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Daily Devotion

boldstardex

Moderator
My friend Joann had a strong desire to become a concert pianist and to travel and perform as either a soloist or as a piano accompanist. While majoring in piano performance in college, she developed tendinitis in her right arm, and it became too weak to perform the solo recital that was required. She graduated with a degree in music history and literature instead.
She knew Jesus as her Savior, but she had been rebelling against Him for several years. Then through further difficult circumstances, she sensed the Lord reaching out to her, and she turned back to Him. Eventually her arm grew stronger, and her dream of traveling and performing came about. She says, “Now I could play to God’s glory instead of my own. His outstretched arm restored my spiritual life and the strength in my arm to enable me to serve Him with the gift He gave me.”
The Lord promised Moses that His outstretched arm would rescue the Israelites from bondage in Egypt (Ex. 6:6). He kept that promise even though His often-rebellious people doubted (14:30-31). God’s mighty arm is outstretched for us as well. No matter the outcome of our situation, He can be trusted to bring about His will for each of His children. We can depend on God’s strong arm.
What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms. —Hoffman
With God’s strength behind you and His arms beneath you, you can face whatever lies ahead of you.
I will redeem you with an outstretched arm. —Exodus 6:6
 

boldstardex

Moderator
In 1987, our family moved to California to take up the pastorate of a church in the Long Beach area. The day we flew into town, my secretary picked us up at the airport to take us to our house. As we pulled into traffic, the very first thing I saw was a bumper sticker that read: “Welcome To California . . . Now Go Home!” It was not exactly a warm and cheery welcome to sunny southern California!
I wonder if there might be occasions in our lives when we send similar signals to people around us. Whether we are at church, in the neighborhood, or at social gatherings, are there times when we fail to make others feel welcome in our world?
In Romans 12:13, Paul instructed his readers to be “given to hospitality.” The book of Hebrews goes even further, saying, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels” (13:2). By showing gracious kindness to those who come our way, we echo the Savior’s invitation for salvation, which declares, “Let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17).
To show someone loving hospitality just might be the first step in showing that person the way to heaven.
Give as ’twas given to you in your need;
Love as the Master loved you;
Be to the helpless a helper indeed;
Unto your mission be true. —Wilson
Live so that when people get to know you, they will want to get to know Christ.
Let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. —Revelation 22:17
 

boldstardex

Moderator
The fifth book of the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostles, records the beginnings of the Christian church under the leadership of the people Jesus had appointed. Some scholars have suggested that this book could also be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit, because the Spirit’s power supplied courage for the apostles in the face of every hardship.
Just before Jesus was taken up into heaven, He told the ones He had chosen: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). With those words, one chapter in the story of God’s work on earth ended, and a new one began. We are a part of that ongoing story.
The book of Acts describes the faithful witness of Peter, John, Barnabas, Paul, Dorcas, Lydia, and many others during the early days of the church. These ordinary people depended on God to give them strength as they spread His Word and demonstrated His love.
That story continues through us. As we trust God and obey His direction to make Jesus known, He writes through us new pages in His story of redemption.
Gracious Spirit, use my words to help and heal.
Use my actions, bold and meek, to speak for You.
May You be pleased to reveal
Your life to others through mine.
People know true faith stories when they see them.
You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. —Acts 1:8
 

boldstardex

Moderator
A story is told that Queen Victoria of the UK was deeply moved during a church service. Afterward, she asked her chaplain, “Can one be absolutely sure in this life of eternal safety?” He did not have an answer. But an evangelist named John Townsend heard about the Queen’s question, and after much prayer he sent her a note: “With trembling hands, but heartfelt love, and because I know that we can be absolutely sure now of our eternal life in the Home that Jesus went to prepare, may I ask your Most Gracious Majesty to read the following passages of Scripture: John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10?”
Two weeks later, the evangelist received this letter: “. . . I have carefully and prayerfully read the portions of Scripture referred to. I believe in the finished work of Christ for me, and trust by God’s grace to meet you in that Home of which He said, ‘I go to prepare a place for you.’ —Victoria Guelph”
Townsend was confident that in this life we can have assurance of eternal safety (v.9), and he had a concern for others as well. Consider what John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-10 mean for your eternal destiny. God desires to give you the confidence that your sin is forgiven and that after death you’ll be with Him forever.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. —Crosby
Lives rooted in God’s unchanging grace can never be uprooted.
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
 

