DEVOTIONS- IMPORTANT TO READ !
Take hold of the hope that I offer to you-and be greatly encouraged. The hope of heaven is your birthright as a Christian. Many, many blessings flow out of that glorious promise into your present life in this world. Notice, however, that take hold is an active verb-requiring effort on your part. As the apostle Paul taught, you need to press on toward the goal and live up to what you have already attained. This requires you to exert yourself-grasping onto the heavenly hope from which so many blessings flow.
One of those blessings is encouragement. Be encouraged is a passive form of the verb. You receive encouragement as a free gift from Me when you make the effort to hold on to your hope-focusing on what I’ve already done (died for your sins), what I am doing (living in you), and what I will do (take you home to heaven). I love to give good gifts in generous proportions. So cling to hope, beloved, and you will be greatly encouraged.
God [confirmed his promise to Abraham] so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. -Hebrews 6:18
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. -Philippians 3:14-16
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. -Galatians 2:20 n
How to Be Happy – Part 1
Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:17
Holiness brings happiness, but sin never can. Sometimes we find this hard to believe. The story’s told of a mother saying to her son, ‘Be good, and have fun.’ He replies, ’Please make up your mind!’ How revealing! Today the word ‘holiness’ has got a bad reputation. Some see it as a list of all the things the church says you can’t do. Others recall those who claimed to practice holiness, but came across as rigid, joyless, narrow and judgmental. So let’s define it: ‘Holiness is the whole of Christ in the whole of life.’ Furthermore, holiness vanishes when you talk about it; it only becomes attractive when you live it. ‘The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow’ (Proverbs 10:22).The only thing that adds no sorrow is the blessing of the Lord. James writes, ‘When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death’ (James 1:15). When we’re immature we think we can sin and get away with it, but as we grow wiser and more mature we know better. You’ll never meet a smoker who recommends his or her habit. And you’ll meet very few who shipwrecked a marriage, recommending an affair. The law of the harvest is: ‘Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap’ (Galatians 6:7). Sin destroys your capacity for happiness. A loving parent doesn’t want to see their children get hurt—and God is a loving parent. David, who tasted the bitter fruits of sin first-hand, wrote, ‘Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness’ (Psalms 29:2). Holiness is a beautiful thing when you fully understand and practice it.
Prayer: Heavenly Father,
I confess my sins to You asking Your Mercy and Forgiveness so I can seek to live a holy life.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen