MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST

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Faith

Without faith it is impossible to please Him…  Hebrews 11:6

Faith in active opposition to common sense is mistaken enthusiasm and narrow-mindedness, and common sense in opposition to faith demonstrates a mistaken reliance on reason as the basis for truth. The life of faith brings the two of these into the proper relationship. Common sense and faith are as different from each other as the natural life is from the spiritual, and as impulsiveness is from inspiration. Nothing that Jesus Christ ever said is common sense, but is revelation sense, and is complete, whereas common sense falls short. Yet faith must be tested and tried before it becomes real in your life. “We know that all things work together for good…” (Romans 8:28) so that no matter what happens, the transforming power of God’s providence transforms perfect faith into reality. Faith always works in a personal way, because the purpose of God is to see that perfect faith is made real in His children.

For every detail of common sense in life, there is a truth God has revealed by which we can prove in our practical experience what we believe God to be. Faith is a tremendously active principle that always puts Jesus Christ first. The life of faith says, “Lord, You have said it, it appears to be irrational, but I’m going to step out boldly, trusting in Your Word” (for example, see Matthew 6:33). Turning intellectual faith into our personal possession is always a fight, not just sometimes. God brings us into particular circumstances to educate our faith, because the nature of faith is to make the object of our faith very real to us. Until we know Jesus, God is merely a concept, and we can’t have faith in Him. But once we hear Jesus say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9) we immediately have something that is real, and our faith is limitless. Faith is the entire person in the right relationship with God through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 20-21; 2 Timothy 4

NIV Devotions for Men – Week of October 29

 

What God Has Joined Together

Verse: Deuteronomy 24:1-5

Recommended Reading

Ephesians 5:22-33Hebrews 13:4

Most of us would agree that divorce is not a laughing matter. But that doesn’t stop people from joking about it, like one comedian who said, “My ex-wife is a great housekeeper—when we got divorced, she kept the house.” Legal terms like “no fault” and “uncontested” fuel the idea that divorce is an easy, acceptable alternative to marriage. Instead of treating divorce seriously, people begin to view it as just another option to be considered in the context of modern relationships.

Some people even look to the Bible to justify divorce. They search Scripture to find “loopholes” in God’s rules for marriage. But we’re missing the point when we hunt for God’s permission to divorce.

For a deeper understanding of God’s true perspective on marriage, we need to look at the provisions he extends to newlyweds in Deuteronomy 24:5. God excuses the recently married man from many responsibilities—including military service—for a full year so that he can give his full attention to his wife.

Think about that. God’s gift to newlyweds was a whole year to work on building a solid foundation in their marriage. One year for the husband to learn to meet his wife’s needs. One year to hone their communication skills. One year to prepare for life’s journey together.

God clearly supports the institution of marriage. Throughout Scripture he offers invaluable help to husbands and wives who commit themselves to each other for life.

If you’re married, think about this: What if you’d been given a year after your wedding to focus only on your wife? How would your relationship be different today? It’s not too late to find out. Maybe you don’t have an entire year, but you can start with a day at a time. Clear your schedule so that you can give your wife your undivided attention. If you have commitments that take you away from home on the evenings and weekends, consider dropping one or two of them to focus on your relationship. Listen to her concerns. Commit yourself to meeting her needs. Look for ways to bring her happiness. With God’s help, you can turn your marriage into a love story for the ages.

To Take Away

• What would you say to a friend who is contemplating divorce?
• What’s the biggest challenge in your marriage right now?
• What specific steps can you take this week in order to deepen your relationship with your wife?

This devotion is from the NIV New Men’s Devotional Bible by Zondervan. Used with permission.

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus – iBelieve Truth: A Devotional for Women – November 4

 

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus
By: Tiffany Thibault

Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2

One warm summer day, my husband and I rented a 22-foot sailboat for a couple of hours to enjoy some time together in the San Diego Bay. He took his spot at the stern of the boat to steer the rudder, and I took my place up toward the middle so that I could manage the two sails. We enjoyed turning our boat and allowing the sails to catch the breeze to move us along at a dead run.

Partway through our time, we switched positions. I put my right hand on the rudder and my eyes on a point ahead in the distance. It was at this point it became my main responsibility to keep us on our current path. I had to keep the boat aligned with that distant object as my waypoint. If I took my eyes away from that waypoint, I could easily get us off course within seconds.

It would be dangerous for me to lose sight of that waypoint. Not only were there other boats in the water with us, but there was the shore, rocks and a bridge we could crash into. When we finally turned the boat around to head back to the marina, we once again chose a distant point for our eyes to focus on, to keep us on course.

That day in the sailboat I began to think about this verse: “Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” To fix my eyes upon Jesus is not a one-time deal. I must make that effort each and every moment, and in every single circumstance of my life in my personal walk with the Lord to fix my eyes on Him and to not look away. I must allow Jesus to write His story in my life and allow Him to perfect my faith.

This definitely requires an effort on my part to always keep redirecting my course, to stay in tune with living for Him, by following His example through His life and teachings. How do I do this? The more that I spend time in the Word learning about Jesus, the easier it will be to keep my eyes on Him, no matter what.

The fog rolls in and the storms do come in life, and it sometimes seems as though I can’t even see Jesus in the midst of my circumstances. Those are the times when I have to press forward in faith, reminding myself that He is still there. I must intentionally fix my eyes on Jesus.

The Bible verse continues by saying,“who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Jesus endured so much on that cross. He did it for you. His love for you put Him on that cross. He endured it. He scorned the shame of the cross. He hated it. We know He did it for love, but how did He do this? He did it by intentionally setting joy before Him. He put His focus on the joy that He would receive at the end of it, which was to sit down at the right hand of God in Heaven.

No matter what situation you are in at this very moment, you must do all that is in your power to fix your eyes on Jesus through it. Don’t take your eyes off of Him. Remind yourself of His promises to you in the Bible. Speak His truth into your life. He has a purpose for every thing that you are going through right now. There will be storms; there will be times of peace. Through your days, fix your eyes on Jesus and purposefully set joy before you. There is the promise of heaven, of peace at the end of our trials, of one day sitting before the very throne of God. Don’t ever quit fixing your eyes on Jesus. He is our waypoint!

Tiffany Thibault enjoys living life with her husband, two daughters and one very large dog in San Diego. She not only homeschools her girls, but she also loves to write about Jesus and speak about Him to groups of women. She loves long walks, coffee and anything chocolate.

For More Great Resources for Women, Visit iBelieve’s Faith Channel.