boldstardex

Moderator
Years ago, while my husband and I were visiting the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, we noticed a baby stroller by itself with no one nearby. We assumed that the parents had left it there because it was too bulky and were now carrying their child. But as we approached, we saw a sleeping baby inside. Where was a parent . . . a sibling . . . a babysitter? We hung around for quite some time before hailing a museum official. No one had shown up to claim that precious child! The last we saw of him, he was being wheeled away to a safe place.
That experience made me think about what it’s like to be abandoned. It’s an overwhelming feeling that no one cares anything about you. It’s a real and excruciatingly painful feeling. But even though people may abandon us, God’s love and presence is assured. The Lord promises that He will never leave us (Deut. 31:8). He will be with us wherever we go, “always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
The Lord will never falter in His commitment to His children. Even if we have been abandoned by others, we can find confidence in His promise that nothing will ever “separate us from [His] love” (Rom. 8:35-39).
Father, thank You for Your never-failing presence
in every aspect of our lives. We count on Your
promise never to abandon us. Please teach us
to rest in that truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Confidence in God’s presence is our comfort.
I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands. —Isaiah 49:15-16
 

boldstardex

Moderator
For me, food is more than a necessity—it’s a wonderfully enjoyable part of life! I enjoy sitting down to a well-prepared meal, especially when I’m feeling hungry. I imagine that the disciples were hungry for lunch when they returned to the well where Jesus was interacting with the Samaritan woman. They urged Him, “Rabbi, eat” (John 4:31). His response? “I have food to eat of which you do not know” (v.32), which made them wonder if someone had already brought Him something to eat (v.33).
I wonder if the disciples were so consumed with thinking about food that they couldn’t see past their picnic. They didn’t understand the significance of what was going on at the well. The most important thing to Jesus was “to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (v.34). He was focused on the spiritual needs of this woman who desperately needed what only He could give.
It’s easy to become preoccupied with needs of the moment. But Jesus invites us to get beyond our own interests—our own little “lunch”—to open our eyes to the souls who are searching for answers to their deepest needs.
So, join Jesus at the well, and let Him use you to tell others about the spiritual food only He can give.
Dear Lord, may my eyes be fixed not just on the things
I am interested in, but lift my eyes to see the
needy souls around me. Give me passion for the lost
and the joy of seeing others satisfied in You.
Be hungry to satisfy the needs of others around you.
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” —John 4:34
 

boldstardex

Moderator
During high school, my closest friend and I took a pair of horses out for an afternoon ride. We slowly roamed through fields of wildflowers and wooded groves. But when we nosed the horses in the direction of the barn, they took off toward home like twin rockets. Our equine friends knew that it was time for dinner and a good brushing, and they could hardly wait.
As Christians, our true home is heaven (Phil. 3:20). Yet sometimes our desires tether us to the here and now. We enjoy God’s good gifts—marriage, children, grandchildren, travel, careers, friends. At the same time, the Bible challenges us to focus on “things above” (Col. 3:1-2). Things above may include the unseen benefits of heaven: God’s enduring presence (Rev. 22:3-5), unending rest (Heb. 4:9), and an everlasting inheritance (1 Peter 1:4).
Recently I read, “Believers desire the heavenly inheritance; and the stronger the faith is, the more fervent [the desire].” Several Old Testament believers mentioned in Hebrews 11 had strong faith in God that enabled them to embrace His promises before receiving them (v.13). One such promise was heaven. If we too put our faith in God, He will give us a desire for that “heavenly country” (v.16) and will loosen our grip on this world.
When we all get to heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory. —Hewitt
For the Christian, heaven is spelled H-O-M-E.
Our citizenship is in heaven. —Philippians 3:20
 

