the Cross was perfect, complete, and finished.

I recall reading once of a master wood craftsman who spent months constructing a beautiful coffee table for his friend. He wrapped it in a soft cloth, brought it to his friend, unveiled it, and said, “Voila. There it is—the long anticipated gift.”

Though it was indeed a thing of consummate beauty, his friend said, “Oh, I … I think it is just magnificent, but I simply couldn’t accept it as a gift. You have done all the work. I must do my part.” With that, he picked up a piece of sandpaper, with the intent of sanding the top of the table. The master craftsman grasped his wrist and said, “Stop that. You’ll ruin it. It is finished.”

So it is with the great redemption wrought by Christ. It is done. “It is finished.” It is perfect. We can add nothing. We can contribute nothing.

Question to ponder: Are you sure that you have accepted Christ’s finished work on the Cross on your behalf?

Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established.

— Proverbs 16:3

This is salvation—”And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). We are justified by knowing Christ—knowing Him who is the Son of God, the Savior of men; knowing Him who took our sins upon Himself and died in our place. It is through knowledge and trust in Christ, our Savior that we are justified

Christ shows us in the parable of the Prodigal Son that very frequently the respectable and the religious are often the farthest from the kingdom of God. One minister said years ago, “The problem in America is not getting people saved. They all think that they are saved already. The problem is getting them lost.” How true that is.

Have you ever been lost? If not, you are not saved. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. The first requirement to being saved is to be lost.

For 24 years I lived without the slightest shadow ever crossing my mind that I was separated from God and on my way to perdition. Not until I came to that realization did the door of God’s mercy open to me.

Question to ponder: What does it mean that a person knows he is lost?

Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established.

— Proverbs 16:3

Many people make New Years’ resolutions. We see a new beginning and a new chance to make something better of our lives. Our God is a God of second chances, and with His help and in His strength, we will succeed.

We need to set our godly goals. We need to lay them out before God in prayer, importunate prayer, prevailing prayer, persistent prayer. We need to obey God with lives that are yielded up to Him, to His will. We will not be successful in doing these things if we are disobedient to God. That is why we cannot expect to have victory in our private lives or our church if we are living in disobedience.

Are we faithful in God’s work and are we faithful to our spouse and family? Are we faithful in giving? Are we keeping His commandments and do we live lives of honesty and integrity? When we live godly lives, we will have godly goals.

Question to ponder: What are the five most important goals and plans that you have for this coming year?

Question to ponder:
What are the five most important goals and plans that you have for this coming year?

 

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