DVO June 30, 2019


James 4:7 – Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
All believers face spiritual warfare. If you belong to Jesus, then you will engage in some conflict against darkness. Sometimes it is very evident and easy to discern that demonic darkness is seeking to wage some form of assault upon us, but there are other times when this battle with darkness is subtle and sneaky. We are warned by God that we should be sober minded and watchful because as an adversary Satan is looking for opportunities to consume and devour our testimony, witness and usefulness to God (I Peter 5:8). Satan has determined to try to destroy anyone that has professed faith in God and has become a member of God’s family through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The enemy wants to harm us through many destructive and seductive strategies, yet our faith embraces the authority and promises of God to protect His own. Our present verse of devotion reminds us that the experience of victory in this battle depends on how we walk in the two areas of submitting to God and on the other hand, resisting the devil. The issue may boil down to the length of time that we are under attack or temptation. Sometimes the enemy’s persistence will outlast our resistance. We fail when we give up too soon by resorting to our own strength and understanding and not maintaining our submission to God.

When we step outside of God’s will, we open our lives up for Satan or his demons to sow seeds into our lives for our destruction and those that are in close relationship and proximity to us. Every struggle may not involve demons directly, but when we are consistently opening ourselves to pathways and people of darkness, it will bring us into contact with the evil one and his messengers of evil. We must also be mindful that spiritual warfare does not only come when we drift outside of God’s will, but it can come because we are in the center of His will and Satan wants to block our obedience that could lead to God’s glory. Dean Sherman, in his book Spiritual Warfare, tells us that there are three battlefields that we need to keep winning if we are to successfully resist the devil. These battlefields are the mind, the heart, and the mouth. When we protect these areas and yield them to the control of the Holy Spirit, we close these potential open doors that Satan and demons seek to use for their evil work among us. Submitting to God by yielding to His free access and control will be our source of resistance that blocks any influence demons try to have in our lives.

Our battle is against forces that are real and powerful, and they should not be underestimated. We don’t look for demons in everything, but we must be discerning beyond some struggles with people to realize that there is a spiritual realm that is actively at war between light and dark in our lives. The persistent unchanging goal is to make us ineffective for God’s Kingdom and to keep unbelievers away from God (2 Corinthians 4:1-5). If we are going to resist, we must resist in the faith (I Peter 5:9); we must resist standing in God’s armor (Ephesians 6:11); we must resist in prayer (Ephesians 6:18); and we must resist in obedience (Romans 6:17). We must never forget that Satan is a defeated enemy, so believers need not fear him. When we resist him, he will flee from us (James 4:7).

Prayer: Our Eternal God and Father, we pray about the spiritual battle that we are facing today. Keep us we pray so that the enemy will not defeat us, our families, and our friends. We claim Your faithful promises assuring our hearts of the victory that You have already secured for us and the forgiveness of our sins through our Lord Jesus, in His great name, amen.

(by Pastor Wayne Cockrell)

DVO June 29, 2019

Title: Our Pride

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 – It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. 6 For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to [b]buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

One of the things we all have in common is the many forms in which pride can take root in our hearts and become the avenue in which we can justify some form of self-glorification that steals the glory that is really due to God. Even those that have been raised to have close walks with God and be successful in serving God must be always mindful of our human tendency to be unguarded in the area of pride. Our present text of devotion shows us that even the Apostle Paul, who was given unspeakable heavenly access to some secret things of God and who was used of God to be a major writer and spokesman of His Word to the world, had to be helped by God to keep this area under control so that he would not stumble, nor others stumble because of him. Because we may not always be honest with ourselves about this area in us, or we may not recognize its presence or potential in us, God has His ways of protecting, teaching and even humbling us so that we will remain useful and fruitful for Him. It is not simply my perception of my pride that matters, but how God sees me and the attitude of my heart before Him and what He determines is necessary to correct and protect us from our own hearts.

