After my regular “dad” search to find our current devotional called “Kill the Noise“. Its description captured my attention when it spoke to “playing”, I over the years will say in meetings “let’s play pretend” which tends to allow people to come along and to make sure there isn’t any deception I tell them how it usually means “let’s play for real” so that we are on the same page and that most people will come along on playing pretend whereas others are hesitant to play for real. The description says it this way: “Too many people are playing at being Christians, and some haven’t yet taken even the first step of belief.” The key for us to grab hold of in order to be the dads God created us to be is that we need to draw closer to Jesus and allow Him into every aspect of our lives. Let’s be the dads who allow Jesus to be Lord of all of our lives so that we don’t end up where we discover that we never allowed Him to be Lord at all. Today’s intro speaks to us to be the dads that allow Jesus to continue to get closer to us when it says: “No matter where you are in your spiritual walk, Jesus wants you closer.” Let’s be the dads who are seeking God’s purpose, plan, and will for our lives! Let’s be the dads who grab hold of the reality that “He’s got a perfect plan for your life – a plan for purpose, peace, joy, and eternal life.” Let’s be the dads who choose to be authentic! Let’s be the dads who choose to be real! As this devotional says: “All it takes is you deciding that the poser life is not for you. You’re going to be fully committed!” Are you ready? Are you willing? Are you able? Remember all things are possible for those who believe! We will be the dads who are able as long as you believe, then God can do anything in your life! If you believe. you see, God is able to do all things, and he does them according to his plan and according to his purpose, and according to his will. That’s right, it takes faith!
Today’s devotional gets us started with the following verses:
‘Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”’Matthew 16:24-28
‘So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.’Galatians 5:16-26
‘Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. ‘James 4:7-10
Wow, God is so good and His Word is true! God’s Word is alive and active and speaks to us right here and right now, right where we are at. Let’s be the dads who are ready to take a stand and pick up our own cross daily and follow Jesus! Let’s be the dads who are ready to lose our lives for the sake of Jesus so that we can walk in the truth and the confidence of eternal life with God! Let’s be the dads who are more interested in things that will last and so store up treasures in Heaven rather than here on earth where they can rust, rot, and be destroyed! Let’s be the dads who are so focused on eternity with God that we aren’t willing to sell our souls for the temporary, things of this world, and lost our grip on eternity with God! Let’s be the dads who are more focused on inviting Jesus into our lives and our hearts so that we can be led and taught by the Holy Spirit because there is nothing worth exchanging for our souls! Let’s be the dads who are focused on being ready for Jesus’ return! Let’s be the dads who are always ready because we don’t know the day or the time of His return! Let’s be the dads who are living our lives looking to accomplish the good works God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish so that when Jesus does return we will get to hear well done good and faithful servant and be able to receive the reward according to what we have done! Let’s be the dads who are ready for His return and pass it on to our wives, kids, and world so that if we are here or have already passed off the stage when Jesus comes back, there will be a legacy of people who will still be present and ready to be reunited with Jesus!
Let’s be the dads who walk by the Spirit! Let’s be the dads who are more interested in doing the work of God and walking by the Spirit than gratifying the desires of our flesh! Let’s be the dads who desire the ways of the Spirit more than the desires of the flesh because we know that they are contrary to one another! Let’s be the dads who desire the ways of the Spirit because we know that they are in conflict with the ways of the flesh! Let’s be the dads who won’t do whatever the flesh wants but instead will pursue and follow after the ways of the Holy Spirit! Let’s choose to be led by the Spirit and not find ourselves trapped under the law! Let’s be the dads who resist the temptations of the devil! Let’s be the dads who lean in and grab tighter to the Spirit so that we don’t find ourselves in the traps of the devil and acting in the obvious ways of the flesh like: “sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” Let’s be the dads who are desiring and choosing to live our lives in alignment with the Spirit so that we will inherit the kingdom of God. Let’s be the dads who are being filled with the Spirit daily to the point of getting to overflow the fruits of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control“, all of which there are no laws against. Let’s be the dads who grab hold of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and nail the desires of the flesh to the cross! Let’s be the dads who nail the desires and the passions of the flesh to the cross! Let’s be the dads who choose to keep up with and in step with the Holy Spirit! Let’s be the dads who aren’t falling into the traps of conceit, provocation, and envy! Let’s choose to be living by the Spirit and overflowing in His fruits!
Let’s make our today count! Let’s choose to submit ourselves to God! Let’s choose to resist the devil so that he will flee! Let’s choose to come near to God so that He too will draw closer to us! Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to clean us up from the inside out! Let’s invite Jesus into our lives so that we won’t need to be tossed around like the waves in the water being double-minded! Let’s humble ourselves so that in the right timing God can and will lift us up rather than living so proud that we get knocked down and find ourselves grieving and mourning because of the doom and gloom we find ourselves in.
