Believing God

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Today’s Devotional

by Crystal Brashear
July 18, 2019

Years ago, I had the privilege of participating in Beth Moore’s Bible study called Believing God, which explores the lives of people like Abraham and Moses. These were not perfect men. These were men who doubted themselves, who doubted their own abilities to carry out the tasks and promises that God had appointed to them. Thank goodness God’s plans didn’t rely on their self-confidence! Instead, the One who had made the promises and appointed the tasks was also the One who saw them through to completion.

In Romans 4, the Apostle Paul makes the point that Abraham’s works did not justify him. Instead, Abraham believed God, and God counted that belief to him as righteousness. Abraham believed God. It’s not just that Abraham believed in God. A lot of people in this world believe in God. But Abraham also believed God. That means Abraham trusted that what God had told him was true, and he put that faith into action.

Actually, Abraham didn’t believe God all the time. God had promised Abraham that He would bless anyone who blessed him and curse anyone who cursed him, that He would make a great nation out of Abraham and make his name great. But when Abraham arrived in Egypt, he freaked out and concocted a scheme that basically involved bartering his wife away to Pharaoh in order to save his own butt. So it wasn’t that Abraham perfectly believed God or always believed God. He had moments where fear got in the way of faith. But also, there were these other moments. God said, “Go,” and Abraham trusted God enough to walk away from a safe and comfortable life, into the unknown. God said, “Take your only son, whom you love, and offer him as a burnt offering,” and Abraham trusted God enough to walk up a mountain, stack the wood, bind his son, and take up a knife to slaughter him. Abraham trusted God enough to act in obedience, and God took care of the rest.

The question for each of us is, “Do I believe God?” God has seen that we are hopelessly broken without Him, and He sent His only Son Jesus to live a sinless life and die in our places. God raised Jesus from death, and all who trust Him are also raised to a new life. If we believe God about this, we are blessed because our lawless deeds are forgiven and our sins are covered (Romans 4:7—8). If we can trust God to forgive our iniquities, what else can we trust Him with? Better yet, what can’t we trust Him with? Believer, you have already entrusted God with your eternity. Can you trust Him with your today? Beth Moore’s Believing God study employed a chant that was repeated over and over. Let it be your battle cry as you face this day.

God is who He says He is.
God can do what He says He can do.
I am who God says I am.
I can do all things through Christ.
God’s Word is alive and active in me.
I am believing God!


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

It’s Better to Receive…

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Today’s Devotional

by Joe Paris
July 17, 2019

Five years ago, my car broke down. I mean, totally broke down. It wasn’t drivable or fixable. As a family, we try to avoid debt as much as possible, but we had no money to buy a used car. I knew we were in big trouble as a family and needed to make some tough decisions. In the midst of us trying to figure out what to do, Lindsay posted a message to Facebook. And within one hour, some dear friends had given us a car! We were floored. I mean, who gives someone a car?

Have you ever been given a gift like that? A gift so amazing that you didn’t know how to respond? A gift that was so gracious and over the top that you felt unworthy to accept it? Some gifts can’t be repaid, and any attempt to offset the cost might cheapen the gesture.

When you’ve been given a gift, it is best to receive and not repay.

I never believed I could earn the righteousness of Christ, but I felt so indebted to God, I felt so unworthy, that I had to do something. Not because I wanted to earn it, but because I felt that repaying was the right thing to do.

Our daughters, Lola and Harper, had one wish last Christmas. They talked about it all the time and begged us to get them one any time a commercial came on the TV. All they wanted was a Barbie DreamHouse.

They were persistent in their requests to get this item for Christmas. It was all they wanted. For months, we told the girls that we would have to see what Santa brought them. (Yes, we are those parents. Don’t judge us.) But all along, we knew we would buy them this gift. For starters, it was less expensive than the pony Lola wanted, and more importantly, we knew the girls would love this gift, and it would make them so happy.

