(this devotional was sent to me by my friend...I created none of it)


My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotional

November 6

Intimate Theology

Do you believe this? -John 11:26

Martha believed in the power available to Jesus Christ; she believed
if He had been there He could have healed her brother; she also
that Jesus had a special intimacy with God, and that whatever He asked
God, God would do. But -she needed a closer personal intimacy with
Martha's theology had its fulfillment in the future. But Jesus
continued to
attract and draw her in until her belief became an intimate possession.
then slowly emerged into a personal inheritance -"Yes, Lord, I believe
You are the Christ . . ." ( John 11:27 ).

Is the Lord dealing with you in the same way? Is Jesus teaching you to
a personal intimacy with Himself? Allow Him to drive His question home
you -"Do you believe this?" Are you facing an area of doubt in your
Have you come, like Martha, to a crossroads of overwhelming
where your theology is about to become a very personal belief? This
only when a personal problem brings the awareness of our personal need.

To believe is to commit. In the area of intellectual learning I commit
myself mentally, and reject anything not related to that belief. In the
realm of personal belief I commit myself morally to my convictions and
refuse to compromise. But in intimate personal belief I commit myself
spiritually to Jesus Christ and make a determination to be dominated by

Then, when I stand face to face with Jesus Christ and He says to me,
you believe this?" I find that faith is as natural as breathing. And I
staggered when I think how foolish I have been in not trusting Him


Our Daily Bread

November 6, 2002

The Jesus Way

Read: Mark 1:21-39

He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
-Mark 1:35

Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 37-39; Hebrews 3

Ever have one of those hectic days when you need more time than the
offers? When everyone is after you for help and your tasks seem
You might wonder: Did Jesus ever struggle like this? And if so, how did
handle it?

Consider the day in Jesus' life recorded in Mark 1:21-34. It began with
visit to the synagogue to teach, which He did with authority. Then
got rough. A demon-possessed man started shouting at Jesus. Calmly but
sternly the Teacher cast out the demon.

When Jesus left the synagogue, He and His friends went to Peter's
But He couldn't rest; Peter's mother-in-law was sick and needed His
touch. Later, the entire town gathered outside so Jesus could heal more
sick people and cast out more demons. It must have been a tiring day.

How did Jesus respond? Did He take the next day off? Head for the cool
mountain streams of Caesarea Philippi? No, the next day He got up
sunrise, found a solitary place, and prayed (v.35). He sought the
rejuvenating power of His Father's presence.

How do you handle a tough day? Get alone with God and seek His help.
your day the Jesus way. -Dave Branon

When you feel the tension mounting,
And across the busy day
Only gloomy clouds are drifting,
As you start to worry -pray! -Anon.

If you're too busy to pray, you're too busy.


My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotional

November 5

Partakers of His Suffering

. . . but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings
. .
. -1 Peter 4:13

If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a number
experiences that are not meant for you personally at all. They are
to make you useful in His hands, and to enable you to understand what
place in the lives of others. Because of this process, you will never
surprised by what comes your way. You say, "Oh, I can't deal with that
person." Why can't you? God gave you sufficient opportunities to learn
Him about that problem; but you turned away, not heeding the lesson,
because it seemed foolish to spend your time that way.

The sufferings of Christ were not those of ordinary people. He suffered
"according to the will of God" ( 1 Peter 4:19 ), having a different
of view of suffering from ours. It is only through our relationship
Jesus Christ that we can understand what God is after in His dealings
us. When it comes to suffering, it is part of our Christian culture to
to know God's purpose beforehand. In the history of the Christian
the tendency has been to avoid being identified with the sufferings of
Jesus Christ. People have sought to carry out God's orders through a
shortcut of their own. God's way is always the way of suffering -the
way of
the "long road home."

Are we partakers of Christ's sufferings? Are we prepared for God to
out our personal ambitions? Are we prepared for God to destroy our
individual decisions by supernaturally transforming them? It will mean
knowing why God is taking us that way, because knowing would make us
spiritually proud. We never realize at the time what God is putting us
through -we go through it more or less without understanding. Then
we come to a place of enlightenment, and realize -"God has strengthened
and I didn't even know it!"


Our Daily Bread

November 5, 2002


Read: Matthew 27:15-26

He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. -John 1:11

Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 34-36; Hebrews 2

Rejection hurts. When candidate Adlai Stevenson conceded the US
presidential election in 1952, he said he felt like a grown man who had
just stubbed his toe. He added, "It hurts too much to laugh, but I'm
old to cry."

Little children feel the pain of rejection when one of their peers is
chosen instead of them to recite a poem or sing a song. As they grow
some of them are not going to be chosen for the varsity team. Some of
are going to be turned down by a girl they want to date. Some may marry
have their mate leave them for another person. They may wonder why the
allows them to be rejected.