Reading through today’s devotional, here are some takeaways for me:
(check out the devotional on your own too to see if you pick up other nuggets, and please share your findings in the comments)
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Takeaways from Today’s Devotional:
- Let’s be the dads who are more focused on the things that will last than getting trapped by the temporary and instant gratification of thinking it would be and could be fun and then discovering we have been snared and are now shackled by sin.
- Let’s be the dads who aren’t fooled by the temporary “pleasure” or “enjoyment” that sin makes us think we are having and instead be focused on doing what is good and what is right in alignment to God’s purpose, plan, and will for our lives!
- Today’s devotional starts on the topic of how we can get distracted or derailed by the impression that something will be fun just because we don’t feel the hurt or the pain in the moment when it says:
- “Sin is fun. Seriously, think about it for a second. If sin hurt when you were doing it, everybody would be living perfect lives. The devil would be off by himself all lonely and frustrated, because nobody would be giving in to temptation. But that’s not how it works, is it? Usually, sin feels really good. It is attractive and enjoyable. Often, it just takes a “Wanna try it?” for us to dive in headfirst.“
- Let’s be the dads who are looking beyond the temptation and testing everything against God’s Word!
- Let’s be the dads who aren’t tricked or lured into doing something that is against God’s will and way!
- Let’s be like Jesus who knows God’s Word to the point when we are tempted by the devil we have a counter-response to ensure we don’t get caught or tripped up in his trap that he wants to use to kill, rob, and destroy us with!
- Today’s devotional continues on the theme when it says:
- “Satan knows just the right “Wanna try it?” to suck each of us in. Just like dangling a shiny lure in front of a fish will make it bite, he knows he only needs to drop a sparkling temptation in our line of sight for us to chomp on the hook. He is the master fisherman and he’s been doing it for years. We’re just a bunch of curious fish looking for the next shiny object life gives us.“
- Let’s be the dads who are on the lookout!
- Let’s be the dads who are always on guard!
- Let’s be the dads who put on the full armor of God so that we can take a stand!
- Let’s be the dads who are prepared in and out of season!
- Let’s be the dads who are so connected to God that we get the warnings before we get tripped up!
- Let’s be the dads who are looking out for the best for us, our wives, our kids, and our world so that we don’t get distracted by shiny objects!
- Let’s be the dads who are looking out for the best for us, our wives, our kids, and our world so that we can choose to live holy lives!
- Let’s be the dads who are looking out for the best for us, our wives, our kids, and our world so that we can allow the overflow of the Holy Spirit in our lives pour into the lives of our loved ones!
- Today’s devotional speaks to these areas as follows:
- “We must always be on the lookout for the devil’s shiny objects. God warned Cain before he killed his brother, Abel, “You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master” (Genesis 4:7). He’s telling Cain, “Dude, you’ve got to decide ahead of time that you want to do what’s right. That’s the biggest part of the battle. If you don’t, sin is just waiting to take you down.” Cain didn’t listen, and the world’s first murder was the result.“
- “When we decide to live holy lives – doing what God says is right and not doing what He says is wrong – God gives us all we need to make it happen. First, He gives us two feet. Remember Joseph? What did he do when Pharaoh’s wife was after him? He did the 100-yard dash and got himself out of there. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Okay, I’m getting ready to give in. I’m out of here.” In fact, that’s a pro move.“
- “The second and greatest help God has given to us is the person of Holy Spirit. In Galatians, Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit – those things that will naturally grow in us as a result of being filled with the Holy Spirit. One part of the fruit he lists is self-control. The strongest self-control is not self-generated; it is Spirit-control, and it comes from the Holy Spirit. Quit trying to live the holy life on your own.“
- Let’s choose to be the dads who are done with sinning and choosing to pursue God instead!
- Let’s choose to be the dads who pursue God’s will and way so that we can live the good and joy-filled life He planned!
- Let’s be the dads who are on our guard, standing firm on the foundation that is Jesus Christ!
- Let’s be the dads who wait upon the Lord so that He can renew our strength!
- Let’s be the dads who commit ourselves to God!
- Today’s devotional closes with these two thoughts:
- “Are you ready to stop sinning and live how God wants you to live? Do you want the good and joy-filled life He has planned for you? Take time now to ask the Holy Spirit to give you the power to say “No” and the strength to run away when “No” isn’t working. Ask Him to help you to recognize the shiny objects that Satan is dangling in front of you, so you can stop getting hooked by temptation. Instead, look for what God has for your life. Satan’s goal is to reel you into sin, and sin leads to death. God, on the other hand, has something much better waiting for you. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).“
- “Fully Committed means being on your guard. We’ve all seen videos of people staring at their phones as they walk headfirst into a pole. That’s how most people are when it comes to temptation. They’re so caught up in the day-to-day of life that they are oblivious to the spiritual world around them. Then – BAM!! – they walk right into sin. You need to strive to be temptation-aware, knowing that the devil is looking to take you down. Bring the Holy Spirit in on it. He can see what you can’t. If you ask Him to be your spiritual eyes and ears, you’re guaranteed that temptation will never catch you off-guard.“