boldstardex

Moderator
The ancient people of the nation of Axum (located on the Red Sea in modern Ethiopia) discovered that the stormy winds of the monsoon season could be harnessed by sail for speedy navigation. Rather than dreading the high winds and rains, they learned how to navigate their way through the storm.
Psalm 107 provides a wonderful word picture of how God allows storms to come our way, and then provides help for us to navigate through them. “He commands and raises the stormy wind, . . . and He brings them out of their distresses” (Ps. 107:25,28).
Trusting God for guidance in troubled times is a biblical theme. Hebrews 11 lists many who used their problems as an opportunity to exercise faith and to experience God’s grace, provision, and deliverance: “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, [and] out of weakness were made strong” (vv.33-34).
Stormy circumstances are inevitable. Although our first reaction may be to run from the problem, we can instead ask God to teach us how to trust Him to navigate us through the storm.
When life feels like a storm-tossed sea
With crashing waves of pain and grief,
Turn to the Lord and trust in Him,
He’ll give you peace and bring relief. —Sper
Better to go through the storm with Christ than to have smooth sailing without Him.
He commands and raises the stormy wind, . . . and He brings them out of their distresses. —Psalm 107:25,28
 

boldstardex

Moderator
As a young man, Robert Robinson (1735–1790) enjoyed getting into trouble with his friends, so the stories go. At age 17, though, he heard a sermon by George Whitefield from Matthew 3:7, and realized his need for salvation in Christ. The Lord changed Robinson’s life, and he became a preacher. He also wrote several hymns, including his best-known “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”
Lately I’ve been pondering God’s amazing grace toward us and the last stanza of that hymn: “O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!” The hymn brings to mind the apostle Paul’s words: “The love of Christ compels [or constrains] us . . . that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
We can’t earn God’s love and grace. But because He has lavished it on us, how can we help but love Him in return by living for Him! I’m not exactly sure what that looks like, but it must include drawing near to Him, listening to His Word, serving Him, and obeying Him out of gratitude and love.
As debtors, we are called to live each day for Jesus who gave Himself for us.
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise. —Robinson
Those who know God’s grace show God’s grace.
The love of Christ compels us. —2 Corinthians 5:14
 

boldstardex

Moderator
Eric was one of the good guys. As a police officer, he saw his work as service to his community and was fully committed to serving at all costs. Evidence of this desire was seen on the door of Eric’s locker at the police station, where he posted John 15:13.
In that verse, our Lord said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Those words, however, were not merely noble ideals. They expressed Eric’s commitment to his duty as a police officer—a commitment that demanded the ultimate price when he was killed in the line of duty. It was a real-life display of the heart of true sacrifice.
Jesus Christ lived out the powerful words of John 15:13 within hours of stating them. The upper room event where Jesus spoke of such sacrifice was followed by communion with the Father at Gethsemane, a series of illegal trials, and then crucifixion before a mocking crowd.
As the Son of God, Jesus could have avoided the suffering, torture, and cruelty. He was utterly without sin and did not deserve to die. But love, the fuel that drives true sacrifice, drove Him to the cross. As a result, we can be forgiven if we will accept His sacrifice and resurrection by faith. Have you trusted the One who laid down His life for you?
’Twas not a martyr’s death He died,
The Christ of Calvary;
It was a willing sacrifice
He made for you—for me. —Adams
Only Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, can declare guilty people perfect.
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. —John 15:13
 