I have no easy answers for people who have been hurt like this. I can
suggest that they look to Jesus, remembering how He experienced
He was scorned by His brothers and His countrymen. He heard the crowd
demand His crucifixion (Matthew 27:23). On the cross, as our
sin-bearer, He
felt such abandonment by His Father that He cried out, "My God, My God,
have You forsaken Me?" (v.46).

When you feel the deep hurt of rejection, remember that Jesus
how you feel. He loves you. If you have believed on Him, He has
you -and He will never reject those who trust in Him (John 6:37). -Herb
Vander Lugt

I love to dwell upon the thought
That Jesus cares for me;
It matters not what life may bring-
He loves me tenderly. -Adams

Jesus cares -and that makes all the difference.

My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotional

November 4

The Authority of Truth

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you -James 4:8

It is essential that you give people the opportunity to act on the
truth of
God. The responsibility must be left with the individual -you cannot
for him. It must be his own deliberate act, but the evangelical message
should always lead him to action. Refusing to act leaves a person
paralyzed, exactly where he was previously. But once he acts, he is
the same. It is the apparent folly of the truth that stands in the way
hundreds who have been convicted by the Spirit of God. Once I press
into action, I immediately begin to live. Anything less is merely
The moments I truly live are the moments when I act with my entire

When a truth of God is brought home to your soul, never allow it to
without acting on it internally in your will, not necessarily
externally in
your physical life. Record it with ink and with blood -work it into
life. The weakest saint who transacts business with Jesus Christ is
liberated the second he acts and God's almighty power is available on
behalf. We come up to the truth of God, confess we are wrong, but go
again. Then we approach it again and turn back, until we finally learn
have no business going back. When we are confronted with such a word of
truth from our redeeming Lord, we must move directly to transact
with Him. "Come to Me . . ." ( Matthew 11:28 ). His word come means "to
act." Yet the last thing we want to do is come. But everyone who does
knows that, at that very moment, the supernatural power of the life of
invades him. The dominating power of the world, the flesh, and the
devil is
now paralyzed; not by your act, but because your act has joined you to
and tapped you in to His redemptive power.


Our Daily Bread

November 4, 2002

The Heart Of Idolatry

Read: Ezekiel 14:1-8

These men have set up their idols in their hearts. -Ezekiel 14:3

Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 32-33; Hebrews 1

When my husband and I first went out as missionaries, I was concerned
the growth of materialism in our society. It never even crossed my mind
that I myself could be materialistic. After all, hadn't we gone
with almost nothing? Weren't we having to live in an old, shabbily
furnished, rundown apartment? I thought materialism couldn't touch us.

Nonetheless, feelings of discontent gradually began to take root in my
heart. Before long I was craving nice things and secretly feeling
over not having them. Then one day God's Spirit opened my eyes with a
disturbing insight: Materialism isn't necessarily having things; it can
also be craving them. There I stood -guilty of materialism! The Lord
exposed my discontentment for what it really was -an idol in my heart.
day as I repented of this subtle sin, God recaptured my heart as His
rightful throne. Needless to say, a deep contentment followed, based
not on
things but on Him.

In Ezekiel's day, the Lord exposed the idolatry in the hearts of His
(Ezekiel 14:3-7). And today He longs for us to rid our hearts of
that destroys our contentment with Him. -Joanie Yoder

The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from Thy throne
And worship only Thee. -Cowper

An idol is anything that takes God's rightful place.

My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotional

November 3

A Bondservant of Jesus

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but
lives in me . . . ¡XGalatians 2:20

These words mean the breaking and collapse of my independence brought
by my own hands, and the surrendering of my life to the supremacy of
Lord Jesus. No one can do this for me, I must do it myself. God may
me up to this point three hundred and sixty-five times a year, but He
cannot push me through it. It means breaking the hard outer layer of my
individual independence from God, and the liberating of myself and my
nature into oneness with Him; not following my own ideas, but choosing
absolute loyalty to Jesus. Once I am at that point, there is no
of misunderstanding. Very few of us know anything about loyalty to
or understand what He meant when He said, ". . . for My sake" ( Matthew
5:11 ). That is what makes a strong saint.

Has that breaking of my independence come? All the rest is religious
The one point to decide is¡Xwill I give up? Will I surrender to Jesus
Christ, placing no conditions whatsoever as to how the brokenness will
come? I must be broken from my own understanding of myself. When I
that point, immediately the reality of the supernatural identification
Jesus Christ takes place. And the witness of the Spirit of God is
unmistakable¡X "I have been crucified with Christ . . . ."

The passion of Christianity comes from deliberately signing away my own
rights and becoming a bondservant of Jesus Christ. Until I do that, I
not begin to be a saint.

One student a year who hears God¡¦s call would be sufficient for God to
have called the Bible Training College into existence. This college has
value as an organization, not even academically. Its sole value for
existence is for God to help Himself to lives. Will we allow Him to
Himself to us, or are we more concerned with our own ideas of what we
going to be?