For the Apostle Paul and for many of us, God allows, sends or approves of things that bring a measure of pressure or pain to bring us to a level of brokenness and dependence upon Him in new or forgotten ways. A thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, was given to torment and keep him from exalting himself (v. 7). Does this cause us to ask ourselves the questions about why some things are allowed to come into our lives? Satan is a pride promoter, but God allows things because He is a pride checker. No matter how great God uses us, or reveals His knowledge to us, we are not to be exalted above others in the place of God or think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think.

God is always teaching us, and that is true even in painful times of temptation and trials. He is not only producing humility in us, but He is drawing us to another level of seeking Him in our repetition of prayers that potentially leads us to a new praise and worship of Him. When God says “NO” to my prayers, He makes me look for alternative understandings of my circumstances. When He gives me unexpected and even undesired answers, it stretches my faith to believe He knows what is best because I can’t always see it or accept it right away. It is at this point of coming to the end of myself do I begin to be open for God’s special lessons about His grace that is sufficient in and above all and anything that we face in life. It is at this point that my pride must die because it cannot survive beyond my natural strength and ability. It is here at this place called “the end of myself” do I learn the difference between HIM and me; His sufficiency and my dependency; His strength versus my weaknesses; and my infirmities actually become His opportunities to reveal Himself to me and through me to others (v. 10). I learn the greater truths that only God can teach me about His grace in my life for His glory and that it is His grace that ultimately gives me a testimony of victory.

Prayer: Father in Heaven, how can I in any way flaunt myself before You in any manner of pride? On my best days, all of my righteousness is as a filthy rag without the righteousness of Christ applied to my life. Help us to see ourselves as You see us so that we can keep our hearts humble as we ought. Help us to live in the exalted position we have in Christ with the lowliness of minds as sons and daughters that have been granted the grace of eternal life. Thank You for keeping us with Your power and grace beyond our ability to keep ourselves, in Jesus name, amen.

(by Pastor Wayne Cockrell)

DVO June 28, 2019

Title: The End of Complacency” (Part II)

Scripture: John 8:36 – Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.
During his radio broadcast, a well-known Christian financial expert often challenges his listeners with the classic question: ‘Aren’t you sick and tired of being sick and tired?’ He, along with many pastors and Christian counselors, is often sought out by individuals struggling with prolonged indebtedness, obesity, alcoholism, and a host of various other addictions. Professional help for many is often a necessity and should never be entirely ruled out. (Christians, however, really should only seek out Christian counselors!) The above question may be a hackneyed one, but saints, have you yet crossed the maximum “pain barrier” with your particular “besetting sin” issue(s)?

It’s past the time for you and I to, by faith, return those besetting sins to the cross of Jesus and reckon them as given over to our Lord and our flesh as dead to those areas of spiritual weakness. DEAD things DO NOT YIELD (i.e., RESPOND) TO TEMPTATION, do they? Has it not been written that”…you become the slave of whatever you CHOOSE to obey? You can be a slave to sin, leading to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” (Romans 6:16) Choosing behaviors or attitudes that don’t edify us always involves intentional steps, whether or not we’re consciously aware of them. Repenting of those behaviors likewise requires intentionality.

Just like people involved with recovery groups are instructed to do—(A) admit that the problem attitude or behavior may exceed our ability to overcome in and of our own self-effort; (B) believe that “No temptation has seized you but that which is common to man, and God is faithful who will….with the temptation provide a way of escape that you may bear up under it.” (1 Cor. 10:13); and finally, every time the strong temptation to indulge that sinful practice resurrects itself—and it MOST CERTAINLY will—(C) confess out loud, if necessary, that the LORD HAS set you FREE from those besetting sins; we’re under NO obligation whatsoever to yield to our old sin-loving flesh! (Rom. 8:12; Rom. 6:6;) The whole “catalog” of our old flesh has in Christ been crucified! Daily CHOOSE to walk in that freedom, saints of God, because that’s ONE “yield sign” that we twice-born souls are commanded by our Lord to IGNORE! 