Christmas morning came, and the girls were ecstatic about their DreamHouse. They absolutely loved it. The shrieks of joy are still ringing through the walls of our home. They loved the gift, and we loved every moment of seeing them enjoy it. What Lindsay and I wanted in that moment was simply to sit back and watch the girls enjoy their gift.

Now imagine if, in a quiet moment, Lola pulled us aside and said, “Thanks so much, Mom and Dad. I know this must have cost you some money, and I really want to repay you for this gift. Would $5 about cover it?”

Lola’s gesture, although cute, would have trivialized our gift. We didn’t give her a gift to be repaid, we gave her a gift for her to enjoy.

I think the same is true with our gift from God. God doesn’t want to be repaid by tithes, attendance or devotion. God simply wants us to enjoy his free gift of salvation. Any attempt to repay him only trivializes the gift.

When you’ve been given a gift, it is best to receive and not repay.


We have put together a list of resources to help you dig into the book of Romans! Visit clifec.com/romans to check it out!


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

Grace Alone

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Today’s Devotional

by Joe Paris
July 15, 2019

I am pastor, a child of God, and I have been a follower of Jesus Christ for over 30 years, so this is hard for me to admit. If I am honest, however, I have a difficult time accepting that salvation is free.

I have never liked giveaways or freebies. Something for nothing just doesn’t seem appealing to me. I like tick for tack. Work for pay. Hustle for success. As an athlete would say, “I love the grind.”  I love working hard and reaping the rewards. A sign in my office reads, “A man reaps what he sows.”

In Ephesians 2, we read this:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
— Ephesians 2:8

God does all the messy work, and all I have to do is accept the free gift of salvation. Salvation is so easy for the believer. The work has been done. On several occasions, I have heard evangelists and pastors mention the free gift of salvation as the main selling point. “You don’t have to do anything, Jesus paid it all,” they cry.

How could someone reject the free gift of salvation? Answer: they don’t look at free salvation as the selling point, but rather the sticking point. The idea that a person has a problem, needs a savior, and can do nothing to earn salvation is humbling. For the prideful, it is humiliating.

Some people, including myself, struggle with free. They want to earn. They want to work and, more importantly, they want to be recognized for their efforts.  They want the glory. They want to be known as the ones who rescued themselves from the depths of hell.

Pride is the reason many people don’t accept the free gift of salvation.  Many miss out on the life-saving relationship with Jesus Christ because they can’t humble themselves to simply receive.

Has pride stopped you or someone you know from receiving the free gift of salvation? My prayer is that you would humble yourself today and receive what Jesus is giving you.


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

Turbulence Drives Us To Our Greatest Need

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Today’s Devotional

by Nolan Jones III
July 11, 2019

This devotional was originally published on September 12, 2016.

I have three questions that I would like to address today:

  1. What is our greatest need as human beings?
  2. Does God desire to provide us with our greatest need?
  3. How does God provide this need for us on a day-to-day basis?

Understanding the answer to these questions will eliminate the need to ask many of the other questions that continually plague us throughout our lives. So many of the questions we ask originate from not knowing the answers of these three questions. Let’s look at them together.

Question 1: What is our greatest need as human beings?

Answer: God

God is our greatest need. Not what God can give us, but God himself. God created us to have communion with him. This is what we lost because of sin, and it’s what is restored through salvation.

Communion with God is more than just knowing him. It is an ongoing relationship with him, where you spend time with him, talk to him and listen to him. It is an intimate relationship with him, where you fall deeper and deeper in love with him as you spend time with him and come to know him in a more intimate way. It is characterized by a continually growing trust and dependence on him. This is communion with God, and it’s our greatest need as human beings.

Question 2: Does God desire to provide us with our greatest need?

Answer: Yes

God’s actions have shown how much he loves us and how far he will go to have communion with us. Not only did mankind have perfect communion with God when he created us, but when we used our freedom to sin against him and lost our communion with him, he poured out his wrath upon himself in the person of Jesus Christ in order to restore our communion with him. There is no better display of God’s desire to provide us with communion with him than his willingness to take upon himself the wrath that we alone deserved. So yes, God does desire to provide us with our greatest need, which is communion with him.