Our Daily Bread

November 3, 2002

Tuned In

Read: Jeremiah 5:20-25

Hear this now, O foolish people, . . . who have ears and hear not.
¡XJeremiah 5:21

Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 30-31; Philemon

One of my sons was a master at tuning out what he didn't want to hear.
church, his mind was a million miles away. He could tell you the number
panels in the ceiling and how many seats were in the choir loft. Many
I heard my wife say to him in the midst of a scolding, "Are you
to me?"

We too are often guilty of tuning out what we don't want to hear, even
messages from God. In his book Christian Reflections, C. S. Lewis says
a person who is determined to ignore God's voice will follow this
"Avoid silence, avoid solitude, avoid any train of thought that leads
the beaten track. Concentrate on money, sex, status, health, and (above
all) your own grievances. Keep the radio on. Live in a crowd."

When we do something wrong, that's one time when we especially need to
listen to God's voice. But often, in our stubbornness, we make sure we
don't. The prophet Jeremiah spoke to those kinds of individuals,
saying, "O
foolish people, . . . who have ears and hear not . . . . This people
has a
defiant and rebellious heart" (Jeremiah 5:21,23).

Instead of closing your ears to God, read the Bible and pray to Him
regularly. Take time to think about God and His many blessings. That's
to stay tuned in! ¡XDave Egner

Thinking It Over
How good is your relationship with the Lord?
Are you listening to Him?
Are there sins you need to confess?
What can you do to draw closer to Him?

God speaks to those who take time to listen.

My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotional

November 2

Obedience or Independence?

If you love Me, keep My commandments ¡XJohn 14:15

Our Lord never insists on our obedience. He stresses very definitely
we ought to do, but He never forces us to do it. We have to obey Him
out of
a oneness of spirit with Him. That is why whenever our Lord talked
discipleship, He prefaced it with an "If," meaning, "You do not need to
this unless you desire to do so." "If anyone desires to come after Me,
him deny himself . . ." ( Luke 9:23 ). In other words, "To be My
let him give up his right to himself to Me." Our Lord is not talking
our eternal position, but about our being of value to Him in this life
and now. That is why He sounds so stern (see Luke 14:26 ). Never try to
make sense from these words by separating them from the One who spoke

The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without
hesitation. If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed
competition with Him, namely, myself. Jesus Christ will not force me to
obey Him, but I must. And as soon as I obey Him, I fulfill my spiritual
destiny. My personal life may be crowded with small, petty happenings,
altogether insignificant. But if I obey Jesus Christ in the seemingly
random circumstances of life, they become pinholes through which I see
face of God. Then, when I stand face to face with God, I will discover
through my obedience thousands were blessed. When God¡¦s redemption
a human soul to the point of obedience, it always produces. If I obey
Christ, the redemption of God will flow through me to the lives of
because behind the deed of obedience is the reality of Almighty God.


Our Daily Bread

November 2, 2002

Thankful For Skeptics

Read: Luke 24:10-16,36-43

When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. ¡XMatthew

Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 27-29; Titus 3

Jesus' disciples were not easily convinced. When they heard the excited
testimony of the women who had been to the empty tomb, "they did not
believe them" (Luke 24:11). And when Jesus suddenly appeared to them
evening, "they still did not believe for joy, and marveled" (v.41).
were so overjoyed and stunned at the sight of their risen Lord that
questioned their own senses.

Some time later, when Jesus appeared to His disciples in Galilee, even
"some doubted" (Matthew 28:17). This group likely included those
who were seeing the resurrected Savior for the first time (1
15:6). Before worshiping Him, they had to be sure they weren't seeing a

I am glad the Bible records that the disciples were skeptical, for it
proves that they were not easily fooled. As a result, their testimony
carries more weight. Their desire for proof helps us to be sure that
actually did rise from the dead. It also assures us that God doesn't
us to be gullible, and that He can bring sturdy faith out of doubt.
His gentle rebuke of Thomas evoked a firm confession: "My Lord and My
(John 20:28). I'm thankful for these former skeptics, aren't you?
Vander Lugt

For Further Study
Read John 20-21 and 1 Corinthians 15.
Read Did Christ Really Rise From The Dead?

Honest skepticism can be the first step to a strong faith.

My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotional

November 1

"You Are Not Your Own"

Do you not know that . . . you are not your own? ¡X1 Corinthians 6:19

There is no such thing as a private life, or a place to hide in this
for a man or woman who is intimately aware of and shares in the
of Jesus Christ. God divides the private life of His saints and makes
it a
highway for the world on one hand and for Himself on the other. No
being can stand that unless he is identified with Jesus Christ. We are
sanctified for ourselves. We are called into intimacy with the gospel,
things happen that appear to have nothing to do with us. But God is
us into fellowship with Himself. Let Him have His way. If you refuse,
will be of no value to God in His redemptive work in the world, but
will be
a hindrance and a stumbling block.

