All Stories in Spiritual Growth

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Hope Is a Part of Faith

Romans 8:24-39 Without faith it is impossible to please God. By grace are we saved through faith, and this faith is not of ourselves. Instead it is a gift of God. Therefore none of us can boast. This passage in Romans says that we are saved by hope. Paul writes, "For we are saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope, for why does one hope for what he sees?" (v. 24). Another passage in Hebrews gives the definition of faith: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1). read more

The Way, the Word, the Work

Psalm 18:16-34 In Psalm 18, there is one verse that says it all: "As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him" (v. 30). To walk through this life with God's success, we must walk in His ways, live by His Word and trust in Him. A successful person in God's view is one who walks daily in God's Spirit and obeys His Word. The only work we do on this earth that will remain eternally are those things done not by our own self-effort but by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God. Paul says it well when he declares it is grace that labors through him. read more

Our Only Hope

Romans 7:15-8:8 How on earth can we be like Jesus? To be like Jesus and to glorify Him on earth is one of the main purposes God has for us in this life. How often do I fall short of demonstrating His love, mercy and forgiveness to others? When I fail in my daily witness, there is but one hope. This hope is Jesus Christ. I have to abandon my flesh to Him and allow Him to conform me to His image. I cannot do it, and the more I try the more I fail. read more

True Satisfaction

Proverbs 19:22-23 This proverb speaks of something that will cause us to be continually satisfied. That special satisfying something is called "the fear of the Lord." When we fear the Lord, which means to love Him and to keep His Word, we will abide satisfied. read more

You've Got to Serve Somebody

Romans 6:1-23 One of the things men rebel against is serving a master. Many rebel against serving God because they feel they will not be able to do their own thing. What rebellious people do not realize is that even though they are not serving God, they are serving another master when they do their own thing. When we resist God, we submit to Satan. When we submit to God, we are able to resist Satan. read more

How Love Is Dispersed

Romans 5:3-21 Most Christians I know want to grow more like Jesus daily. They want to be able to love as Jesus loved. The school of love, however, could be called the school of hard knocks. If all is going well in our lives, those who watch our lives will say, "It's easy for them to be loving because they have never had the problems I have experienced." It is when we go through hard knocks—tribulations, trials, testings and temptations—that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. It is when our own human love has reached its limit that God steps in and disperses His love within our hearts to equip us to dispense His love to others. Experiencing the love of God is only possible for us when we become totally dependent upon Him. When we recognize that without Him we can do nothing, then we recognize also that without His love in our hearts we have no quality love to give to others. read more

Investing in the Kingdom of God

Proverbs 19:17 Two of the treasures we can take to heaven when we die are people we have witnessed to and the Word of God we have hidden in our hearts. There is another way we can invest in God's kingdom here on earth and at the same time add to our heavenly bank account. Today's reading reveals this way. It says, "He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord; and He will pay back what he is given." read more

The Work of God

Romans 4:1-13 In one of the Gospels Jesus was asked the question, "What must we do to do the works of God?" His reply was, "Believe on Him." Paul makes it clear in this passage that we are justified by faith, not by works. He used Abraham as an illustration. If his works justified Abraham, then he would take the glory himself. God considered Abraham a righteous man simply because he believed. Paul also speaks of David and how he writes in a psalm about the blessedness of the man who is counted righteous not because of his works, but because of his belief and trust in God. If we consider ourselves as working for the Lord, then we are working out of debt, not out of grace. read more

Who Is Righteous?

Romans 3:9-31 Yesterday we talked about what righteous people can do to save a city and nation. In today's reading we hear Paul's dramatic statements "There is none righteous, no, not one" (v. 10). "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (v. 23). read more

When the Righteous Can Do Little

Psalm 11:1-7 The Scriptures are full of the blessings that come to those who live righteously. There are many promises in the Word like, "The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." Other passages say that righteousness exalts cities and nations. Sodom would have been spared if God had found ten righteous men residing there. Without righteous men, our nation also would not exist. It is because there are still righteous people left in this nation that the United States has not experienced the full measure of God's judgment. The righteous can do much, but when the foundations are destroyed, the righteous are unable to do much to save a nation, city or family. read more

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