boldstardex

Moderator
I love baseball and have been a fan of the sport since I was a little kid. I especially enjoy following the Detroit Tigers. But during a recent season, the Tigers’ poor play and losing record early in the season frustrated me greatly. So for my own personal well-being, I took a break. I spent 4 days avoiding anything to do with my favorite team.
During those 4 Tiger-less days, I began to contemplate how difficult it is to give up things we’ve grown accustomed to. Yet there are times when God may want us to.
For instance, we may be involved in an activity that has become all-encompassing—and we know it would be best to limit it (see 1 Cor. 6:12). Or we may have a habit or practice that we know misses the mark of pleasing God, and we realize that we need to let it go because we love Him and want Him to be glorified through us (15:34).
When we do find things that interfere with our relationship with the Lord, with His help we can stop. God has given us the provision (1 Cor. 10:13), and the Spirit provides the power (Rom. 8:5).
Let’s ask Him to help us not let anything block His glory from shining through.
You are perfect, Lord, and we are so far from
perfect. Please chip away at our imperfections
through the work of Your Holy Spirit. Help us
each day to grow more and more like You.
Drawing close to Christ produces a growing Christlikeness.
Those who live according to the Spirit, [live according to] the things of the Spirit. —Romans 8:5
 

boldstardex

Moderator
My friend Elouise has a wonderful way of putting life into clever perspectives. Once when I asked her, “How are you today?” I expected the usual “fine” response. Instead, she said, “I’ve got to wake Him up!” When I asked what she meant, she kiddingly exclaimed, “Don’t you know your Bible?!” Then she explained: “When the disciples faced trouble, they ran to wake up Jesus. I’m going to run to Him too!”
What do we do when we are stuck in a troubling situation with nowhere to run? Maybe, like the disciples who were stuck in a life-threatening storm, we run to Jesus (Mark 4:35-41). Sometimes, however, we may try to bail ourselves out of trouble by seeking revenge, slandering the one who has caused our problem, or just cowering fearfully in the corner as we sink into despair.
We need to learn from the disciples who fled to Jesus as their only hope. He may not bail us out immediately, but remembering that He is in our boat makes a difference! Thankfully, He is always with us in the storms of life, saying things like “Peace, be still!” (v.39). So, look for Him in your storm and let Him fill you with the peace that comes from knowing He is near.
Lord, teach us to run to You in the midst of trouble.
Forgive us for trying to bail ourselves out, and lead
us to the peace of trusting Your wisdom and ultimate
deliverance. Thank You that You will help us!
Make Jesus your first option when the storms of life threaten you.
He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” —Mark 4:39
 

boldstardex

Moderator
In literature, a tragic flaw is a character trait that causes the downfall of a story’s hero. That was true of Uzziah, who was crowned king of Judah at age 16. For many years, he sought the Lord; and while he did, God gave him great success (2 Chron. 26:4-5). But things changed when “his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped till he became strong. But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction” (vv.15-16).
Uzziah entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar (v.16), openly defying God’s decree. Perhaps pride convinced him that God’s rules applied to everyone except him. When Uzziah raged against the priests who told him this was not right, the Lord struck him with leprosy (vv.18-20).
In literature and in life, how often we see a person of good reputation fall from honor into disgrace and suffering. “King Uzziah was a leper until the day of his death. He dwelt in an isolated house, . . . cut off from the house of the Lord” (v.21).
The only way we can prevent the nectar of praise from becoming the poison of pride is by following the Lord with a humble heart.
Humility’s a slippery prize
That seldom can be won;
We’re only humble in God’s eyes
When serving like His Son. —Gustafson
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives. —Proverbs 27:21 NIV
His fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped till he became strong. —2 Chronicles
 