The first thing God does is get us grounded on strong reality and
truth. He
does this until our cares for ourselves individually have been brought
submission to His way for the purpose of His redemption. Why shouldn¡¦t
experience heartbreak? Through those doorways God is opening up ways of
fellowship with His Son. Most of us collapse at the first grip of pain.
sit down at the door of God¡¦s purpose and enter a slow death through
self-pity. And all the so-called Christian sympathy of others helps us
our deathbed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the pierced
of His Son, as if to say, "Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and
If God can accomplish His purposes in this world through a broken
then why not thank Him for breaking yours?


Our Daily Bread

November 1, 2002

When Friends Fail You

Read: Job 42

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in
through their word. ¡XJohn 17:20

Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 24-26; Titus 2

With friends like his, Job didn't need enemies. His three would-be
comforters failed miserably in their efforts to ease his pain. Instead
bringing sympathy, they delivered accusations that only compounded his

Yet Job was able to emerge triumphantly from his cave of pain and
confusion. A significant step toward that victory was his willingness
pray for the very friends who had criticized and accused him. God
his prayers, and Job had the delight of seeing his friends turn to God
forgiveness (Job 42:7-10).

Jesus also prayed for His friends (John 17:6-19), despite their
failings. With the agony of the cross approaching, Jesus prayed for
even though He knew Peter would deny Him within hours (Luke 22:31-34).

Jesus prayed for you and me too (John 17:20-26). His work of prayer,
began before His death and resurrection, continues to this day.
Although we
sometimes act more like His enemies than His friends, Jesus is in the
Father's presence interceding for us (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).

Following Christ's example, we are to pray for our friends and
acquaintances¡Xeven when they hurt us. Is there someone you can pray
today? ¡XHaddon Robinson

Putting It Into Practice
Take a few minutes right now to pray for someone.
To learn how to pray, read
Jesus' Blueprint For Prayer.

To love more, pray more.

My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotional

October 31

The Trial of Faith

If you have faith as a mustard seed . . . nothing will be impossible
you ¡XMatthew 17:20

We have the idea that God rewards us for our faith, and it may be so in
initial stages. But we do not earn anything through faith¡Xfaith brings
into the right relationship with God and gives Him His opportunity to
Yet God frequently has to knock the bottom out of your experience as
saint to get you in direct contact with Himself. God wants you to
understand that it is a life of faith, not a life of emotional
enjoyment of
His blessings. The beginning of your life of faith was very narrow and
intense, centered around a small amount of experience that had as much
emotion as faith in it, and it was full of light and sweetness. Then
withdrew His conscious blessings to teach you to "walk by faith" ( 2
Corinthians 5:7 ). And you are worth much more to Him now than you were
your days of conscious delight with your thrilling testimony.

Faith by its very nature must be tested and tried. And the real trial
faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God¡¦s
character must be proven as trustworthy in our own minds. Faith being
worked out into reality must experience times of unbroken isolation.
confuse the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life,
because a
great deal of what we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result
being alive. Faith, as the Bible teaches it, is faith in God coming
everything that contradicts Him¡Xa faith that says, "I will remain true
God¡¦s character whatever He may do." The highest and the greatest
expression of faith in the whole Bible is¡X"Though He slay me, yet will
trust Him" ( Job 13:15 ).


Our Daily Bread

October 31, 2002

What Are You Looking For?

Read: Mark 14:1-9

A woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil. ¡XMark 14:3

Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 22-23; Titus 1

"Stop! There's a good pair of shoes! Slow down, you just passed a
Look at that jacket in the ditch!" As the car was speeding down the
at 70 miles an hour, these were the exclamations of a hitchhiker to the
driver who had just picked him up. After several hours of similar
the driver reached two conclusions:

The hitchhiker's life consisted mainly of things he found by the side
the road.

All of us see what we're looking for. As we go through life, the focus
our eyes reveals the desire of our hearts.
During the week before Jesus was crucified, the chief priests and
were looking for any excuse to arrest and kill Him (Mark 14:1). Judas
looking for a convenient way to betray Jesus (v.11). A woman whom we
to be Mary of Bethany was looking for a way to show her love to the
(John 12:1-3). And they all found the opportunities they were seeking.

Our Bible reading today calls us to focus on Christ and His great
that caused Him to die for our sins. Like Mary, may we have hearts that
always looking for opportunities to say to our Savior, "I love You."
¡XDavid McCasland

If you'd like to know the love of God the Father,
Come to Him through Jesus Christ, His only Son;
He'll forgive your sins and save your soul forever,
And you'll love forevermore this faithful One. ¡XFelten

We can love Jesus too little, but we can never love Him too much.


