February 6, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

February 6

Confessing Jesus as Lord

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:9

 

To give glory to Christ, we must confess Him as Lord. That’s a part of salvation, not a subsequent act. Salvation is a matter of confessing that Christ is God and, therefore, that He is sovereign in your life.

If you have never confessed Jesus Christ as Lord, you have no capacity to live for His glory. You cannot say, “I deny Christ. He is not my Savior or Lord,” and then expect to glorify God. If you dishonor the Son, you dishonor the Father (John 5:23). So salvation is the necessary beginning for glorifying God and, therefore, for spiritual growth. You cannot grow until you are born.[1]


February 6 God Is Holy

“There is no one holy like the Lord.”

1 Samuel 2:2

✧✧✧

God’s holiness means He transcends everything else and is completely righteous and separated from evil.

Holiness is arguably God’s most significant attribute. The angels don’t sing, “Eternal, eternal, eternal” or “Faithful, faithful, faithful” or “Mighty, mighty, mighty.” Rather, they sing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty” (Rev. 4:8; compare Isa. 6:3). His holiness sums up all He is. The psalmist says, “Holy and awesome is His name” (Ps. 111:9). Moses sings, “Who is like Thee among the gods, O Lord? Who is like Thee, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” (Ex. 15:11). And Hannah prays, “There is no one holy like the Lord, indeed, there is no one besides Thee, nor is there any rock like our God” (1 Sam. 2:2).

What does it mean that God is holy? The words translated “holy” in the Bible have the root meaning of “separation.” God’s being and character transcend everything else. He is not subject to the frailties and limitations of His creation. God is completely without sin. He does not just conform to a holy standard; He is the standard.

God’s righteousness is related to His holiness. Holiness is the standard, and righteousness is its active fulfillment. Or you might say His holiness is His complete separation from all that is sinful, and His righteousness is the manifestation of that holiness.

David understood how holy and righteous God is. He says, “The Lord is righteous in all His ways” (Ps. 145:17), and “Thy righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, Thou who hast done great things; O God, who is like Thee?” (Ps. 71:19).

Sadly, many today completely misunderstand God’s righteousness. If they really understood how holy God is, do you think they would live the way they do? But they ignore God’s standard, thinking He won’t really judge them because they’re basically good people. But “God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day” toward the wicked (Ps. 7:11). Since God is holy, the penalty for any sin—however small that sin might seem—is death (Rom. 6:23).

Don’t let the world corrupt your view of God. Don’t treat your sin lightly. Instead, confess it, forsake it, and seek to please a holy God.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Ask that you would have the same righteous hatred of sin that God does.

For Further Study: Read the Book of Habakkuk. What are the prophet’s questions? ✧ What are God’s answers? ✧ Study in detail Habakkuk’s response in chapter 3.[2]


FEBRUARY 6

BE STILL TO KNOW

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

—Psalm 46:10

Our fathers had much to say about stillness, and by stillness they meant the absence of motion or the absence of noise or both.

They felt that they must be still for at least a part of the day, or that day would be wasted. God can be known in the tumult of the world if His providence has for the time placed us there, but He is known best in the silence. So they held, and so the sacred Scriptures declare. Inward assurance comes out of the stillness. We must be still to know.

There has hardly been another time in the history of the world when stillness was needed more than it is today, and there has surely not been another time when there was so little of it or when it was so hard to find. GTM012-013

Lord, in today’s world stillness is so rare but so needed. Quiet my world even for these few moments and speak to me in the stillness, I pray. Amen. [3]


February 6

Healings Validate Jesus’ Earthly Ministry

The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.—Matt. 4:24

Jesus’ miraculous healing ministry powerfully augmented the divine veracity of His teaching and preaching ministry. But any completely honest observer will concede that our Lord’s words alone provide sufficient evidence that He was the Messiah. The apostles left everything to follow Him before He did any healing or performed any other miracle. Many who heard and believed when Jesus taught in their villages had no need for healing, and neither did their relatives or friends. In that sense they were like those who believed John the Baptist’s message even though “John performed no sign” (John 10:41).

Yet in spite of the overwhelming adequacy of Jesus’ verbal teaching, His Father saw fit to provide a healing ministry to supplement it. Alexander Maclaren has written, “It may be doubted whether we have an adequate notion of the immense number of Christ’s miracles. Those recorded are but a small portion of those done. Those early ones were illustrations of the nature of His kingdom; they were His first gifts to His kingdom subjects.”

