Lent – 40 Days of Spiritual Preparation (Week 4)
March 23, 2015
DAY 19 – March 11, 2015
The Bible teaches that all our righteousness-falling short of the divine standard as it does-is as filthy rags in the sight of God. There is absolutely no possibility of our manufacturing a righteousness, holiness, or goodness that will satisfy God. Even the best of us is impure to God. I remember one day when my wife was doing the washing. The clothes looked white and clean in the house, but when she hung them on the line they appeared soiled and dirty, in contrast to the fresh-fallen snow.
Our own lives may seem at times to be morally good and decent; but in comparison to the holiness and the purity of God, we are defiled and filthy. In spite of our sins and moral uncleanness God loves us. He decided to provide a righteousness for us. That is the reason that He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross. (Devotional from Billy Graham originally appeared on BillyGraham.org)
DAY 20 – March 12, 2015
At the beginning of any race we know where the finish line is. We can see the end and we know what prize will be awarded. If we get distracted, we run the risk of losing our way and getting off course. But with determination, perseverance and focus we can keep the goal in sight and stay the course.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
What blocks determination from working and being exhibited in you?
DAY 21 – March 13, 2015
“A the end of his life Buddha said: ‘I am still searching for truth.’ This statement could be made by countless thousands of scientists, philosophers, and religious leaders throughout history. However, Jesus Christ made the astounding claim: ‘I am… the truth” (John 14:6). He is the embodiment of all truth. The only answer to man’s search is found in Him.” –Billy Graham from World Aflame (Doubleday, 1965)
DAY 22 – March 14, 2015
By definition, someone who is prudent is cautious and shows careful good judgement. Take a look at the shepherds. They know that the sheep are need their leading – they may eat something poisonous, get lost or hurt, face an enemy, or get physically stuck. So the shepherd tends and cares for the sheep, and he leads them. The shepherd must make choices that that affect his flock and it is only he who is ultimately in charge.
DAY 23 – March 16, 2015
There are a lot of so-called “Christians” in name only, but if you look at the fruit there’s no evidence of it. That is nearly the only way you know – not by the fact that a person shows up in church – but by the fruit of their ways.
The only way you know an orange tree is you walk up and say, “That has to be an orange tree because those are oranges hanging there.” The fruit is the evidence.
The only way that anyone knows we’re Christians is by what we say, our actions, our character, how we live our lives, how we share the Word, and if we point to Jesus Christ as our saving grace in every aspect of our lives.
DAY 24 – March 17, 2015
If you would know the measure of your love for God, just observe your love for your fellowman. Our compassion for others is an accurate gauge of our devotion to God.
Some time ago, with some friends, I went through a museum in San Francisco. Among other things, we saw a collection of instruments of torture which were employed by religious people to force other people to believe as they did. History is largely the record of man’s inhumanity to man.
Prayer for the day
Lord God, fill my heart that I may love with the compassion of Jesus.
The devotion “Compassion for Others” originally appeared on BillyGraham.org.