My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotional

October 30


Without faith it is impossible to please Him . . . ¡XHebrews 11:6

Faith in active opposition to common sense is mistaken enthusiasm and
narrow-mindedness, and common sense in opposition to faith demonstrates
mistaken reliance on reason as the basis for truth. The life of faith
brings the two of these into the proper relationship. Common sense and
faith are as different from each other as the natural life is from the
spiritual, and as impulsiveness is from inspiration. Nothing that Jesus
Christ ever said is common sense, but is revelation sense, and is
whereas common sense falls short. Yet faith must be tested and tried
it becomes real in your life. "We know that all things work together
good . . ." ( Romans 8:28 ) so that no matter what happens, the
transforming power of God¡¦s providence transforms perfect faith into
reality. Faith always works in a personal way, because the purpose of
is to see that perfect faith is made real in His children.

For every detail of common sense in life, there is a truth God has
by which we can prove in our practical experience what we believe God
be. Faith is a tremendously active principle that always puts Jesus
first. The life of faith says, "Lord, You have said it, it appears to
irrational, but I¡¦m going to step out boldly, trusting in Your Word"
example, see Matthew 6:33 ). Turning intellectual faith into our
possession is always a fight, not just sometimes. God brings us into
particular circumstances to educate our faith, because the nature of
is to make the object of our faith very real to us. Until we know
God is merely a concept, and we can¡¦t have faith in Him. But once we
Jesus say, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" ( John 14:9 ) we
immediately have something that is real, and our faith is limitless.
is the entire person in the right relationship with God through the
of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.


Our Daily Bread

October 30, 2002

Silly Arguments

Read: 2 Timothy 2:22-26

It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a
quarrel. ¡XProverbs 20:3

Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 20-21; 2 Timothy 4

I was watching two sisters prepare Thanksgiving dinner. They had made
special stuffing, spooned it into the turkey, and were preparing to pop
into the oven. They got out the aluminum foil and were ready to cover
meat to help hold in the juices.

Betty had started to place the foil on the turkey, when Paula snapped,
"That's not right! You're supposed to put the shiny side out."

"That's ridiculous," Betty replied. "Everybody knows the shiny side
goes on
the inside." A heated discussion followed, and I'm not sure who got her
way. I found out later that both sisters were right. It makes
absolutely no
difference which side is out.

I have an idea that a whole lot of arguments among Christians are just
unimportant¡Xlike what color carpet we should buy for the church
or whether God can make a rock so big that He can't pick it up. Paul
Timothy to "avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they
strife" (2 Timothy 2:23). Fundamental doctrines need to be guarded, but
arguments about trivialities are not beneficial and only divide us and
us away from God's purposes for us.

Remember to be "gentle to all" and to practice humility (vv.24-25). No
silly arguments! ¡XDave Egner

O Lord, help us to turn aside
From words that spring from selfish pride,
For You would have Your children one
In praise and love for Your dear Son. ¡XD. De Haan

When we forget our priorities, we argue about trivialities.

My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotional

October 29


He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the
righteousness of God in Him ¡X2 Corinthians 5:21

The modern view of the death of Jesus is that He died for our sins out
sympathy for us. Yet the New Testament view is that He took our sin on
Himself not because of sympathy, but because of His identification with
He was "made . . . to be sin . . . ." Our sins are removed because of
death of Jesus, and the only explanation for His death is His obedience
His Father, not His sympathy for us. We are acceptable to God not
we have obeyed, nor because we have promised to give up things, but
of the death of Christ, and for no other reason. We say that Jesus
came to reveal the fatherhood and the lovingkindness of God, but the
Testament says that He came to take "away the sin of the world!" ( John
1:29 ). And the revealing of the fatherhood of God is only to those to
Jesus has been introduced as Savior. In speaking to the world, Jesus
never referred to Himself as One who revealed the Father, but He spoke
instead of being a stumbling block (see John 15:22-24 ). John 14:9 ,
Jesus said, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father," was spoken to His

That Christ died for me, and therefore I am completely free from
is never taught in the New Testament. What is taught in the New
is that "He died for all" ( 2 Corinthians 5:15 )¡Xnot, "He died my
death"¡Xand that through identification with His death I can be freed
sin, and have His very righteousness imparted as a gift to me. The
substitution which is taught in the New Testament is twofold¡X "For He
Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the
righteousness of God in Him." The teaching is not Christ for me unless
I am
determined to have Christ formed in me (see Galatians 4:19 ).


Our Daily Bread

October 29, 2002

Waiting With Anticipation

Read: Psalm 130

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. ¡XPsalm

Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 18-19; 2 Timothy 3

While in the military I learned to hate waiting. We were commanded to
out of the barracks and line up. There we would stand and wait, wait,
for our next orders. When getting vaccinations, we would stand in line
just wait.

I also did a lot of waiting in bus and train depots when I had a leave
absence. I can't say I enjoyed it, but it was different. It was waiting
with anticipation. I knew that when I arrived home I would be welcomed
my wife Ginny and my loved ones.

This describes the kind of waiting expressed by the writer of Psalm
130. He
had been in the pit of despair over the guilt of his sins (vv.1-3), and
had prayed and gained assurance of forgiveness (v.4). But he explained
it was the Lord Himself for whom he was waiting¡Xnot just His
(v.5). He waited with the anticipation of a watchman who knows that
will appear in the morning (v.6).

