YouVersion Devotional 1 of 3

The Lord Is Not Slack Concerning His Promise. 

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter‬ ‭3:9‬ ‭KJV‬‬

The Lord is not slack concerning His Promise. What has God Promised you? He is not slack, slothful or lazy concerning what He has Promised you. The Lord is not slack, slothful or lazy concerning what He is preparing for you. What has God Promised you? Surrender to Him. Focus on Him. His timing is perfect. He is faithful. 

You may have been waiting on a Promise to come to pass for some time. You may have been waiting on a Promise to come to full maturity. Don’t give up. Maybe God is maturing you. Maybe God is preparing the stage. Maybe God is preparing the platform. Choose not to faint. Choose not to worry. Choose to Worship Christ — He is fully able to deliver what He has Promised you. 

While you’re waiting. Don’t let your heart grow weary. While you’re waiting. Don’t let your heart grow bitter. Choose not to worship the Promise. Choose to worship God. Shift your focus and choose to worship God, the Giver of life — the Giver of gifts. Don’t turn your promise into an idol. Turn to Christ. 

2 Peter‬ ‭3:9‬ ‭AMPC‬‬ declares, “The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.” Who are you worshipping? What are you worshipping? Are you worshipping God or are you worshipping the promise? Choose to worship Christ over the promise. Don’t idolize the things of this world. 

Are you serving God or is your heart worshipping the temporary things of this world? Choose to Worship Christ and not the temporary things of this world. Choose not to magnify the things of this world over the True and Living King. Choose to serve Christ. 

Who do you serve? “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” 2 Peter‬ ‭3:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Action:

Have you exalted or magnified the temporary things of this world over the the True and Living God? 

Renounce every idol that you’ve exalted on the throne of your heart. Choose to surrender to God in every area of your life. Worship God and not the promise.

DAY BY DAY BY GRACE E-SWORD STUDY BIBLE

January 10
The Inability of the Law to Justify
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ . . . But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “The just shall live by faith.” (Gal_2:16 and Gal_3:11)
Our great initial need before God is to be justified, to have God Himself declare us not guilty, to have the Lord pronounce us righteous in His sight. At first glance this appears to be an impossible situation for man. God, our Judge, is holy. Man is innately unholy. “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isa_64:6).
The consequences of such ungodliness are inevitably universal and appropriately severe. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom_3:23). “For the wages of sin is death.” (Rom_6:23). The just sentence for all of humanity, in light of their sins against a pure and holy God, is death, everlasting separation from God.
The law of God offers no help and provides no hope of remedying this dire situation. People are “not justified by the works of the law.” Trying one’s best to measure up to the law never produces a verdict of not guilty. In all the history of humanity, not one person could ever perform sufficiently before God’s law to achieve a declaration of being righteous. “No one is justified by the law in the sight of God.”
Vows and pledges of personal improvement offer no hope. Asking others how to strive more earnestly provides no assistance. Only faith supplies the necessary remedy. “A man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ.” Trusting in our own best efforts leaves us guilty before God. Trusting in Christ’s perfect work on the cross leaves us justified before God. “The just shall live by faith.”
O Lord, my God, I praise You for Your glorious grace poured out upon me in justification. By Your grace alone You have declared me righteous in Your sight. I was totally guilty before Your holy law. I had no excuses and no hope of rescuing myself. Your law rightly condemned me, and I never could have reversed that verdict by my own performance. I trusted in Your Son, and You pronounced me just in Your sight. To You, my Lord, I give all honor, glory, adoration, and thanksgiving, through Christ Jesus, my Savior, Amen.

8 TSA Rules You Should Know

Everyone hates going through airport security. No one likes being held up because someone forgot to take off their shoes. Help make this process go faster by knowing the rules and regulations before you go. Chances are, you already know basic TSA regulations, so we’re going to focus on some lesser-known rules for air travel. You’ll look like a TSA pro after reading these tips.

Undeveloped Film Must Be Inspected

Woman taking photo with film camera
Credit: lechatnoir/ iStock

Traditional film cameras have made a huge comeback and the perfect time to use one is while traveling. Many travelers have complained of their undeveloped film being ruined during the TSA screening process because officers either have to open it or put it through the X-ray machine. To avoid ruining your camera film, request a physical inspection of the film at the beginning of the screening process. Notify a nearby officer at the security checkpoint (before your bags go on the belt) and they can assist you.