Prayer: Dear Abba, we praise You and thank You for the promise of sweet deliverance that is ours, if we are willing to obey—to yield every life area to Your lordship! That old hymn is absolutely scriptural—“Trust and obey for there’s NO other way to be happy in Jesus,…” You desire our deliverance unspeakably more than even we do! Failure to mortify our besetting sins is too costly, in terms of our witness, our health, and most importantly, our spiritual progress!! In Jesus’ awesome name! Amen!!!
(By Denise Diggs)

DVO June 27, 2019

Title: The End of Complacency” (Part I)

Scripture: I Corinthians 10:23 (NASB) – All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.

Without a doubt, most of us are familiar with the experience of trying to repent of what Scripture calls “besetting sins.” These are sins which constantly trouble or waylay us. They may be things that are clearly prohibited by our Lord, such as gossiping, practicing unforgiveness, or being poor stewards of our finances. At times they may fall into a seemingly more benign area, such as placing the favor of people over that of pleasing our Savior, or spending too much time engaging those ever-present “time-bandits” known as television and social media.

If you’re like me, you’ve been frustrated at times over the redundancy of losing the same old battles. Often times it’s not enough to simply toss out some excellent Bible verses at the problem, expecting instant deliverance; after all, there are NO shortcuts to many spiritual victories! Yes, Jesus paid it all, and ALL to Him we owe; He did pay for all of our sins—past, present, and future, but we still have our roles of discipline and earnest repentance to play. That being said, how does one proceed down the path of earnest repentance? Frankly, many of us are just downright uncomfortable with such axioms as “no pain—no gain,” and “no cross—no crown!” We want the spoils of war without the battle, and rewards without the discipline, and yet, overcoming most besetting sins requires that the pain of our continual practice of them MUST EXCEED our comfort level or complacency with those sins. Until that happens, there will be no LASTING change!

Prayer: Father God, we ask Your forgiveness for too many seasons of remaining complacent with our besetting sins, habits, and negative (defeatist) attitudes—all of which belie and deny our profession of your Lordship in our lives. Give us, gracious Abba, new courage every day to submit to You who has declared Yourself to be the One who “calls those things that are not as though they were.” (Romans 4:17)

(By Denise Diggs)

DVO June 21, 2019

Title: With Me!

Scripture: Deut. 31:8 (NASB) – And the LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you.

On a favorite police drama television series, “The Closer,” whenever one of the detectives was in trouble, they’d be given a two-word command by its venerated deputy chief Brenda Lee Johnson: “WITH me!” she’d command, and they were to follow her—no questions asked—because they were, for reasons known only to her, on the proverbial “hot seat” due to some police work faux-pas (misstep) that, if not addressed, could mushroom into an embarrassing, scenario for the LAPD deputy chief herself, the department, or compromise their law enforcement mission altogether. The “With me” order on that show meant that trouble was brewing, heads were about to roll, and, well, you get the picture!

Not so with our Savior and Lord! He has a special penchant for the words ‘WITH you,” as it offers uniquely powerful hope and exhortation for the Christ-follower! His usage of those words is meant to inspire our hearts to greater trust in the One who is our Jehovah Mephalti, or the LORD my Deliverer. ‘So what?’ you may ask.

Throughout the Scriptures, it is clear that our Lord desires to impress upon us the significance of His being WITH us! When facing our enemies and the temptation to be in the least bit intimidated by them, He commands us, “…do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God….is WITH you.” (Deut. 20:1(b) Take heed to His ‘With you’ in Isaiah 43:2—“When you pass through the waters, I will be WITH you and through the rivers, they will NOT overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will NOT be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.” If you need further written decrees of our God’s amazing faithfulness in being ‘WITH’ His own, seek out and perhaps memorize Isaiah 41:10, Joshua 1:9, Psalm 91:15, Psalm 23:4, Deuteronomy 31:6-8, and Matthew 28:20, to name just a few.