When we're hurting or in distress over our sin, we can look up and wait
with anticipation. The Lord will come! Whether through a promise
from His Word, the wise counsel from a friend, or the quiet witness of
Holy Spirit, He will meet our need¡Xas certainly as morning light
breaks through the darkness of night. ¡XHerb Vander Lugt

O my soul, wait on the Lord
And know He sees your need;
He'll make His presence known to you
Through word or kindly deed. ¡XD. De Haan

Those who wait on the Lord will never be disappointed.

My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotional

October 28

Justification by Faith

If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of
Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life
¡XRomans 5:10

I am not saved by believing¡XI simply realize I am saved by believing.
it is not repentance that saves me¡Xrepentance is only the sign that I
realize what God has done through Christ Jesus. The danger here is
the emphasis on the effect, instead of on the cause. Is it my
consecration, and dedication that make me right with God? It is never
I am made right with God because, prior to all of that, Christ died.
When I
turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals, the miraculous
by the Cross of Christ instantly places me into a right relationship
God. And as a result of the supernatural miracle of God¡¦s grace I
justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, or because I have
but because of what Jesus has done. The Spirit of God brings
with a shattering, radiant light, and I know that I am saved, even
though I
don¡¦t know how it was accomplished.

The salvation that comes from God is not based on human logic, but on
sacrificial death of Jesus. We can be born again solely because of the
atonement of our Lord. Sinful men and women can be changed into new
creations, not through their repentance or their belief, but through
wonderful work of God in Christ Jesus which preceded all of our
(see 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 ). The unconquerable safety of justification
sanctification is God Himself. We do not have to accomplish these
ourselves¡Xthey have been accomplished through the atonement of the
of Christ. The supernatural becomes natural to us through the miracle
God, and there is the realization of what Jesus Christ has already
done¡X"It is finished!" ( John 19:30 ).


Our Daily Bread

October 28, 2002

Always Be Ready

Read: 1 Peter 3:13-17

Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for
hope that is in you. ¡X1 Peter 3:15

Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 15-17; 2 Timothy 2

I was concerned about my neighbor's spiritual health because he had
been in
such poor physical health. So one day I asked him, "Are you ready to
God? If something were to happen to you, are you ready?"

To my delight, he answered, "Yes, I took care of that." And he
proceeded to
tell me that he had trusted Jesus as Savior when he was a teenager. As
continued to talk, though, I found out he had some serious questions
the Bible and how everything fits together. He asked about God, Satan,
and the existence of evil in the world. I answered his questions the
best I
could, but that wasn't the way I thought the conversation would go.

Thankfully, my neighbor was a believer and was open to the things of
Some people, though, can be antagonistic and may have the desire to
mock or
persecute us. Peter said that when such people ask us questions about
faith, we should "always be ready"¡Xready to explain our faith and hope
Christ (1 Peter 3:15). But to do so effectively, we must answer our
questioners with gentleness and courtesy, not with harshness or

We may not always be persecuted for or questioned about our faith, but
should always be ready! ¡XDave Branon

When people ask about our faith,
What answer will we give?
We'll tell of Christ who bore our sins
And shows us how to live. ¡XFitzhugh

Those who have questions about Christ need someone who has the answers.

My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotional

October 18

The Key to the Missionary's Devotion

. . . they went forth for His name's sake . . . -3 John 7

Our Lord told us how our love for Him is to exhibit itself when He
"Do you love Me?" ( John 21:17 ). And then He said, "Feed My sheep." In
effect, He said, "Identify yourself with My interests in other people,"
not, "Identify Me with your interests in other people." 1 Corinthians
13:4-8 shows us the characteristics of this love -it is actually the
of God expressing itself. The true test of my love for Jesus is a very
practical one, and all the rest is sentimental talk.

Faithfulness to Jesus Christ is the supernatural work of redemption
has been performed in me by the Holy Spirit -"the love of God has been
poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit . . ." ( Romans 5:5 ). And
is that love in me that effectively works through me and comes in
with everyone I meet. I remain faithful to His name, even though the
commonsense view of my life may seemingly deny that, and may appear to
declaring that He has no more power than the morning mist.

The key to the missionary's devotion is that he is attached to nothing
to no one except our Lord Himself. It does not mean simply being
from the external things surrounding us. Our Lord was amazingly in
with the ordinary things of life, but He had an inner detachment except
toward God. External detachment is often an actual indication of a
growing, inner attachment to the things we stay away from externally.

The duty of a faithful missionary is to concentrate on keeping his soul
completely and continually open to the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ.
men and women our Lord sends out on His endeavors are ordinary human
people, but people who are controlled by their devotion to Him, which
been brought about through the work of the Holy Spirit.