Question 3: How does God provide this need for us on a day-to-day basis?

Answer: Through our daily needs and through turbulence

We’ve already established that our greatest need is communion with God, which is an ongoing intimate relationship with him characterized by an ever-deepening love, trust and dependence. Well, because we live in a fallen world, and our redeemed souls live within fallen, sinful flesh, our natural inclination is toward an ever-deepening love, trust and dependence with ourselves rather than God. If we were able to meet every one of our daily needs, and we never faced turbulence in our lives, we would eventually come to the conclusion that we only needed ourselves.

God, having created us for communion with himself and desiring to provide us with that communion, allows us to experience needs that only he can fill and turbulence from which only he can deliver us from. It is those needs and turbulence that drive us directly to our greatest need, God himself.

God knows our every need, even before we do, and he could fulfill those needs for us before we ever knew we needed a thing. But then we would not go running to him to meet our needs, and we would miss out on our greatest need, communion with our Father.

God knows what turbulence we will face before we ever begin to experience it, and he could deliver us from that turbulence before it ever reached us. But then we would not go running to him to deliver us from that turbulence, and we would miss out on communion with him.

Most people think that God’s blessings are mainly seen in the good things that happen to them in their lives, but I believe that God’s greatest blessings come through times of some of our greatest needs and most painful turbulence. It is during these times that we are driven hardest and run the fastest into the arms of our greatest need, our heavenly Father.

I was saved when I was almost 20 years old, and I am now 38. In the 18 years that I have been saved, there have been three defining moments in my life that have literally changed who I was and changed my view of God forever. Who I am today is more a result of those three moments than all the rest of those 18 years. And I would describe those three defining moments as the most horrible and painful times of my life.

Defining moment 1: God delivered me from an addiction that almost cost me my marriage.

God drove me to confession, repentance and, ultimately, deliverance. And he did it by driving me into communion with him, where I found the strength I needed to experience deliverance unto this day. Through this experience, I came to know my heavenly Father as my strength, my deliverer, and my restorer.

Defining moment 2: My father died.

God drove me into communion with him, where I found the comfort I needed to make it through the loss of my earthly father. Through this experience, I came to know my heavenly Father as my comforter.

Defining moment 3: My wife was in the hospital, and I thought I might lose her.

God drove me into communion with him, where I came to understand that he has a purpose for every turbulent event in my life, and that he is bringing good out of every bad situation. He showed me that what was happening to her was part of his plan to bring great blessing into both her life and mine, and we have both grown from the experience and been greatly blessed through this most traumatic event. Through this experience, I came to know God as sovereign and as one to be trusted in even the worst turbulence.

These three times in my life were almost unbearable. The pain was indescribable. I experienced such doubt and hopelessness. But it was during these times that God opened my eyes to just how much he loved me, and, each time, I came to know him in a way that I had never known him before. I experienced a communion with him that was more beautiful than words can describe, and I was forever changed by the experiences. I look back on those turbulent times as some of the greatest blessings of my life, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. For it was in those times that God truly provided me with my greatest need, communion with him.

“But if God is so good as you represent Him, and if He knows all that we need, and better far than we do ourselves, why should it be necessary to ask Him for anything?” I answer, What if He knows Prayer to be the thing we need first and most? What if the main object in God’s idea of prayer be the supplying of our great, our endless need – the need of Himself?… Hunger may drive the runaway child home, and he may or may not be fed at once, but he needs his mother more than his dinner. Communion with God is the one need of the soul beyond all other need: prayer is the beginning of that communion, and some need is the motive of that prayer… So begins a communion, and talking with God, a coming-to-one with Him, which is the sole end of prayer, yea, of existence itself in its infinite phases. We must ask that we may receive: but that we should receive what we ask in respect of our lower needs, is not God’s end in making us pray, for He could give us everything without that: to bring His child to His knee, God withholds that man may ask.”
— George MacDonald


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

The Gift of Pain

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Today’s Devotional

by Joe Paris
July 10, 2019

“Pain demands the attention that is crucial to my recovery.”
— Philip Yancey

Several months after the tragic events of 9/11, I found myself in a Barnes & Noble, looking for some type of answers to that horrific event. I remember asking the age-old question: Why do bad things happen to good people? I couldn’t understand how a sovereign God would allow pain and suffering for his children.