Prayer: Blessed ABBA, as Your disciples were told by Jesus Your Son when He was preparing to be offered up on our behalf, “I am not alone because the Father is WITH me.” (NLT) We thank and praise You that as You were with Your only begotten Son, so, too, You are always WITH us; therefore, no matter the circumstances, we can walk in great assurance that You are WITH us, offering us Your perfect peace, consolation, and deliverance, according to Your perfect will. Amen!

(By Denise Diggs)

DVO June 20, 2019

Friction With Others Can Be Positive

Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
The complexity of relationships involves dealing with all kinds of people. This complexity not only involves adjusting to all kinds of personalities, but being impacted at times by the various kinds of friction that comes when these differences or offenses occur. We are most often affected negatively when some of the differences occur, but our current devotional verse encourages us to consider that friction is not only to be expected, but it can be positive in encouraging us to grow. In the Body of Christ, there is supposed to be a positive impact from the rubbing together of our lives in Christian fellowship, even when this rubbing comes from disagreement. The illustration of two metals rubbing together reminds us that the coming together has a potential of great benefit for causing the rust in our lives to be rubbed away so that we can shine better for the glory of God.

The goal and expectation of this friction is to make people better not bitter, open not closed, safe not defensive, built up not torn down. The consideration is that God can use the various kinds of relationships around us to stretch us to grow into the image of Jesus Christ. This should be the result of positive friction. When we are living yielded to the Holy Spirt, He can help us turn negative conflicts into opportunities for us to grow or use us to help others to grow in the same manner. If we could think in this manner as opposed to being defensive and at times resistant to being used by God to narrow the distance in times, we would see more positive results in our relationships. In fact, more relationships would be true fellowships in the Lord because the forgiving, healing power of Jesus’ Blood is at the foundation of our own forgiven hearts (I John 1:6, 7).

If friction is to become positive, it must be motivated by the love of the Holy Spirit who is in all who have believed. Both in the Old and New Testaments, God tells us that His love in us should cover a multitude of sins (Proverb 10:12; 1 Peter 4:8). In the great verse, John 3:16, God’s example of loving the world of sinners shows us that love’s work among us must go beyond faults and see that all of us have deep needs from sin’s effects in us. All relationships should be governed by this foundational expectation of God to love one another, because we know Him and have been born of Him (1 John 4:7, 8). Also, for friction to have its perfecting work in our relationships, there must be the submission to humility. Humility is almost the very opposite of how most of us naturally act and think. God teaches us that humility is the demonstration of the mind of Christ — that though in lowliness of mind, we will esteem others better than ourselves without losing who we are in our personal relationship with Him (Philippians 2:1-5).

Prayer: Father in Heaven, teach me how to take reproofs from friends and enemies, even though I may not deserve them. Please show me how to use them to make me tenderly afraid of sin in my life, and more concerned to keep my heart and life clean before You. Please cause the reproofs from friends and enemies help me reflect on my want and need for greater spiritual perspective, and to make them beneficial to my soul to grow into the image of my Lord Jesus. Please give me Your spiritual perspective of myself that I may be able to take all reproofs from others as from You — so that any pride in me will be destroyed, in Jesus name, amen.

(by Pastor Wayne Cockrell)

DVO June 19, 2019

Title: God Allowed It

Scripture: Job 2:10 (NKJV) – Shall we indeed accept good from God and shall we not accept adversity?

My latest catch-phrase in the midst of events or circumstances about which I’m tempted to complain is “DON’T—-God allowed it!” Lest we be guilty of complaining against God Himself, we MUST train our minds and hearts to really give thanks IN everything—despite how unnatural or counterintuitive that seems. We’ve undoubtedly heard many sermons over the years about the exceedingly broad topic of adversity: its inevitability and how to respond to it with the proper attitude, i.e., by embracing a godly disposition of trusting God, if we’re to GROW through it. Despite this command in 1 Thess. 5:18, to be thankful in the midst of trials, such circumstances often challenge those who’ve been saved for many years to look heavenward, asking our Lord ‘Why?’ Why do we wrestle so against this “staple” of the human experience? Job 5:7 says that “Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.” Most of us can quote John 16:33(b), which reminds us that in this world we will have tribulation, but that we’re to choose to be of good cheer, because in our Savior we really have overcome this world! “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”