Our Daily Bread

October 18, 2002

Trust . . . And Prepare

Read: Luke 9:1-3; 22:35-38

[Jesus] said to them, "When I sent you . . . , did you lack anything?"
they said, "Nothing." -Luke 22:35

Bible In One Year: Isaiah 53-55; 2 Thessalonians 1

In the early years after I began working with others in fulltime
ministry, sometimes there was no money for our salaries. But looking
I see that I have lacked nothing.

When Jesus sent out His disciples to preach, He told them to go without
money, food, or extra clothes (Luke 9:3). Later, though, just before
arrest, Jesus told the disciples to bring along a money bag and
and even to purchase a sword (22:36).

Was Jesus contradicting Himself? No. I believe He was teaching two
lessons. He wanted His disciples to learn to depend on Him (9:3), and
wanted them to prepare for the tough times ahead (22:36-37). They
later that He wasn't expecting them to use their swords to defend Him

These two principles of Jesus -depending on Him as we serve Him, and
what we can to be ready for future situations -are principles by which
seek to live and minister. I learned early in my ministry that we must
obedient to the Lord and trust Him to meet our daily needs. But I also
believe He wants us to be wise and to do what we can to prepare for the

We tend to think we need to do one or the other. But the Lord wants us
trust . . . and prepare. -Albert Lee

Faith does not rule out common sense
In facing life each day,
But takes it by the hand and says,
"We'll trust, we'll plan, we'll pray." -D. De Haan

Trust God for today -and prepare for tomorrow.


My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotional

October 2

The Place of Humiliation

If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us -Mark 9:22

After every time of exaltation, we are brought down with a sudden rush
things as they really are, where it is neither beautiful, poetic, nor
thrilling. The height of the mountaintop is measured by the dismal
of the valley, but it is in the valley that we have to live for the
of God. We see His glory on the mountain, but we never live for His
there. It is in the place of humiliation that we find our true worth to
God—that is where our faithfulness is revealed. Most of us can do
things if
we are always at some heroic level of intensity, simply because of the
natural selfishness of our own hearts. But God wants us to be at the
everyday level, where we live in the valley according to our personal
relationship with Him. Peter thought it would be a wonderful thing for
to remain on the mountain, but Jesus Christ took the disciples down
the mountain and into the valley, where the true meaning of the vision
explained (see Mark 9:5-6 , Mark 14-23 ).

"If you can do anything . . . ." It takes the valley of humiliation to
remove the skepticism from us. Look back at your own experience and you
will find that until you learned who Jesus really was, you were a
skeptic about His power. When you were on the mountaintop you could
anything, but what about when you were faced with the facts of the
You may be able to give a testimony regarding your sanctification, but
about the thing that is a humiliation to you right now? The last time
were on the mountain with God, you saw that all the power in heaven and
earth belonged to Jesus—will you be skeptical now, simply because you
in the valley of humiliation?

Our Daily Bread

October 2, 2002

Will It Please Him?

Read: Ephesians 5:1-17

Walk as children of light . . . , finding out what is acceptable to the
Lord. -Ephesians 5:8,10

Bible In One Year: Isaiah 14-16; Ephesians 5:1-16

Two friends were talking about a movie that one of them had seen
As he began to describe the film, he characterized it like this: "You
wouldn't want to take your pastor to watch it with you."

It's a curious standard we sometimes set for ourselves, isn't it? We
ourselves to view, hear, or participate in things that we know are not
proper for us as followers of Christ. But if an activity is not
for those whom we expect to be godly (church leaders), how can it be
for us? Or if it has elements that would be harmful for young people to
take part in, then why should we?

When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he didn't limit God's moral standards
certain people or age groups. He didn't create a rating system that
allow exposure to evil for those who were at certain spiritual levels.
Instead, he pointed to the Lord Jesus as the standard.

If we are committed to living as God has called us to live, we will
to find out what is "acceptable to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:10). We will
"have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather
expose them" (v.11).

The issue is not what a pastor or any other person would do. The
is: Will it please the Lord? -Dave Branon

Lord, as I follow You by faith,
Help me each day to learn
That pleasing You in all I do
Must be my main concern. -Fitzhugh

You can do what you please if what you do pleases God.

Like a compass, the Bible always points you in the right direction.
The reason for living is in giving every part of my heart to Him!



My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotional

October 1

The Place of Exaltation

. . . Jesus took . . . them up on a high mountain apart by themselves .
. .
¡XMark 9:2

We have all experienced times of exaltation on the mountain, when we
seen things from God¡¦s perspective and have wanted to stay there. But
will never allow us to stay there. The true test of our spiritual life
in exhibiting the power to descend from the mountain. If we only have
power to go up, something is wrong. It is a wonderful thing to be on
mountain with God, but a person only gets there so that he may later go
down and lift up the demon-possessed people in the valley (see Mark
). We are not made for the mountains, for sunrises, or for the other
beautiful attractions in life¡Xthose are simply intended to be moments
inspiration. We are made for the valley and the ordinary things of
and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strength. Yet our
spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mountain. We
feel that we could talk and live like perfect angels, if we could only
on the mountaintop. Those times of exaltation are exceptional and they
their meaning in our life with God, but we must beware to prevent our
spiritual selfishness from wanting to make them the only time.

