Daily Archives: May 8, 2018

May 8: Beyond Regret

Judges 13:1–14:20; Philippians 3:12–4:1; Psalm 69:1–17

I’ve excelled at regret. When I’ve dwelt on the wrongs I committed against other people and my offensive rebellion against God, I lost my focus. It’s difficult to be confident in our righteousness through Christ when we go through these periods.

In Philippians 3:12–14, Paul offers both hope and advice for these times based on his own experience: “But I do one thing, forgetting the things behind and straining toward the things ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Paul looks forward to being with God in fullness and experiencing the fruits of his labor for the gospel, so he presses “toward the goal.” He emphasizes that we need to forget the “things behind.” Paul would have known the need for this. As a zealous Pharisee, he had persecuted the early church, counting himself the foremost of sinners (1 Tim 1:15).

Does forgetting imply that we act as if our failures never occurred? Not necessarily. We should seek forgiveness from others whenever possible. But it’s dangerous to dwell on the failures—to live in regret. In fact, we belittle Christ’s sacrifice if we purposefully or knowingly live in fear and guilt. He has paid for our sins and given us new life, and that means handing over our imperfections for Him to bear.

Paul swiftly moves from forgetting to “straining toward the things ahead, [he says,] I press on” (Phil 3:14). We are called to a new life in Christ, and this should be our focus. We will experience this, and we will know the complete fulfillment of this reality when He comes again. In the meantime, we can move forward without being crippled by our sins.

How are you caught up in your past mistakes? How can you seek help from God during these times while trusting in His forgiveness?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

May 8 Building a Leader: The Right Experiences (Peter)

The twelve apostles included “Simon, who is called Peter” (Matt. 10:2).

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Your present experiences contribute to your future leadership ability.

Stan Carder is a dear brother in Christ and one of the pastors on our church staff. Before coming to Grace Church he pastored a church in Montana. While there, he was riding one night in a truck that was involved in a very serious accident. Stan suffered a broken neck and other major injuries. As a result he underwent months of arduous and painful therapy.

That was one of the most difficult periods in Stan’s life, and yet God used it for a specific purpose. Today, as pastor of our special-ministries department, Stan ministers to more than five hundred physically and mentally handicapped people. God needed a man with unique qualifications to show love to a group of very special people. He chose Stan and allowed him the necessary experiences to fit him for the task.

God doesn’t always permit such serious situations, but He does lead each of us into life-changing experiences that heighten our effectiveness in ministry.

Peter had many such experiences. In Matthew 16:15–16, for example, God gave him special revelation about the deity of Christ. In Acts 10 God sent him to preach the gospel to Gentiles—something unheard of at the time because Jewish people resisted any interaction with Gentiles. Perhaps the most tragic experience of Peter’s life was his denial of Christ. But even that only increased his love for Christ and his appreciation of God’s grace. After His resurrection, Christ forgave him and restored him to ministry (John 21:15–19).

Peter’s many experiences helped prepare him for the key role he was to play in the early church. Similarly, your experiences help prepare you for future ministry. So seek to discern God’s hand in your circumstances, and rejoice at the prospect of becoming a more effective Christian.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for both the good and bad experiences you have, knowing that each of them is important to your spiritual growth (cf. James 1:2–4).

For Further Study: Read Acts 10, noting what Peter learned from his experience. ✧ What vision did Peter have? ✧ What was the point of the vision?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 141). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

BREAKING NEWS: President Trump keeps promise to withdraw from dangerous Iran nuclear deal. Will impose severe new sanctions on Tehran. This is the right decision & the President deserves tremendous credit. But pray for peace in the region. Things might get bumpy. Here’s the latest.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

IranDeal-Trumpspeech

(Jerusalem, Israel) — After a careful policy review by senior administration officials, and consultation with a wide range of U.S. allies, President Donald Trump today kept his promise by announcing the U.S. will terminate the nuclear deal that President Obama and Secretary John Kerry negotiated with Iran.

The President also announced the U.S. will imposing severe economic sanctions on the terrorist regime in Tehran.

This was absolutely the right decision, and the President deserves tremendous credit.

As I’ve noted previously: “The President should scrap this insane and dangerous deal. 1) It’s not a real treaty signed by both sides. 2) It wasn’t confirmed by the U.S. Senate according to the Constitutional process. 3) The deal does not stop Iran from building or buying an entire nuclear arsenal in the near future. 4) Iranian leaders lied repeatedly through the entire process. They cannot and should not be trusted to keep their…

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MAY 8 WE ARE NOT ALL ALIKE

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.

Ephesians 2:10

We ought to be fully aware that in the Body of Christ we are not interested in the production of “cookie cutter” Christians.

This is a word of caution in the matter of Christian experience—there is no pattern or formula for identical Christian experiences. It is actually a tragic thing for believers to try to be exactly like each other in their Christian faith and life.

I have probably been overly cautious about testifying to my own experiences because I do not want anyone to be tempted to try to copy anything the Lord has done for me.

God has given each of us an individual temperament and distinct characteristics. Therefore it is the office of the Holy Spirit to work out as He will the details of Christian experience. They will vary with personality.

Of this we may be sure: Whenever a person truly meets God in faith and commitment to the gospel, he will have a consciousness and a sharp awareness of the details of that spiritual transaction!

Lord, help me to be a faithful steward of the gifts You have given me to use in the church.[1]


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

Israeli military on’ high alert’, bomb shelters ready on Golan Heights over Iran activity in Syria

Israel’s military is on high alert after allegedly spotting irregular Iranian military movement in Syria, with bomb shelters in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights being readied in anticipation of an Iranian attack.
— Read on www.rt.com/news/426190-israel-military-alert-syria/amp/