For an extensive treatment on “bad things happening to good people,” I highly recommend, along with the Book of Job, a book by Dr. James Dobson called When God Doesn’t Make Sense. For people who’ve unwittingly or naively chosen to cherish a god of their own making, as referenced in 2 Cor. 11:4, rather than the perfectly holy, perfectly loving, perfectly just, and absolutely sovereign God of the Bible, it makes sense to reexamine the Scriptures and purposefully embrace the One who causes ALL things to work together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to HIS purposes. (Rom. 8:28)

Prayer: Dear Lord, we ask Your forgiveness for at times failing to walk by faith or for “fainting in the day of adversity,” (Prov. 24:10). Such fair-weather faith betrays Your clear revelation of Your sovereignty, love, and absolute trustworthiness! We have an Anchor in Christ of which those who are outside the body of Christ have no knowledge! You came not to save us from all trouble, as one preacher put it, but to be IN trouble WITH us! For that we praise and exalt Your holy and awesome name! Amen!

(By Denise Diggs)

DVO June 18, 2019

Title: God You Are Faithful

Scripture: Deuteronomy 7:7-9 – The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.9 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

The strength of our faith is not in our ability to muster up great measures of belief in God, but it is rooted in the fact that it rests in the faithfulness of God. Faithfulness is a proven attribute of God that has been known and seen from the beginning of creation. The great faith chapter of Hebrews 11 shows that the faith of all of the Old Testament saints was founded on the God who proved the faithfulness of His power and word when He created the world when there was nothing. From the beginning of recorded Scripture, it has been revealed that God’s deepest desire is to be believed by His highest creation — and it has been His faithfulness that has been the major attribute that has enabled man to keep having faith in Him. It is not simply that God does things to make us have faith in Him, but His faithfulness is seen when we rest in the fact that His doing is always purposeful to the glory of His own praise.

The verse for our devotional meditation unveils for us a call from the prophet Moses appealing to a generation as they prepared to move into the Promised Land. He wanted them to know that they could and needed to trust in the faithfulness of God, and that faithfulness is rooted in commitments that God has made that were rooted within Himself and not their perfect faith. His love, His choice, His oath, His covenant, and His lovingkindness, were all proof that their faith could rest in Him being faithful to them.

For us today, we can still trust even more in the faithfulness of God because we see looking back that what God said He has been faithful to even to this very day. We trust in God’s faithfulness because of what He has predestined. God in His authority and foreknowledge to see first, see the most and see all made choices that He has predetermined will come to past. Just like Israel in the Old Testament, we have seen and now exist in the mystery of being among those He has chosen for purposes and reasons that have nothing to do with our perfection or greatness. Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), clearly makes us have a basis for trusting Him. What He has predestined must and will come to past is backed up by His supreme attributes of omniscience (all knowing), omnipresence (every place), omnipotence (all powerful) and a proven character that does not change (immutability).
We trust in God’s faithfulness not only because of what He has predestined, but also because of what God has promised. One of the major pillars of God’s faithfulness is His trustworthiness in every Word He has given unto us. Nothing is impossible for God, nor is there anything too hard for Him(Mark 10:27). With all of His authority and power, He cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18). Sometimes we are conditioned to struggle with believing promises because of how people have failed us in keeping their word, but God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19). His promises are guaranteed to us because we are in Christ, and God has said that all of His promises in Christ are yes and they are through Christ amen to the glory of God (2Corinthians 1:20). Since He has fulfilled His promises concerning the gift of Christ to us, how much more can we trust His faithfulness to give us with Him freely all things (Romans 8:32).

We trust in God’s faithfulness because of what He has predestined and because of His promises, but also we trust His faithfulness because of what He will perform. What God requires of us to obey Him He has provided the enablement to do it, but He is also actively and personally working in us and through us those things that He alone can and must do Himself (Philippians 2:13). It is this doing beyond us in our daily lives that creates an expectation of faith that can rest in who and what He is to us who believe. Faithful is He who has called us who will also do it (I Thessalonians 5:24). Hallelujah, what a mighty God we serve.

