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Devotional - My Utmost For His Highest

Devotional - My Utmost For His Highest

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…unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. —Matthew 5:20The characteristic of a disciple is not that he does good things, but that he is good in his motives, having been made good by the supernatural grace of God. The only thing that exceeds right-doing is right-being. Jesus Christ came to place within anyone who would let Him a new…
Blessed are… —Matthew 5:3-11When we first read the statements of Jesus, they seem wonderfully simple and unstartling, and they sink unnoticed into our subconscious minds. For instance, the Beatitudes initially seem to be merely soothing and beautiful precepts for overly spiritual and seemingly useless people, but of very little practical use in the…
Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart….For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man… —Matthew 15:18-20Initially we trust in our ignorance, calling it innocence, and next we trust our innocence, calling it purity. Then when we hear these strong statements from our Lord, we shrink back, saying, “But I never felt any of those awful things in my heart.” We resent what He reveals. Either…
If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine… —John 7:17The golden rule to follow to obtain spiritual understanding is not one of intellectual pursuit, but one of obedience. If a person wants scientific knowledge, then intellectual curiosity must be his guide. But if he desires knowledge and insight into the teachings of Jesus Christ, he can only obtain it…
Blessed are the poor in spirit… —Matthew 5:3Beware of thinking of our Lord as only a teacher. If Jesus Christ is only a teacher, then all He can do is frustrate me by setting a standard before me I cannot attain. What is the point of presenting me with such a lofty ideal if I cannot possibly…
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us…sanctification… —1 Corinthians 1:30 Sanctification (2)The Life Side. The mystery of sanctification is that the perfect qualities of Jesus Christ are imparted as a gift to me, not gradually, but instantly once I enter by faith into the realization that He “became for [me]…sanctification….” Sanctification means nothing less than the holiness of Jesus becoming mine and…
This is the will of God, your sanctification… —1 Thessalonians 4:3 Sanctification (1)The Death Side. In sanctification God has to deal with us on the death side as well as on the life side. Sanctification requires our coming to the place of death, but many of us spend so much time there that we become morbid. There is always a tremendous battle…
Those who wait on the Lord…shall walk and not faint. —Isaiah 40:31There is no thrill for us in walking, yet it is the test for all of our steady and enduring qualities. To “walk and not faint” is the highest stretch possible as a measure of strength. The word walk is used in the Bible to express the character of a person—…
You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. —John 13:13Our Lord never insists on having authority over us. He never says, “You will submit to me.” No, He leaves us perfectly free to choose— so free, in fact, that we can spit in His face or we can put Him to death, as others have done; and yet He will…
My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom… —1 Corinthians 2:4Paul was a scholar and an orator of the highest degree; he was not speaking here out of a deep sense of humility, but was saying that when he preached the gospel, he would veil the power of God if he impressed people with the excellency of his speech. Belief…
He said, "Who are You, Lord?" —Acts 9:5Through the miracle of redemption, Saul of Tarsus was instantly changed from a strong-willed and forceful Pharisee into a humble and devoted bondservant of the Lord Jesus.There is nothing miraculous or mysterious about the things we can explain. We control what we are able to explain, consequently it is only…
…how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! —Matthew 7:11Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct in this passage for those people who have His Spirit. He urges us to keep our minds filled with the concept of God's control over everything, which means that a disciple must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to…
I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians… —Romans 1:14Paul was overwhelmed with the sense of his indebtedness to Jesus Christ, and he spent his life to express it. The greatest inspiration in Paul's life was his view of Jesus Christ as his spiritual creditor. Do I feel that same sense of indebtedness to Christ regarding every unsaved soul?…
…that I may know Him… —Philippians 3:10A saint is not to take the initiative toward self-realization, but toward knowing Jesus Christ. A spiritually vigorous saint never believes that his circumstances simply happen at random, nor does he ever think of his life as being divided into the secular and the sacred. He sees every situation in…
…till we all come…to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ… —Ephesians 4:13Reconciliation means the restoring of the relationship between the entire human race and God, putting it back to what God designed it to be. This is what Jesus Christ did in redemption. The church ceases to be spiritual when it becomes self-seeking, only interested in the development of its own…
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord… —Isaiah 6:1Our soul's personal history with God is often an account of the death of our heroes. Over and over again God has to remove our friends to put Himself in their place, and that is when we falter, fail, and become discouraged. Let me think about this personally— when the…
I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. —Matthew 5:39This verse reveals the humiliation of being a Christian. In the natural realm, if a person does not hit back, it is because he is a coward. But in the spiritual realm, it is the very evidence of the Son of God in him if he does not hit back.…
Joshua said to the people, "You cannot serve the Lord…" —Joshua 24:19Do you have even the slightest reliance on anything or anyone other than God? Is there a remnant of reliance left on any natural quality within you, or on any particular set of circumstances? Are you relying on yourself in any manner whatsoever regarding this new proposal or plan which…
Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together… —Hebrews 10:24-25We are all capable of being spiritually lazy saints. We want to stay off the rough roads of life, and our primary objective is to secure a peaceful retreat from the world. The ideas put forth in these verses from Hebrews 10 are those of stirring up one another and…
Enter by the narrow gate….Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life…. —Matthew 7:13-14If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all efforts of worth and excellence are difficult. The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but its difficulty does not make us faint and cave in— it stirs us up to overcome. Do we appreciate the…
…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… —Joshua 24:15A person's will is embodied in the actions of the whole person. I cannot give up my will— I must exercise it, putting it into action. I must will to obey, and I must will to receive God's Spirit. When God gives me a vision of truth, there is never a question of…
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. —Psalm 37:5Don't plan without God. God seems to have a delightful way of upsetting the plans we have made, when we have not taken Him into account. We get ourselves into circumstances that were not chosen by God, and suddenly we realize that we have been making our plans without Him— that…
The parched ground shall become a pool… —Isaiah 35:7We always have a vision of something before it actually becomes real to us. When we realize that the vision is real, but is not yet real in us, Satan comes to us with his temptations, and we are inclined to say that there is no point in even trying…
Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips… —Isaiah 6:5When I come into the very presence of God, I do not realize that I am a sinner in an indefinite sense, but I suddenly realize and the focus of my attention is directed toward the concentration of sin in a particular area of my life. A person will easily…
Do not fret— it only causes harm. —Psalm 37:8Fretting means getting ourselves “out of joint” mentally or spiritually. It is one thing to say, “Do not fret,” but something very different to have such a nature that you find yourself unable to fret. It's easy to say, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7)…
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