If I were God, I would just take all pain away so that my children wouldn’t know any type of suffering. That’s what most parents want to do, right? In my search, I came across a book written by Philip Yancey titled Where is God When it Hurts?  In the book, Yancey tells a story about Dr. Brand, who spent his entire working career focused on serving leprosy patients.

The problem facing lepers is that they suffer severe nerve damage. Essentially, they lose all feeling, so they don’t feel the pain of their disease.

Having no pain would be awesome, right?  No more stubbed toes. No more painful paper cuts. If you have suffered the excruciating pain of a paper cut, you know what I mean. No pain would be a good thing, right?

If no pain is good, then why did Dr. Brand spend his entire career trying to restore the nerve endings of lepers? Why would he want to create pain for his patients?  Leprosy doesn’t kill you, it kills your ability to recognize a problem. When you and I get a cut, we pay attention to the area to protect it from infection. A leper becomes infected. When you and I develop a sore, we favor that area to decrease the chance of further injury. A leper continues to injure the site, because they are unaware of the problem. For lepers, pain is a good thing. Pain makes them aware of an issue.

In a crazy way, I believe that pain is a gift from God, because it tells us there is a problem.

Many times in life we try to get rid of pain as quickly as possible, whether the pain is physical, emotional or spiritual. But, because we often want a quick fix, we miss the opportunity to see our need for God.  Pain communicates to us that we are not in control of the situation. And if we find ourselves not in control of that specific situation, what else aren’t we in control of? Hopefully these moments bring us to our knees, not in pain but in humility, humble enough to admit that we can’t make things right on our own, and that we need a Savior to heal us.


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

Finding the Joy in Difficulty

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Today’s Devotional

by Andrea Bailey
July 09, 2019

Our world is filled with death, disease, disasters and evil. The consequences of this brokenness are pain and suffering. The world doesn’t give preference to people who are righteous, and Job is an example of this truth. In Job 1:1, we find out that Job was blameless and upright. Job feared God. He was a good man, yet his name is synonymous with affliction.

While reading about Job’s season of tribulation may seem like a drudgery, it actually reveals to us important truths about the nature of God. God is worthy of praise (Job 1:21). God is sovereign over everything, including hardship (Job 2:9–10). God cares for us (Job 5:18 & Job 33:29–30). God reveals himself to us (Job 42:4–6). When we look at Job’s heartache through this lens, we are better able to understand how God uses suffering to draw us closer to him.

Since suffering is a part of living life on Earth, figuring out how our current hurts can be used to transform us is an integral part of the sanctification process. James tells us in verse 1:2 that we should count hardship as joy. Paul tells us in Romans 5:3–4 that we should rejoice in our suffering because suffering produces endurance and hope. This might seem like a monumental task in the middle of pain. How can we possibly find joy in suffering?

In his 2012 Secret Church study, The Cross and Suffering, pastor David Platt identifies some questions that may help us dig into the parts of ourselves that are hurting in order to find the joy:

  • What areas of my faith are being refined through suffering?
  • What is God revealing about Himself through this suffering?
  • How can I rely on God more as a result of my suffering?
  • What sin(s) do I need to repent of and renounce as a result of my suffering?
  • How can this suffering drive me to find deeper reward in God?

As Tauren Wells sings about so eloquently in his song, Hills and Valleys, our God is the God of both our hills and our valleys. His character is made known to us in our best and darkest moments. He loves us more than we can ever know (Lamentations 3:31–32).


