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:
‘We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. ‘Romans 7:14
‘because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. ‘Romans 8:2
‘Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’Hebrews 4:14-16
Today as a new week begins and the celebration of Easter took place, I am so glad to get to receive God’s Word from today’s devotional and receive God’s truth, hope, love, and direction. I am so glad to get to spend time reading and receiving God’s Word before jumping in and hearing what today’s devotional has to teach us using these verses. I am so glad that God’s Word is alive and meets me right where I am at. Let’s be the dads who purpose and plan each day to receive from God’s Word what we are in need of hearing and learning so that we can live out our day in a way that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s be the dads who think before we act! Let’s be the dads who reflect upon what we are considering doing against what God’s Word tells us! Let’s be the dads who are prepared by putting on the full armor of God! Let’s be the dads who are prepared by making sure we have our footing on the solid ground that is Jesus! Let’s be the dads who realize that the purpose of the law was and is to help us identify sin! Let’s be the dads who realize that the purpose of the law was and is to help us realize that we need a savior! Let’s be the dads who as we prepare for today choose to receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord to help us get through today! Let’s be the dads who grab hold of the reality that the law is spiritual! Let’s be the dads who grab hold of the reality that we are spiritual! Let’s be the dads who realize that we are in a battle for our souls and as the dads are in a position to stand for our wives, our kids, and the world around us because we are naturally worldly, self-reliant, carnal, and unspiritual and so we need to cling to Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us each day rather than trying to do it in our own strength! Let’s cry out to Jesus and not fall into temptation! Let’s cling to Jesus so that we can be obedient to Him rather than serving under the control of sin!
Let’s be the dads who are new creations where the old ways are gone and the new ways are how we choose to live out our today! Let’s be the dads who have invited Jesus into our hearts and have allowed Him to create a new heart in us and as such enable us to be born again! Let’s be the dads who realize that it is thanks to Jesus that we are able to walk in freedom from the law of sin and of death because Jesus paid it all when He gave Himself once, for all, on the cross! Let’s be the dads who aren’t stuck in the old ways, in the dirt and muck of sin! Let’s be the dads who are free thanks to choosing Jesus as our Lord and Savior and walking out the rest of our lives in a way that will glorify Him! Let’s be the dads who choose to turn back to Jesus when we miss the mark and sin and ask for forgiveness in order to stay reconciled to God!
It is so amazing to get to look at different versions/translations of God’s Word and looking at today’s reading from Hebrews 4 in the Amplified version, we capture the following:
‘Inasmuch then as we [believers] have a great High Priest who has [already ascended and] passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith and cling tenaciously to our absolute trust in Him as Savior]. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].’Hebrews 4:14-16
Let’s be the dads who believe that Jesus is our High Priest, sitting in heaven, at the right hand of the Father, interceding for you and me! Let’s be the dads who put all of our hope and trust in Jesus! Let’s be the dads who when we face troubles or trials, cling to, hold fast to our confession of faith and absolute trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior! Let’s be the dads who remember how Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves! Let’s be the dads who trust Jesus enough to invite Him into every situation and ask Him to help us navigate this life we live! Let’s be the dads who ask Jesus to help us when we are feeling weak or tempted because we know that He has been through it Himself and was able to resist it, not committing any sin! Let’s be the dads who turn to Jesus and approach the throne of grace with confidence and without fear! Let’s be the dads who turn to Jesus and receive His mercy for our failures! Let’s be the dads who turn to Jesus and find His amazing grace to help us in our times of need with the right thing (appropriate blessing) at the right time (coming at just the right moment)!
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 living our lives with the same attention or better than when we are driving so that we can spot God’s street signs and be able to respond accordingly!
- Let’s be the dads who see God’s stop sign and stop!
- Let’s be the dads who see God’s yield sign and yield!
- Let’s be the dads who see God’s speed limit sign and make sure to keep pace!
- Let’s be the dads who are sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings that try to stop us from the sin we are tempted to do!
- Let’s be the dads who are so interested in honoring God that when the Holy Spirit stays stop we don’t just blow through them!
- Let’s be the dads who wouldn’t drive down a street with 4-5 stop signs and just blow through them!
- Let’s be the dads who similarly wouldn’t and won’t drive through 4-5 stop signs from the Holy Spirit as He tries to keep us from falling into temptation and sinning!
- Let’s be the dads who are aware that we blew through a stop sign!
- Let’s be the dads who stop ourselves from allowing the temptation to be greater than our desire to honor God!
- Let’s be the dads who don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit!
- Let’s be the dads who are ready, willing, and able to pause when we realize that what we are thinking about doing is wrong and then listen to the Holy Spirit and stop!
- Let’s be the dads who will listen to our conscience when it says “No” or “Stop”!
- Let’s be the dads who will listen to the Holy Spirit when He says “No” or “Stop”!
- Let’s be the dads who even though we want to do it will stop, will resist the devil so he will flee, and will choose to do what is honoring and pleasing to God by not doing it!
- Today’s devotional uses the stop sign analogy too and how our flesh speaks to us in the moments of temptation:
- “Rarely will we find ourselves in a sinful situation without recognizing that what we are about to do is wrong. We’ve got our conscience and the Holy Spirit, and both are telling us, “Don’t do it!” The problem is we want to do it. So, no matter how many times we hear “Stop,” our flesh tells us, “Don’t stop! Punch it! Run the stop sign!”“
- Let’s be the dads who will make good choices!
- Let’s be the dads who will decide to do what is pleasing to God rather than pleasing to our flesh!
- Let’s be the dads who choose to go beyond just talking the talk and start walking the walk by deciding to give up on sin!
- Let’s be the dads who decide today that we want to give up on sin rather than give into sin!
- Let’s be the dads who if or when we struggle, find accountability tools and people who can help us stay on track!
- The temptations that are taking place aren’t any different for any of us!
- So what will it take for you to stop?
- So what will it take for you to choose to take the way out God is offering you?
- Let’s be the dads who choose to take God’s way out so that we can also choose to live a holy life and obey God’s Word!
- Let’s be the dads who will hear what Jesus said when He replied: “All who love me will do what I say”
- ‘ “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.’ — John 14:15-31
- Don’t get discouraged! We are human and as such nobody is perfect!
- Today’s devotional closes out with the following:
- “Now, before you get discouraged at your repeated failures, realize that not even Paul could live a totally holy life. In Romans 7, he is open about not doing the things he knows he should do, and doing the things he knows he shouldn’t do. But what we do see in him is a desire for holiness. You’re either a servant for God or a servant of Satan. Your bodies are either an instrument of sin or an instrument of the Holy Spirit. Ask God for the ability to see the stop signs in your life and obey them, and for the strength and courage to do whatever it takes to live the way He has called you to live. “
- “Fully Committed means deciding that you really do want to stop sinning. That sounds so obvious – “Ryan, I’m a Christian. Of course, I want to stop sinning.” But saying you want to stop sinning and actually wanting to stop sinning are two very different things. There are a lot of Christians who are all about giving up 80% of their sins or 95% of their sins or 99.9% of their sins. But going 99.9% in is no different than going 10% in. It still falls short of “all”. And “all” is the standard that God gives to us. As we saw with Paul, nobody can perfectly live up to the “all” standard. But we’ve got to want that perfection with all our hearts. Fully Committed means being willing to say one word whenever the temptation comes – “No”. Are you truly ready to live a life of “No” when it comes to sin?“