Daily Archives: August 20, 2018

August 20: The Pursuit of Failures

Isaiah 41:1–42:9; Luke 15:1–32; Job 9:20–24

Often, when we focus too much on our own failures, we don’t reach the point where grace changes us. That’s why the parable of the Prodigal Son is so comforting for people who are caught up and brought down by their failures. In this parable it’s not the younger son’s humility or the elder brother’s jealousy in the limelight. It’s the father’s pursuit of both his sons.

After living selfishly and squandering his inheritance, the younger son realized how foolish his actions had been. He realized that even his father’s hired hands received more love and attention than he had received after leaving his father’s house. Deciding to plead for mercy, the younger son rehearsed his request to the father: “I will set out and go to my father and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight! I am no longer worthy to be called your son! Make me like one of your hired workers.’ ” (Luke 15:18–19).

But his plan was interrupted. Before the son even finished his request, his father kissed him, put a robe around his neck, and ordered the fattened calf to be killed. And then the father repeated this action. When the elder son refused to attend the party in his brother’s honor, the father again went out to meet his son, imploring him to rejoice as well (Luke 15:28, 31–32).

God pursues failures of all types. It’s His grace extended to us that works in our hearts to prompt change in us. Even when we neglect Him, He pursues us. Even when we don’t return His attentions, He pursues us. Instead of focusing on our failures, then, we should focus on His love.

How do you take joy in God’s grace to you through His Son? How does His love change the way you relate to Him?

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.

August 20 Godly Anger versus Selfish Anger

“[Love] is not provoked” (1 Cor. 13:5).

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Self-centered anger cannot coexist with love.

The great eighteenth-century preacher and theologian Jonathan Edwards had a daughter with an uncontrollable temper. When a young man asked Dr. Edwards for his daughter’s hand in marriage, he said no. The young man was crushed. “But I love her, and she loves me,” he pleaded. “That makes no difference,” Edwards replied; “she isn’t worthy of you.” “But she is a Christian, isn’t she?” the young man argued. “Yes,” said Edwards, “but the grace of God can live with some people with whom no one else could ever live.”

That may seem harsh, but Jonathan Edwards knew what his would-be son-in-law hadn’t yet learned: the presence of selfish anger indicates the absence of genuine love. “Love,” said Paul, “is not provoked.” It isn’t given to sudden outbursts of emotion or action. It doesn’t respond in anger to offenses committed against it.

Paul wasn’t talking about anger over sin and its terrible consequences. That’s righteous indignation, which Christians are expected to have. When Jesus drove the merchants and moneychangers out of the Temple (John 2:14–15), He was genuinely angry because His Father’s house was being desecrated. But He never reacted that way when He was personally attacked or maligned. In the same way, it’s right for you to be angry when others are mistreated, when God is offended, or when His Word is misrepresented. But love always bears up under personal attacks.

Such graciousness is foreign to our society, which teaches us to fight for our personal rights and to retaliate when we don’t get what we think we deserve. That has produced greedy and loveless people who want little more than personal success and comfort. Anyone who dares to stand in their way is in danger of incurring their wrath.

As a Christian, you must resist such influences by focusing on your spiritual duty rather than on your rights. If you expect nothing from the world, you won’t be angered or disappointed when nothing comes. Remember, God is the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). So humble yourself before Him, and He will exalt you at the proper time (James 4:10).

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God for the grace to forgive those who wrong you.

For Further Study: According to Ephesians 4:26–27, how should you deal with anger?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 245). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

AUGUST 20 CHRISTIAN “SHRINKAGE”

Be ye…followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love as Christ also hath loved us.

Ephesians 5:1–2

Why should we have to accept the idea held in some Christian circles that new converts will soon lose their first zeal and settle down to a life of dull religious routine? I believe that I carry the welfare of the saints in my heart, and it disturbs me that some Christians are satisfied to accept the title of “dead average.”

What happens? Can it be that the person who has held a joyful conversion becomes enamored of his experience, failing to keep his eyes fixed on the Lord?

Only engrossment with God can maintain perpetual spiritual enthusiasm because only God can supply everlasting novelty. In God every moment is new and nothing ever gets old. Of things religious we may become tired, even prayer may weary us; but God never!

Brothers and sisters, nothing can preserve the sweet savor of our first experience except to be preoccupied with God Himself! Let the new convert know that if he would grow instead of shrink, he must spend his nights and his days in communion with the triune God!

Lord, I pray this morning that the activities of the day ahead will be anything but routine as I converse with You. I pray that I will experience spiritual enthusiasm as I live in the light of Your constant presence.[1]


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

Hah! President Trump Dares John Brennan to Sue Him -“I Hope John Brennan, the Worst CIA Director in Country’s History, Brings a Lawsuit” — The Gateway Pundit

Former New York City Mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani joined Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures yesterday morning.

Rudy went off on John Brennan accusing him of launching the fraudulent Russian conspiracy against Donald Trump.

Rudy added that he would like to be the person to depose John Brennan for the president if Brennan moves ahead with his threats to sue President Trump.

The discovery process would be devastating for John Brennan.

On Monday President Trump echoed Rudy and dared John Brennan to sue.

President Trump: I hope John Brennan, the worst CIA Director in our country’s history, brings a lawsuit. It will then be very easy to get all of his records, texts, emails and documents to show not only the poor job he did, but how he was involved with the Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt. He won’t sue!

via Hah! President Trump Dares John Brennan to Sue Him -“I Hope John Brennan, the Worst CIA Director in Country’s History, Brings a Lawsuit” — The Gateway Pundit