Concerning the gospel of the kingdom, Hebrews 2:3–4 says, “After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.” Like Christ’s words, His healings and other miracles provided a preview of His glorious earthly kingdom.

ASK YOURSELF
How dependent are you on the specific, visible, measurable acts of God on your behalf? How often does His Word alone brighten your heart, even when your prayers seem to be waiting on His answer? What does one do to get his or her heart operating this way?[4]

FEBRUARY 6

TRUTH IS A PERSON

Then said Jesus…And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:31–32

 

Let me say boldly that it is not the difficulty of discovering truth, but the unwillingness to obey it, that makes it so rare among men.

Our Lord said, “I am…the Truth” (John 14:6). And again He said, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Truth, therefore, is not hard to find for the very reason that it is seeking us!

So we learn that Truth is not a thing for which we must search, but a Person to whom we must hearken! In the New Testament, multitudes came to Jesus for physical help, but only rarely did one seek Him out to learn the Truth. The whole picture in the Gospels is one of a seeking Savior, not one of seeking men.

The Truth was hunting for those who would receive it, and relatively few did, for “many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).

 

Thank You for this truth, Lord, that You came “to seek and to save that which was lost.” I don’t want to keep this truth tucked in my back pocket. Give me an opportunity to share Your good news with someone today.[5]


February 6 The Joy of Sainthood

“… to all the saints in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:1).

✧✧✧

Every Christian is a saint.

Many people think of saints as men and women who are or were especially holy or who have been canonized by an official church body. Usually only those who have been long dead and have extraordinary religious accomplishments to their credit qualify.

God, however, has a different perspective on sainthood. Paul called the Corinthian believers “saints” (1 Cor. 1:2), then went on for many chapters correcting their sinful practices. He called the Roman, Ephesian, and Colossian believers “saints” too, but they weren’t perfect either.

What, then, qualifies someone as a saint? The answer is in Philippians 1:1—“to all the saints in Christ Jesus” (emphasis added). That’s the criterion. Sainthood is not reserved for the spiritually elite. It belongs to every believer because every believer is “in Christ Jesus.”

If you love Christ, you are a saint. That might come as a surprise to those who know you best, but it’s true nonetheless!

The hallmark of sainthood is holiness. In fact, the Greek word translated “saints” in Philippians 1:1 (hagios) literally means “holy ones.” It is used throughout the New Testament to speak of anyone or anything that represents God’s holiness: Christ as the Holy One of God, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Father, holy Scriptures, holy angels, holy brethren, and so on.

To God, you are “holy and beloved” in Christ (Col. 3:12). You have received a saintly calling (1 Cor. 1:2) and a saintly inheritance (Col. 1:12). You have “redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:14) and every other spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3).

With that privilege comes the responsibility of living a holy life. That’s why Scripture admonishes you to present your body as a living and holy sacrifice (Rom. 12:1) and to live in a manner worthy of your saintly status (Eph. 5:3).

The power for godly living is the Holy Spirit, who indwells you. As you yield to Him through prayer and obedience to God’s Word, the characteristics of a true saint become increasingly evident in your life. Make that your commitment today.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for choosing you as one of His holy ones. ✧ Pray that your life will be a consistent testimony to the reality of true sainthood.

For Further Study: What are the privileges and responsibilities of saints as outlined in Psalm 34?[6]


FEBRUARY 6

GOD TELLS US IN THE BIBLE WHAT HE IS LIKE

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

ACTS 2:3

Just because God cannot tell us what He is, He very often tells us what He is like, and by these “like” figures He leads our faltering minds as close as they can come to that “Light which no man can approach unto.”

Through the more cumbersome medium of the intellect the soul is prepared for the moment when it can, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, know God as He is in Himself. God has used a number of these similitudes to hint at His incomprehensible being, and judging from the Scriptures one would gather that His favorite similitude is fire.

In one place the Spirit speaks expressly, “For our God is a consuming fire.”

With the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost the same imagery was continued—for that which came upon the disciples in that upper room was nothing less than God Himself!

The God who had appeared to them as fire throughout all their long history was now dwelling in them as fire. He had moved from without to the interior of their lives. The Shekinah that had once blazed over the mercy seat now blazed on their foreheads as an external emblem of the fire that had invaded their natures.

This was Deity giving Himself to ransomed men and women.

The flame was the seal of a new union. They were now men and women of the Fire![7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 49). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[2] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[3] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 45). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 49). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[7] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

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