Who Is On Your Spiritual Adviser Board, ?

God will often communicate His will and wisdom to you through other followers of Christ! I can’t even begin to count the times God has used another Christian to get a message through to my heart! I hear His whispers through my pastors, a podcast, my friends, my children, a blogger, or someone in my LifeGroup. I actually view a few of them as my Spiritual Advisory Board. These are: my spouse, a mentor, a prayer partner, a friend, and my parents.

How about you? Do you seek out and listen openly to other believers you respect? Staying consistently connected with other Christians (especially those who are growing and grounded in God’s Word) is vital for your own personal faith journey.

Listening to them is not enough, though. Do you often apply or put into practice the advice or wisdom you’ve heard?

Wise up and remain involved in Christian community! Listen to your faith-family. We need them, and they need you. Today’s reading from Proverbs 18:2 tells us frankly it’s a mistake to be a “know-it-all.”

Personally, I don’t want to play the fool. I need help. I need wisdom. I need to choose to remain humble and teachable so I can hear God’s direction, correction, and affection. I need my heart to remain humble and teachable—because God will often speak to us through His other children.

Ask the Father: Who needs to be on my Spiritual Board of Advisors?

Today’s worship song recommendation: “Set a Fire” by Will Reagan and United Pursuit

God Is Light, Day 19

Today’s reading is drawn from 1 John 3:1-10.

God’s Story

The Spirit inspires the apostle John to write a letter to believers, likely to believers who lived in a number of places. John has heard, seen and touched the Word of life — Jesus — and he is spreading the news of the here-and-now eternal life that Jesus offers to all who believe in him.

God is absolute light — void of darkness. In that light, our dark sin is exposed; but if we walk with him in the light, confessing our sins to him, Jesus’ blood will cleanse us from sin. We are to avoid sin as fiercely as possible, but when we do sin, Jesus advocates for us.

We will be able to recognize true believers because they will live like Jesus did — obeying God’s commandments. God is love, and his commandments can be summed up in one word: love. Even though we aren’t required to keep God’s commandments for salvation, a Jesus-like, love-filled life is the mark of a believer.

False teachers have arisen who are leading believers astray. John warns that anyone denying that Jesus is the Son of God come in the flesh is not from God and should not be followed.

We are God’s children, born of God. We will get to see Jesus in all his glory, and we should live purely to prepare ourselves for that incredible moment.

The King’s Heart

“God is light; in him, there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). There is not a speck of darkness in God, not a spot of injustice or unkindness. God can never be cruel, unjust or unloving.

“God is love,” John later explains (1 John 4:8). He is pure love. That means that God always has the purest and best intentions in every situation; everything he does is a work of love.

We never need to question God’s motives or his heart — he is always good, kind and loving. There is no safer place to put our trust. So while we may not understand a situation or how it’s going to turn out, we can always trust God’s heart. And then, on the other side of the situation or perhaps in the fullness of God’s kingdom, we will see that God was acting with pure goodness — as he always is and can only be — all along.

Insight

John mentions the “world,” and how we’re not supposed to love it (see 1 John 2:15), throughout his letter. He isn’t referring to the earth as we know it — the earth is God’s good, but broken, creation. He’s referring to the people and human systems that stand in opposition to God.

 

Bible Gateway

Mary of Nazareth, An Honored Mother, Day 7

Today’s reading is taken from Luke 1:26-55 and John 19:25-27.

No other human being was closer to Jesus Christ on earth than Mary, his mother. Each of the Gospels and the book of Acts includes her as a woman uniquely gifted to share her Son’s earthly life. As a mother, she is one of us, but as the mother of our Lord, she is blessed above all women. Matthew introduced Mary of Nazareth as the betrothed wife of Joseph, “faithful to the law” (Mt 1:19).

When the angel Gabriel appeared to her with the birth announcement (Lk 1:26–28), Mary’s response clearly revealed her keen understanding of Scripture and her ready willingness to obey God.

The awesome concept of yielding her virgin body to the Holy Spirit as his instrument was sure to be misunderstood, but Mary’s spirit of total trust earned God’s pleasure (Lk 1:38). Overwhelming as the news was, she submitted herself to the assignment with joy. Her song of praise (Lk 1:46-55) describes a perceptive heart of overflowing exaltation to her Lord.

Intertwined with spiritual insight, however, were Mary’s anxieties. When at age twelve Jesus failed to join the family as they returned from Jerusalem (Lk 2:41-50), when the wine at the wedding feast was insufficient (Jn 2:1-12), when she was concerned during his ministry (Mk 6:2-3; Lk 8:19) or horrified at his Crucifixion, her Son graciously responded to his mother’s disquiet on each occasion. He tenderly placed her in the care of John before he died (Jn 19:25-27).

Mary and Joseph became the parents of other children. Mary probably experienced early widowhood, but she shines as a faithful wife and mother. When Mary appeared publicly, standing at the cross (Jn 19:25) and praying after the Lord’s ascension (Ac 1:12–14), she demonstrated her courage to the world.

She was marked as “one of his,” liable for persecution along with the disciples. The unknown maiden from the despised Galilean town of Nazareth (see Jn 1:46) illuminates for all time the basic nature of womanhood: entrusting to the next generation the message of God’s faithfulness, whether through the rearing of one’s own child or through the task of spiritual nurturing that might extend beyond the family circle. Not only was Mary God’s sovereign choice to bear the Christ child, but she was also a devoted and humble follower of her Messiah.

Bible Gateway