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

You can view the sermon by Casey Coats inspiring this week’s devotional series at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYKwV0bnAWg&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1ezsQGiO1kuLWXSyGJC_4KOFi9tto4PjZ_BuOPNCSc92AXJ-kbSh63XHQ

Beauty of Grace

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Today’s Devotional

by Pat Cooper
July 5, 2019

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”   John 14:6

If I were to live daily in pursuit of doing the right thing before God and man; Praying regularly, reading my Bible daily, attending church every Sunday, living honestly and honorably; certain to dot every religious “i” and cross every humanitarian “t” only to one day wake up in hell. Would God be just in committing me to that end? Yes, yes he would. In fact, each morning that I wake breathing earthly air I should immediately fall to my knees thankful to have been granted mercy and not justice.

As followers of Jesus, it is the beauty of grace that we should receive mercy and forgiveness instead of the rightful punishment divine justice would impose. Being predisposed to sin, as in Adam all are, the prescribed punishment is death; not merely cessation from life, but to be eternally separated from God spending day without end in unrelenting torment: Wounds that won’t heal, headaches that won’t go away, sickness and disease, hunger, unimaginable suffering without relief or cure.

Sure, no one wants to hear that sermon. It’s not the comfy-cozy, cute and cuddly message popular today. But apart from faith in Jesus, and in him alone, it is your truth. A future reality only a breath away for all who turn a deaf ear to the gospel. For this reason, the apostle Paul labors through the early portion of his letter to the Romans pointing out the necessity in our understanding exactly where we stand when before a holy God we stand alone.

The wise reader will consider it was arrogance, not ignorance that toppled a great number of powerful men and women in scripture. So, to come to the end of life on the presumptuous note that you’re smarter than the average bear and you have reason, apart from faith in Christ, that will convince God to let you into his heaven then your reasoning is flawed, foolish, and fatal. Scripture is firm and replete in declaring salvation by grace alone through faith in Jesus.

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

—     Acts 4:12

 


We have put together a list of resources to help you dig into the book of Romans! Visit clifec.com/romans to check it out!


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Today’s Devotional

by Ryan Castle
July 4, 2019

 

27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

–Romans 3:27-31

When I was a kid growing up through middle school and high school, I was on the basketball team. In 11th grade, I was going up for a rebound and came down awkwardly on another player’s foot, causing my knee to buckle a direction it’s not designed to buckle. I immediately suspected something was seriously wrong and after being examined by the athletic trainer, he scheduled me to have an MRI done on my knee. To this point in my basketball career, the worst injury I had suffered was a sprained ankle or a jammed finger, so I had no concept or category for what an MRI even was. I wrongfully (yet hopefully) assumed that the purpose of my hour-long appointment was to fix my knee so that I could immediately return to the court with my teammates. Unfortunately, as it turns out, the MRI is designed only to point out my need for surgery on my knee; it holds no hope for actually fixing my knee and returning it to full strength.

For a myriad of reasons, many of us grow up believing that the Law is what can bring us in to right standing with God. If we can just avoid doing these couple things and check these certain boxes, God will look upon us kindly. This is flawed theology. The Scripture tells us that the Law is only an MRI, able to point out our desperate need for Jesus. Fortunately for us, Jesus was sent not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). This means that the Law still serves a purpose; not to bring condemnation or shame, but to remind us that we are not able to live up to God’s standards or do anything on our own to put ourselves into a right standing with God. It is Jesus alone who has come, not for the righteous who aren’t in need of a physician, but for the poor in spirit who know that they are sick and in need of his grace. This makes what Jesus has done all the sweeter. He did for me what I could not do by dying a death that I deserved so that I don’t have to do anything other than believe. There will be no boasting in Heaven, other than on the name above every other name, Christ Jesus, who has conquered sin, death, and the devil so that he could be with his people. Let’s give up striving to please God with our works and our attempts to live up to the Law and learn to rest in the death and resurrection of his Son. And then we will watch the works that he has prepared for us pour out of us as Christ sanctifies us and transforms us to look more like him through his Spirit.


We have put together a list of resources to help you dig into the book of Romans! Visit clifec.com/romans to check it out!


