January 18 – Stay “On Guard” For God

    “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” II Peter 1:10

God has called you with a holy calling (II Timothy 1:9) and a heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1). To stay true to one’s calling and election requires a DAILY decision to follow God and not to conform to the ways of this world. (See Romans 12:2.)

Jesus said, in Matthew 22:14, “For many are called, hut few are chosen.” You can see, through the teaching of Jesus, that God chose men whose hearts and minds were “stayed” (Isaiah 26:3) on Him. It is still a condition today in order to stay “on guard” for God.

When Gideon purged his army down from 32,000 to 300 chosen men, God told him to pick those who were not afraid and who lapped water from their hands instead of bending down to drink. It appears that God was looking for vigilant, “on-guard” people.

So it is spiritually. You must keep your guard up always. How? Through prayer, Bible reading, and exercising good works…giving diligence to make your calling and election sure!

PRAY: “Caring Father, help me to cultivate ‘diligence’ in my life today, because Your Word advises me to ‘keep my heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”* In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

*Proverbs 4:23

January 17 – True Happiness

“Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” Psalm 146:5

What is it that would really make you happy?

“I’d be happy if it weren’t for my marriage!”

“I’d be happy if this sickness were just gone!”

“I’d be happy if we just had a new home!”

“If he would just ask me to marry him, I’d be the happiest woman alive!”

To most people, happiness depends upon favorable circumstances. Unfortunately, circumstances change like the weather…sunny one day and rainy the next.

Real happiness is NOT an elusive dream. For the Christian, happiness is disguised in the Word of God under the term “blessed,” taken from the Greek word “markarios.” It means “having a sense of God’s approval.” TRUE HAPPINESS, then, is the blessing that comes from a right relationship with God.

It is true that in the midst of adverse circumstances a Christian, whose heart is pure, will be “blessed” with peace…a contentment, a quietness, a confidence…TRUE HAPPINESS!

PRAY: “Heavenly Father, I am truly blessed today. I have learned Your kingdom is ‘righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.’* Thank You. Help me to never forget it in ALL my circumstances. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

*Romans 14:17b

January 16 – Be The Best You Can Be For God

“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” I Corinthians 12:18

An ancient legend tells of a king who walked into his gardens one day and found almost everything withered and dying. The oak tree was sick of life because it was not tall and beautiful like the pine. The pine was upset for it could not bear fruit like the pear tree, while the pear tree complained that it did not have the lovely odor of the spruce. The same discontent prevailed throughout the garden.

However, when the king came to the pansy, he saw its bright face full of cheerfulness. “Well, little flower,” said the king, “I’m glad to find at least one tiny plant that is happy.” “Your Majesty,” said the pansy, “I know I’m small, but I decided you wanted a pansy when you planted me here. If you had desired an oak or a pear tree, you would have put one in my place. So I’ve determined to be the best little flower I can be!”

God has made you unique with special gifts and abilities with which to serve Him. There is no need to compete with the abilities of others. Use the gift God has given YOU to make your own special contribution to the body of Christ!

PRAY: “Giver of all gifts, I thank You for making me ME. Help me to test my own actions and carry my own load today so I do not compare myself with others.* I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

* Galatians 6:4-5 (NIV) (paraphrased)