Solid Foods Are Permitted in Carry-Ons

Heading home from vacation with your favorite cookies or a special snack? No problem. The TSA permits solid food in carry-on bags. The administration does state that any non-solid foods must be put in a sealed container and then into a quart-sized bag to follow the liquid requirements. The rules for food in carry-ons have relaxed over the years and now you can bring almost any type of non-perishable food with you. Some unique options from past travelers that are permitted on the plane, according to the TSA’s Twitter account, include gingerbread houses, pies, and casseroles. For details on amounts and restrictions, visit the food section on the TSA’s website.

Eating Utensils Are Permitted in Carry-Ons

Bamboo eating utensils, straws and cups on a canvas bag
Credit: Almaje/ iStock

Thanks to the go green movement, many of us are opting for reusable eating utensils rather than plastic forks, knives, and spoons. Don’t worry about taking your travel-friendly utensils with you in your carry-on for hassle-free dining. The TSA permits round-bladed butter knives and forks on the plane. Staying eco-friendly during your flight has never been easier.

Medications and Prescriptions Are Allowed

Have you ever packed your medication and wondered if you needed to pack it in the original bottle? The TSA makes bringing medications easy. You can bring as much as you need in your checked or carry-on luggage as long as it goes through proper screening. For a liquid medication, separate it into a bottle of 3.4 ounces and notify an officer at the checkpoint of your liquid prescription. It’s important to note that some states have laws requiring prescription labels on medication, so check with your state before traveling.

Creams and Lotions Are Considered Liquids

Person putting lotion in travel sized container
Credit: familylifestyle/ iStock

According to the TSA, anything that you can pour, pump, spread, squeeze, smear, spray, or spill is considered to be a liquid and must follow the 3.4 ounces or less rule. Remember this when purchasing souvenirs to take in your carry-on bag. This means that popular items like nut butter, sunscreen, face creams, and perfumes must be under 3.4 ounces even if they are factory-sealed and unopened. If you must travel with such an item, place it in a sealed bag in your checked luggage instead.

Expensive Jewelry Must Stay On

For travelers who like to dress up, we have good news. The TSA actually prefers you leave your diamonds and other expensive jewelry on at the security checkpoint. This prevents costly items from being stolen from the bin or lost during the screening process. Doing this will save the TSA some time and it will keep your valuables safe. If your jewelry item is exceptionally large or contains a lot of metal, you might be asked to take it off, but in most instances, you’ll be fine to wear it through.

You Can Bring Plants on the Plane

Potted succulent
Credit: fabspotato/ Unsplash

If you’re a plant enthusiast or traveling with one as a gift, there’s no need to mail it and pay for shipping — the TSA permits plants on planes. As long as your plant fits neatly into the overhead bin or underneath your seat, you can fly with it. So yes, you can buy that adorable cactus at the airport gift shop in Arizona. However, before you fly, check your state regulations to make sure you aren’t bringing a prohibited plant across state borders. There can occasionally be restrictions due to specific insects or plant diseases.

Drone in sky with mountain ranges in background
Credit: asoggetti/ Unsplash

Drones are popular for frequent travelers who want aerial photos and videos of their latest adventure. The good news is that the TSA does allow drones to pass through security screenings. However, it’s essential to check with your airline before bringing your drone on board. Some airlines do not allow drones on their planes even though the TSA allows them through the security. Visit Dronethusiast for detailed explanations of major airlines’ drone policies.

A culture enthusiast and an advocate for environmental awareness, Rachel is a freelance travel writer based out of Jacksonville, Florida.

Featured Image: Jim Lambert/Shutterstock

CHRISTIAN HEADLINES

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31 Spiritual Warfare Scriptures: Help for Facing Life’s Battles

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Digitalskillet

We’re in a battle in this world. We may not see it, we might forget it’s there. But the enemy would love nothing more than to start our year off with discouragement and defeat, bringing fear and stress. Don’t let him win.

If you’re a believer who is living like salt and light in a dark world, you won’t go for long without encountering spiritual warfare – obstacles and attacks he’ll hurl your direction. God reminds us in His word to stay aware of Satan’s schemes, to live alert in this world, and to stay close to Him.

He arms us with the sword, the Word of God, to stand against the enemy’s lies. He equips us with strength, wisdom, and discernment through His own Spirit to stay strong in the spiritual warfare battle. He invites us to spend time in His Presence, through prayer and worship, pressing in to know Him more.

As we grow to know God’s Truth and what is real, we also know more what is false, and we are stronger to stand against it in the powerful name of Jesus. He never leaves us to fend for ourselves in a dark world, but reminds us He is constantly with us, fighting for us, even when we cannot see.