boldstardex

Moderator
How quickly public opinion can change! When Jesus entered Jerusalem for the Passover feast, He was welcomed by crowds cheering to have Him made king (John 12:13). But by the end of the week, the crowds were demanding that He be crucified (19:15).
I recognize myself in those fickle crowds. I love cheering for a team that’s winning, but my interest wanes when they start losing. I love being part of a movement that is new and exciting, but when the energy moves to a new part of town, I’m ready to move on. I love following Jesus when He is doing the impossible, but I slink away when He expects me to do something difficult. It’s exciting to follow Jesus when I can do it as part of the “in” crowd. It’s easy to trust Him when He outsmarts the smart people and outmaneuvers the people in power (see Matt. 12:10; 22:15-46). But when He begins to talk about suffering and sacrifice and death, I hesitate.
I like to think that I would have followed Jesus all the way to the cross—but I have my doubts. After all, if I don’t speak up for Him in places where it’s safe, what makes me think I would do so in a crowd of His opponents?
How thankful I am that Jesus died for fickle followers so that we can become devoted followers.
For Further Thought
Read these Bible verses and ponder Jesus’ love for you
(Rom. 5:8; Rom. 8:37-39; Heb. 13:5-6,8; 1 John 3:1).
Allow your devotion to Him to grow.
Christ deserves full-time followers.
Behold, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt. —John 12:15
 

boldstardex

Moderator
When our kids were teens, we repeatedly had the following discussion after their church youth group meeting: I asked, “How was youth group tonight?” And they responded, “It was boring.” After several weeks of this, I decided to find out for myself. I slipped into the gym where their meeting was held, and I watched. I saw them participating, laughing, listening—having a great time. That night on the way home I asked about their evening and, once again, they said, “It was boring.” I responded, “I was there. I watched. You had a great time!” They responded, “Maybe it wasn’t as bad as usual.”
I recognized that behind their reluctance to admit they were enjoying youth group were things such as peer pressure and a fear of not appearing “cool.” But then I wondered, Am I similarly afraid to get too excited about spiritual things?
Indeed, there is nothing in this universe more worthy of our enthusiasm than who Christ is and what He did for us. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). That’s the opposite of boring! At any age, we have a gift from the Savior that is worth celebrating. Our salvation is something to get excited about!
Father, please fill my heart with the joy of Christ.
I desire that the abundant life I have found
in Him might contagiously reach
out to others around me.
If you know Christ, you always have a reason to celebrate.
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. —John 10:10
 

boldstardex

Moderator
Now in my sixties, I reflect back on wise spiritual leaders who had a positive impact on my life. In Bible school, God used my Old Testament professor to make the Word come alive. My Greek teacher relentlessly employed high standards to goad my study of the New Testament. And the senior pastor in my first pastoral ministry shepherded me in building vital ministries to help others grow spiritually. Each of these teachers encouraged me in different ways.
King Solomon wisely observed some ways that spiritual leaders can help us grow: “The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd” (Eccl. 12:11). Some teachers prod us; others build solid spiritual structures into our lives. Still others, as caring shepherds, are there with a listening ear when we hurt.
The Good Shepherd has given leaders a variety of gifts: exhorting, developing, and shepherding. Whether we’re a leader or a learner, though, He desires that we maintain humble hearts and a love for others. What a privilege to be led and used by our Shepherd to encourage others in their walk with Him.
Give us the wisdom we need, Lord, to encourage
others in their spiritual walk. We know we need Your
Spirit’s power to do that. Use the gifts You have
given us to help others along on their journey.
May our words reflect the heart of God and His wisdom.
The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. —Ecclesiastes 12:11
 

boldstardex

Moderator
At a Christian men’s conference, I talked with a longtime friend who has encouraged and mentored me for many years. With him were two young men from China, new in their faith and deeply grateful for this man’s faithful friendship and spiritual help. My friend Clyde, nearing 80 years of age, glowed with enthusiasm as he said, “I’ve never been more excited about knowing and loving Christ than I am today.”
Paul’s letter to the Philippians reveals a heart and purpose that never diminished with time: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil. 3:10). From the root of Paul’s relationship with Jesus came the fruit of his undiminished fervor that others be guided to faith in Him. He rejoiced to share the gospel and was encouraged that others became bolder because of him (1:12-14).
If our goal is merely service for the Lord, we may burn out somewhere along the line. But if our purpose, like Paul’s and Clyde’s and many others, is to know Christ and love Him, we’ll find that He will give us the strength to make Him known to others. Let us joyfully press on in the strength God gives!
Father God, I want to know You in all Your fullness and
to love You completely. I believe that relationship
with You is the basis for my service for You.
Help me not to serve out of my own strength.
Learn from Christ then make Him known.
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings. —Philippians 3:10
 