We are inclined to think that everything that happens is to be turned
useful teaching. In actual fact, it is to be turned into something even
better than teaching, namely, character. The mountaintop is not meant
teach us anything, it is meant to make us something. There is a
trap in always asking, "What¡¦s the use of this experience?" We can
measure spiritual matters in that way. The moments on the mountaintop
rare moments, and they are meant for something in God¡¦s purpose.


Our Daily Bread

October 1, 2002

Helpful Honks

Read: Acts 18:18-28

[Apollos] greatly helped those who had believed through grace. ¡XActs

Bible In One Year: Isaiah 11-13; Ephesians 4

Each fall we are visited by flocks of migrating geese that stop off at
meadow near our home. For several weeks those birds fly in long, wavy
V-formations over our house, honking as they go. But then, as winter
approaches, they are off again on their long flight south.

A student of mine increased my appreciation for these visitors from the
north. He told me that geese fly at speeds of 40 to 50 miles per hour.
travel in formation because as each bird flaps its wings an updraft is
created for the bird behind it. They can go 70 percent farther in a
than they could if they flew alone.

Followers of Christ are like that in a way. As we work together to move
toward a common goal, we strengthen and help one another (Acts
We can accomplish more together than we can alone.

Geese also honk at one another. They are not critics but encouragers.
in the rear sound off to exhort those up front to stay on course and
maintain their speed. We too can make greater progress if there is
behind us encouraging us to stay on track and keep going.

Is someone flying in formation with you today to whom you might give
"helpful honks"? ¡XHaddon Robinson

Thinking It Over
How have others helped you through a difficult time?
Is there someone who needs your encouragement?
What specific help can you give that person today?

When you encourage someone, both of your loads will be lighter.



My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotional

September 29

The Awareness of the Call

. . . for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach
gospel! ¡X1 Corinthians 9:16

We are inclined to forget the deeply spiritual and supernatural touch
God. If you are able to tell exactly where you were when you received
call of God and can explain all about it, I question whether you have
been called. The call of God does not come like that; it is much more
supernatural. The realization of the call in a person¡¦s life may come
a clap of thunder or it may dawn gradually. But however quickly or
this awareness comes, it is always accompanied with an undercurrent of
supernatural¡Xsomething that is inexpressible and produces a "glow." At
moment the sudden awareness of this incalculable, supernatural,
call that has taken hold of your life may break through¡X"I chose you .
." ( John 15:16 ). The call of God has nothing to do with salvation and
sanctification. You are not called to preach the gospel because you are
sanctified; the call to preach the gospel is infinitely different. Paul
describes it as a compulsion that was placed upon him.

If you have ignored, and thereby removed, the great supernatural call
God in your life, take a review of your circumstances. See where you
put your own ideas of service or your particular abilities ahead of the
call of God. Paul said, ". . . woe is me if I do not preach the
gospel!" He
had become aware of the call of God, and his compulsion to "preach the
gospel" was so strong that nothing else was any longer even a
for his strength.

If a man or woman is called of God, it doesn¡¦t matter how difficult
circumstances may be. God orchestrates every force at work for His
in the end. If you will agree with God¡¦s purpose, He will bring not
your conscious level but also all the deeper levels of your life, which
yourself cannot reach, into perfect harmony.


Our Daily Bread

September 29, 2002

What's The Good News?

Read: Matthew 28:1-10,16-20

As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.
¡XProverbs 25:25

Bible In One Year: Isaiah 7-8; Ephesians 2

What's the good news today? I ask that question sometimes of people I
If the person is a Christian, he might smilingly reply, "The same as it
yesterday. God loves us." And both he and I rejoice that it will be the
same tomorrow.

Those who don't know Christ, though, don't have such good news to
share. We
can understand why pessimistic novelist T. C. Boyle says, "If God
exist . . . and you have no purpose on Earth, then it's a mighty mean
place, ruled by accident. . . . I'd like to have a lot better news for
everybody, but I don't."

Despite personal disappointments and the evils we see in this world,
is not just a series of accidents. Our God is in ultimate control,
even man's wrath contribute to the fulfillment of His wise and loving

Faith in the One who died on Calvary's cross and rose from the tomb is
antidote to dark despair. Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ gives a
reason for hope.

When Jesus rose from the grave, He told two women to tell His disciples
was alive. Later He commanded His followers to take that news to all
nations (Matthew 28:9-10,19).

That's the good news we can proclaim to others. It's the answer to the
riddle of our existence. ¡XVCG

Oh, may our lives ring loud and clear
With God's good news for all,
So people who are lost in sin
Will clearly hear His call. ¡XSper

The good news is not that Jesus lived and died, but that He died and