My utmost for his highest

u.jpg“Approved to God”

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15

If you cannot express yourself well on each of your beliefs, work and study until you can. If you don’t, other people may miss out on the blessings that come from knowing the truth. Strive to re-express a truth of God to yourself clearly and understandably, and God will use that same explanation when you share it with someone else. But you must be willing to go through God’s winepress where the grapes are crushed. You must struggle, experiment, and rehearse your words to express God’s truth clearly. Then the time will come when that very expression will become God’s wine of strength to someone else. But if you are not diligent and say, “I’m not going to study and struggle to express this truth in my own words; I’ll just borrow my words from someone else,” then the words will be of no value to you or to others. Try to state to yourself what you believe to be the absolute truth of God, and you will be allowing God the opportunity to pass it on through you to someone else.

Always make it a practice to stir your own mind thoroughly to think through what you have easily believed. Your position is not really yours until you make it yours through suffering and study. The author or speaker from whom you learn the most is not the one who teaches you something you didn’t know before, but the one who helps you take a truth with which you have quietly struggled, give it expression, and speak it clearly and boldly. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

Bible in One Year: Amos 1-3; Revelation 6

Advent Devotional Week 3: Understanding Who Jesus Is

By Cissie Graham Lynch   •   November 25, 2019   •   Topics: 

This is the third of a four-part series on Advent, meaning “arrival.” The Advent season celebrates the coming of a Savior in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Below is a portion of Cissie Graham Lynch’s Advent devotional, Born to You This Day.

Read More

Week 1: Victory in Jesus
Week 2: Rejoicing in God’s Promises

During the Christmas season, some people wonder about Jesus. Maybe you have known Him for a long time, but you find yourself in a valley, struggling to understand who He really is.

In different chapters of my life, I have found my relationship with Jesus changes. According to what I am experiencing, He has been my Counselor, Prince of Peace, Deliverer, and Comforter. He continues to reveal Himself to me in different, yet more beautiful, ways through each stage of my life.

Throughout Scripture over 200 names are given for Christ. Some are titles for Jesus, while others are concepts or descriptions of Him.

The message and meaning of Christmas is spelled out in Isaiah 9:6. The Prophet Isaiah gives four awe-inspiring names of our Lord that encourage us, thrill us, and fill us with hope:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Each of these descriptions of Christ is reinforced and expanded on through other Scriptures.

Wonderful Counselor: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).

Mighty God: “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:26).

Everlasting Father: “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist ” (1 Corinthians 8:6).

Prince of Peace: “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:19–20).

The full meaning of these words from Isaiah should give us enough strength, hope, and joy to face any crisis, to endure any sorrow, and to meet any temptation.

How is God revealing Himself to you today?

PRAYER: God, You are El Roi—the God who sees. Help me to see You today and every day. I pray this Christmas season You will reveal Yourself to me in new and amazing ways.

More Readings on God’s Names for Week 3

Psalm 25:5
Isaiah 54:5
Matthew 1:23
John 1:1
Hebrews 1:2–4
Hebrews 4:14–16
Revelation 19:11
Revelation 22:13

Cissie Graham Lynch is the daughter of Franklin Graham and granddaughter of Billy Graham. She is a ministry spokesperson for Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Cissie and her husband, Corey, have one daughter and one son, and live in Fort Myers, Florida.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Receive His peace today.

Patient Endurance

NIGHT LIKE FOR PARENTS

This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints. Revelation 14:12

Are you facing a parenting challenge that just won’t go away? Is it your daughter’s health? Your son’s irresponsibility? Your child’s disinterest in God? Is it simply a lack of energy to keep up with rambunctious toddlers or rowdy teens?

We know how hard it can be to maintain optimism and confidence in the face of a never-changing trial. We’re told in Scripture that Abraham and Sarah faced such a challenge. God had promised Abraham that he would become the father of a great nation. That was wonderful news to an aging man and his barren wife. What followed, however, were years of continued infertility.

After more than two decades passed, Abraham was even more confused. He and his wife were simply too old to have children. Yet he still believed in God’s power: “He did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith” (Romans 4:20). Abraham’s faith was later rewarded with the birth of Isaac (Genesis 21:2).

Isn’t that a wonderful example of faith under fire? It should give you courage to retain spiritual confidence even when the pieces don’t fit. Your “patient endurance” will not go unnoticed by your heavenly Father. Even when it appears nothing is happening, God is at work in the lives of each member of your family.

Before you say good night…

What situations in your lives could use some “Abraham-like” faith?

In what ways have you already seen the rewards of your faith?

How well do you demonstrate “patient endurance” to your family?

Father, we need to walk by faith, not by sight. What we see of our situation so often causes us to lose heart. Open our eyes, God, to see Your great power and mighty hand in our lives. Encourage us tonight, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.