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

Freedom

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Today’s Devotional

by Meagan Evans
July 3, 2019

We live in the “land of the free”, and we often confuse the true meaning of freedom. For so many of us, freedom has become confused with personal independence, or the ability to make our own decisions and choose our own path in life, to do whatever we want, whenever we want.

But this is not the freedom that Jesus promised us. When Jesus revealed himself as the Messiah, He spoke that He came to the Earth to “proclaim freedom”.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free” Luke 4:18

“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” John 8:36

Jesus was not setting us free to do whatever we wanted; He was freeing us to do what we ought to do. He was liberating us to walk in relationship with God and to be the kind of people He created us to be. Giving us the ability to obey God and choose His will for our lives.

And this is the freedom that sin has long denied us.


We have put together a list of resources to help you dig into the book of Romans! Visit clifec.com/romans to check it out!


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

Psalm 139

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Today’s Devotional

by Crystal Brashear
June 27, 2019

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
— Psalm 139:1

Even before I knew myself, before there was a self to be known, You knew me.

You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
— Psalm 139:2–3

I’m still finding out things about myself that I never knew. I have these broken patterns, these unhelpful ways of doing life, that get in my way. I am starting to understand where they came from and where they will take me, unless You intervene. It comforts me to know that You are already aware of them, and still You choose to love me.

Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
— Psalm 139:4

All those errant words I wish I could take back, phrases blurted rashly, out of my own woundedness, you already forgave them. You work to heal the damage I’ve caused and to help me learn to forgive myself, as you have forgiven me.

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.
— Psalm 139:5–6

I have felt Your presence in the darkest night, when the whole world was crashing, crashing in all around me. Your nearness is a balm to my weary soul. There is nothing like it in the whole world.

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
— Psalm 139:7–8

For months, I felt as if I was at home in Hell. Everything that was once beautiful blurred to gray. My face couldn’t smile; it hurt to speak. I eked out a life, but I was not truly living. And You came after me there. You took up residence there with me so that I was not alone. You gave me the strength to begin scrabbling out of the pit.

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
— Psalm 139:9–12

Now, I carry a keen awareness of Your presence with me wherever I go. There is no situation too overwhelming, no circumstance too dire, for You to shine light into. Knowing You are there makes me brave; You will never abandon me.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…
— Psalm 139:13–14

No person is an accident. You intentionally formed each one. I can see the beauty in every face You’ve made, when I stop to look as through Your eyes. The creativity and precision of Your craftsmanship astounds me!

…Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
— Psalm 139:14–16

If every day was formed for me, then today is a day You have formed for me. You already know what is going to happen today. If it is the best day of my life, the glory belongs solely to You. If it is the worst day of my life, You will not be taken off guard. You’ve already committed Yourself to standing alongside me, no matter what happens. I will never be alone.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.
— Psalm 139:17–18

Since You know everything, I do not have to feel ashamed of what I do not know. I will fall short; I will fail. But You will never fail. Today, I lay down striving toward perfection. I fix my eyes on You instead. I trust You to fill in my gaps, to smooth out my rough patches. Belonging to You is what I truly need, and You have already bankrupted Heaven to accomplish that.

Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.
— Psalm 139:19–22

You have shown me who the true enemy is. I am beginning to recognize the deceitful work of Satan, the enemy of my soul. I have lived too much of my life based on his whispered lies. I refuse to allow him to steal my today and my tomorrow. And I commit myself to the task of helping others recognize their true enemy as well. Too long have we warred against one another, wife against husband, child against parent, sufferer against sufferer.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
— Psalm 139:23–24

As I enter into today, show me something about myself that I have never seen. Help me view myself through Your eyes. Give me the courage to open myself up completely to You and to receive what You have to offer me with humility. I know that nothing You show me has made You stop loving me. Nothing I can do or say or think or feel will make You leave me. Bring on today; I will conquer because You are with me!


We have put together a list of resources to help you dig into the book of Romans! Visit clifec.com/romans to check it out!


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