Praying God’s words back to Him, is a powerful weapon against the forces of evil. It is Truth going out. It reminds us that God knows our way and understands what we face today. It builds our faith and our trust in God. It guards our hearts and focuses our minds back on Him. It wins the battle.

Prayer + God’s Word = Power

31 Spiritual Warfare Scriptures to Read, Pray, and Memorize:

1. “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

2. “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

3. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:3-5

4. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” 1 Pet. 5:8-9

5. “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.” Is. 54:17

6. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph. 6:11-17

7. “In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Rom. 8:37

8. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15:57

9. “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” Zech. 4:6

10. “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” 2 Thess. 3:3

11. “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” Luke 10:19

12. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

13. “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” Matt. 18:18-19

14. “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.” Deut. 28:7

15. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

16. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Cor. 10:13

17.  “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

18. “Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:21

19. “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Rev.12:11

20. “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Tim. 6:12

21. “,,,On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt. 16:18

22. “…the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” 1 John 3:8

23. “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Is. 40:31

24. “One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.” Josh. 23:10

25. “Do not fear them, for the Lord your God is the one fighting for you.” Deut. 3:22

26. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” Rom. 8:31

27. “Through You we will push back our adversaries, through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.” Ps. 44:5

28. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Josh. 1:9

29. “For You have girded me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.” Ps. 18:39

30. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart…” Ps. 91:1-4

31. “This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chron. 20:15

When we belong to Christ, the enemy never has the final word over our lives. We are secure in God’s hands.

Press on – courageous and free – never held back by fear or defeat. The battle belongs to the Lord, and He has the final victory.


Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor’s wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead’s facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, 

My Utmost For His Highest

u.jpgThe Opened Sight

I now send you, to open their eyes…that they may receive forgiveness of sins…  Acts 26:17-18

This verse is the greatest example of the true essence of the message of a disciple of Jesus Christ in all of the New Testament.

God’s first sovereign work of grace is summed up in the words, “…that they may receive forgiveness of sins….” When a person fails in his personal Christian life, it is usually because he has never received anything. The only sign that a person is saved is that he has received something from Jesus Christ. Our job as workers for God is to open people’s eyes so that they may turn themselves from darkness to light. But that is not salvation; it is conversion— only the effort of an awakened human being. I do not think it is too broad a statement to say that the majority of so-called Christians are like this. Their eyes are open, but they have received nothing. Conversion is not regeneration. This is a neglected fact in our preaching today. When a person is born again, he knows that it is because he has received something as a gift from Almighty God and not because of his own decision. People may make vows and promises, and may be determined to follow through, but none of this is salvation. Salvation means that we are brought to the place where we are able to receive something from God on the authority of Jesus Christ, namely, forgiveness of sins.

This is followed by God’s second mighty work of grace: “…an inheritance among those who are sanctified….” In sanctification, the one who has been born again deliberately gives up his right to himself to Jesus Christ, and identifies himself entirely with God’s ministry to others. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

Bible in One Year: Genesis 25-26; Matthew 8:1-17

Doing What Comes Naturally

NIGHT LIKE FOR COUPLES

“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51:5

Humanistic and Christian psychologists differ significantly in how they view human nature. Secular psychologists see children as born “good,” or at least “morally neutral.” They believe children learn to do wrong from parental mistakes and a corrupt society.

As Christians, however, we know otherwise. Deep within our character is a self‐will that is inborn, part of our genetic nature. We desire to control people, our circumstances, our environment—we want what we want, and we want it now. Adam and Eve demonstrated this when they ate the forbidden fruit. Toddlers stamp their little feet and throw temper tantrums. Husbands and wives illustrate the same willfulness when they argue about how to spend money—or about whether the toilet paper should roll from the front or the back. King David referred to this basic human nature when he wrote, “In sin did my mother conceive me.”

Only Jesus Christ can help us deal with the depravity that leads us to be selfish, arrogant, and disobedient. He has promised to do for us what we are powerless to accomplish on our own. Let’s talk about that.

Just between us…

  • Do you agree that humans are born with a bent toward sin? Why or why not?
  • Is there an area of your life that used to be a struggle, but that you’ve given over to God with positive results?
  • Do you think selfishness is a problem in our marriage?
  • How can we encourage each other in this area?

Father, we admit our sinful and selfish ways. We look to You for forgiveness and healing. Thank You for Your mercies. We need Your power to change— and we reach for it together. Amen.

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