boldstardex

Moderator
How is behavior altered? In his book The Social Animal, David Brooks notes that some experts have said people just need to be taught the long-term risks of bad behavior. For example, he writes: “Smoking can lead to cancer. Adultery destroys families, and lying destroys trust. The assumption was that once you reminded people of the foolishness of their behavior, they would be motivated to stop. Both reason and will are obviously important in making moral decisions and exercising self-control. But neither of these character models has proven very effective.” In other words, information alone is not powerful enough to transform behavior.
As Jesus’ followers, we want to grow and change spiritually. More than two millennia ago, Jesus told His disciples how that can happen. He said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4). Jesus is the Vine and we, His followers, are the branches. If we’re honest, we know we’re utterly helpless and spiritually ineffective apart from Him.
Jesus transforms us spiritually and reproduces His life in us—as we abide in Him.
Lord, take my life and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine.
Take all my will, my passion, self, and pride;
I now surrender, Lord—in me abide. —Orr
A change in behavior begins with Jesus changing our heart.
Abide in Me, and I in you. —John 15:4
 

boldstardex

Moderator
Stephen Ambrose’s book Band of Brothers follows the US Army’s Easy Company from training in Georgia through the Normandy Invasion of D-Day (June 6, 1944) and ultimately to the end of World War II in Europe. For the bulk of that time, Easy Company was led by Richard Winters. Winters was an especially good officer because he led from the front. The most commonly heard words from Winters in combat were, “Follow me!” Other officers may have sought the safety of the rear areas, but if Winters’ men were going into combat, he was going to lead them.
Jesus is the one true Leader of His children. He knows what we need and where we are most vulnerable. His leading is part of what makes Psalm 23 the most beloved song in the Bible’s hymnal. In verse 2, David says that the Shepherd “leads me beside the still waters,” and in verse 3 he adds, “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” These twin ideas reveal why His care is so complete. Whether it is times of refreshing and strengthening (“still waters”) or seasons of doing what pleases Him (“paths of righteousness”), we can follow Him.
As the old song says, “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness; all I have to do is follow.”
My Lord knows the way through the wilderness;
All I have to do is follow.
Strength for today is mine always
And all that I need for tomorrow. —Cox
Jesus knows the way—follow Him!
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. —Psalm 23:2-3
 

boldstardex

Moderator
For years I taught adult Bible-study classes in a local church and took great pains to consider Scripture carefully before answering questions during the lessons. Later, during a lecture in my first semester of seminary at age 40, I learned that I’d given a woman who had attended one of my classes a terrible answer to her heartfelt question. I was certain my response had been causing her distress over the 2 years since I had seen her, and I was eager to correct myself for her sake.
Racing home, I called her and instantly burst into an apology. A long pause was followed by her saying in a puzzled tone: “I’m sorry, but I’m having trouble placing you right now.” I was neither as memorable nor as damaging as I had believed! It was then I realized God is at work guarding His truth even as we grow in our understanding of His Word. I’m thankful He protected this woman’s heart.
We are human and will make mistakes sometimes as we share God’s Word with others. But we have an obligation to diligently seek His truth and exercise care when we talk about it (2 Tim. 2:15). Then we may boldly proclaim Him, praying that His Spirit will guard not only our hearts but also the hearts of those we seek to serve. God and His Word are deserving of the greatest care.
The words I spoke but yesterday
Are changed as I read Your Word;
I see more clearly Your perfect way,
And my heart is deeply stirred. —Kilgore
Let God’s Word fill your memory, rule your heart, and guide your words.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. —2 Timothy 2:15
 
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