All Stories in Spiritual Growth

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Flattery and Gossip

Proverbs 20:19 Tattletell! Tattletell!" Remember yelling this phrase at your sisters or brothers when they told your parents about something you did? It is sad to say, but many of us have never outgrown the tattletell stage. We are still telling on people to others. read more

More With Us Than With Them

2 Chronicles 32:1-33:13 For years my husband and I did not have daily prayer together. In fact, we had been married twenty-five years before we started praying together daily. Of course, we did pray for things as they came up, but usually we had our own quiet time with God individually. During those years, however, I had a very special prayer partner. Her name was Zira, our precious little dog. Every morning she would crawl up in my lap and sit quietly as I prayed to the Lord. I often opened my eyes slightly to see what she was doing. Every time I did this, I saw Zira looking up to heaven. I believe Zira could see my angels watching over me. I am convinced that small infants and animals are able to see into the spirit realm. God gives a few of His saints this ability, but in His mercy He usually chooses not to reveal to us what is all around us in the spirit realm. We probably would be frightened if we had this ability. read more

How to Pray for Others

2 Chronicles 30:1-31:21 God has made us kings and priests unto God (Rev. 1:6). Because we are kings and priests, it is helpful to look into the Old Testament to see what the early priests did. We need to know how they ministered to the people and exactly what their office as priest required. The good news is that we can be even more effective as priests than the priests of the early days. We now have a high priest, Jesus Christ, who through His blood shed on the cross has given us boldness to enter into the holy of holies to find grace whenever we have a need. read more

He Is Lord Whether You Believe It or Not

Romans 14:1-23 The lordship of Jesus Christ is clearly stated in two of our readings today. Psalm 24 declares the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. Many, however, will never acknowledge the lordship of Jesus Christ. Paul tells us in our Romans passage that there will be a day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. There will be a day of judgment in which everyone will have to give an account of how they lived their lives on earth. On that day Jesus, the just judge, will reveal the hearts of men. Who am I then to judge my brother today? This is the question Paul addresses in this passage. He says, "Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fail in our brother's way" (v. 13). read more

The Only Thing We Need to Owe

Romans 13:1-14 Each day our national debt and the debts of many citizens are rising. The convenience of the credit card is sending many to a debtor's prison. I heard recently that the average credit card debt for the American household is $20,000. Can you imagine the interest that will accumulate if this debt is not paid off in a year's time? It is a terrible thing to be in bondage to financial debt. We all need to follow Paul's admonition in this passage "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law" (v. 8). read more

The Rest of the Story

Psalm 22:19-31 Almost everyone in the United States is familiar with the famous sign-off of the commentator Paul Harvey as he finishes his news report. He says, "Now you know the rest of the story." In yesterday's reading we left the account of Jesus on the cross with the soldiers parting His garments. Today's reading tells the rest of the story and also shares how this wondrous story will be told to the whole world. read more

Jesus on the Cross

Psalm 22:1-18 The psalms David wrote were directed by the Holy Spirit, who knows the future. David was inspired by the Holy Spirit in this psalm to prophetically write about Jesus' death and His mission on earth. We know that as Jesus was dying on the cross, He cried out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" Jesus was quoting from this psalm. David writes in this psalm about the piercing of His hands and feet. We know this did not happen to David, but it did happen to Jesus Christ. David in the spirit saw the scene of the cross, and he recorded what he saw and heard. read more

How Will They Hear?

Romans 10:13-11:12 Paul continues his discussion about what it takes to be saved. He says, "For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:13). Then Paul shares how it will be impossible for people to call upon the name of the Lord if they have never heard the gospel. "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!" (vv. 14-15). read more

The Word of Faith

Romans 9:25-10:12 As I read this passage I see in my mind's eye the religious Jews in Israel as they bobbed back and forth, their prayer shawls waving gently with their movements while they prayed earnestly at the Western Wall. I just returned from Israel and saw this same scene, which always brings tears to my eyes. They are praying for Messiah—when Messiah has already come. These Jews have great zeal in their religious activity, but they are without knowledge. Paul recognized this. He says about them, "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God" (Rom. 10:2-3). read more

A Treasure More Precious Than Gold

Psalm 19:1-14 I go on a treasure hunt every day. As I read the Bible through each year, I always find a new nugget I missed in the years past. The Bible is a treasure chest filled with gold and jewels. The gold and jewels found in the Word of God are His promises and principles. The principles are the statutes and commandments of the Lord, and they keep us from evil. The promises are given to those who fear the Lord. The fear of the Lord is clean and endures forever. read more

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