Prayer: Father in Heaven, You are the strength of our lives, and Your faithfulness has kept us in and through many trials, troubles and even unseen dangers. Of all the ways You have been there for Your people throughout the ages, we kneel in privilege, gratitude and praise, in Jesus name, amen.

(by Pastor Wayne Cockrell)

DVO June 16, 2019

Title: Leaving a Legacy

Scripture: I Tim. 4:12-16 – Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

Throughout scripture we see examples of those who recognized the necessity to pour into someone else. We see Jethro who encouraged Moses and then Moses who encouraged Joshua. Also, we see Naomi and Ruth, and we also see Paul’s relationship with Timothy.

The idea of mentoring and encouraging someone else is so necessary especially today. When we consider how much we have been given in teaching and instruction, the idea is that we in turn pour that into the life of someone else by teaching and example. God invests in us so that we can invest in someone else. Titus 2 instructs the older women to teach the younger woman. Every man should have a Timothy in their life. There should be someone we are encouraging and pouring into so that they can in turn do the same.

The idea of leaving a legacy means that I impacted someone and prayerfully more than one person. What God has shown me, I have shown someone else. If the Body of Christ could understand that, many young people could be encouraged, marriages could be encouraged and someone who may have fallen can be helped up. The idea of making disciples, Matt. 28:19-20, is done by investment. We share and we encourage.

When God says my time is done, there should be someone who says that person invested in me and I am where I am because of them. Seek God today to show you who you can invest in. It’s sooo important!!

Prayer – Father forgive us for not sharing what you have shared with us. Help us to get out of self and move toward someone else. There is a generation that needs our investment. Thank you for the privilege. In Jesus Name, Amen

(by Min. Rob Mosley)

DVO June 15, 2019

Title: Do Not Lose Heart

Scripture: II Corinthians 4:16-18 – Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

When you are facing disappointment, illness/suffering or persecution that threatens you with bouts of discouragement or depression, how do you find the strength or power to persevere or not succumb to being bitter or to lose heart? Paul’s answer is found in II Corinthians 4:16-18. II Corinthians 4:16 says “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward an is being renewed day by day.” The “outward man” is our physical body, which is decaying and will eventually die. Paul was referring to the normal aging process. Also, he wore himself out in ministry, plus he suffered beatings and attacks from his enemies. On the other hand, the “inward man” is being renewed day by day. The inward man is the eternal part of each believer. Ephesians 4:23-24 says “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and holiness. Colossians 3:10 says “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. While Paul was becoming “physically” weak and was under attack by his enemies, he experienced “spiritual” growth/success (Hebrews 11:32-45). From the moment you are born, your body is in a slow process of aging until you take your final breath on earth. If you are only aware and thinking about how much you are decaying physically as you age, you can get bitter/discouraged. When you realize and appreciate how much you are being transformed internally/eternally, you can rest and be joyous — seeing things with the Lord’s perspective. I can remember visiting family/friends in the hospital who were on their death bed that I wanted to encourage. After our visit, I realized that they encouraged me so much. I could sense that they were resting, trusting in the Lord, and they were not focusing on their illness. That’s so amazing to me!

II Corinthians 4:17 says “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Our most extreme difficulties in this life, which may be unbearable at times are light and short-lived compared to the heavy-weighted rewards that will last forever in eternity! Wow! Can you even imagine that truth!

II Corinthians 4:18 says “While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal.” I’m asking the Lord to help me look past what is temporary/perishing (the things of this world), and look/focus on things that are not seen (that are eternal). Pursuing, seeking, focusing on the Lord Jesus Christ consistently reading/studying God’s word, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ should be so important to us as believers.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father: As I am aging, help me to keep my focus on You – and not lose heart. Just as I need food for my physical body, help me to continue to desire food for my soul (the precious word of God — the Bible). All this I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

(by Marsha Williams)