Copy
View this email in your browser

USA Southern Territorial Weekly Devotional

Growing Deeper Together

MAY 10, 2023



EXPLORING HOLINESS

Walking Blameless Before God

GOD’S WORD

Genesis 17"1; John 14:1-6; Philippians 4:13; John 15:1-5; John 14:15-17; John 16:13; JOHN 14:27: Romans 10:21

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT (Written by Major Rick Raymer)

Do you think of yourself as blameless? It’s not likely many of us would testify to this, at least not 100 percent of the time. We all know that if we claim to be blameless, there are those around us who would say otherwise. I know I can’t have such a delusion about myself because I am to blame for Jesus going to the Cross.

But the amazing thing is that we’ve been made blameless by that very sacrifice when Jesus paid the ultimate price as He died on the Cross. He was completely sinless, yet He took our sin upon Him as the perfect Lamb of God. You may have heard the phrase, “going on to perfection.” Truly, none of us will ever be perfect in this life. Nevertheless, we should certainly be moving in that direction. Men and women of integrity, this second blessing of a clean heart is what enables us to walk this walk and talk this talk of being blameless before a holy God!

When God appeared to Abram at age 99, He changed his name to Abraham and instructed him, “I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless.” Genesis 17:1 (NASB) The word blameless encompasses the words integrity, complete, whole, entire, sound. What God was saying to Abraham was that He wanted him to walk blameless before the Lord and be a man of integrity. And that’s what Abraham became. But that wasn’t the first time God had spoken to Abram. Twenty–four years earlier, He had told Abram to leave his homeland in Haran (located in modern–day Turkey just northwest of Iraq) and go to a new land where He would make Abram the father of a great nation. So, at age 75, he left everything behind and obeyed God.

Now fast–forward 24 years and put yourself in Abram’s place. He was not the father of a great nation; at age 99, he still had no children. But God had said to him, “Abram, walk before me and be blameless.” I am convinced it was in Abraham’s obedience that God blessed him.

As we read the historical account of Abraham’s encounters with the Creator of the universe, we learn of the covenant between God and Abraham. But there are promises for us too. The first and most important one is called the
New Covenant; it is the promise that Jesus’ blood will cover our sin and reconcile us with God. He made other promises too when He spoke to His disciples:

‘Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.

‘When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know where I am going and how to get there.’ ‘No, we don’t know, Lord,’ Thomas said. ‘We haven’t any idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?’

Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’ John 14:1-6 (NLT)

Jesus made the commitment that He would prepare a place for us, that He would return, and that we would live with Him forever. Those promises were made a lot longer than 24 years ago. But, like Abraham, we still can be sure He will keep His word. Hallelujah!

We can trust God’s promises. Abraham indeed became the father of a great nation. And the same God who made that promise to Abraham is the One who said He would come back one day. Until then, like Abraham, our job is to walk blameless before God. As we do, we can be assured He will do what He said He would do.

Let’s look at eight things you and I must do that will help us stay the course.

We walk blameless before God …

I… through Jesus Christ.

We should have the same mindset as the Apostle Paul, who wrote in a letter to people in Philippi (the ruins of which are in Greece): “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) Without that strength from Him, we can do nothing. Jesus explained it in the form of an analogy. In John 15:1-5.

Only if we remain in the “vine”—Jesus—can we walk with integrity. If we think for one minute that we do it without Jesus, then we are sorely mistaken. We can’t.

If you and I are to walk in integrity we must do so: (I) through Jesus Christ and …

II. … with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

‘If you love me, keep my commands. And I will askthe 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.’ John
14:15–17 (NIV)

‘But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.’ John 16:13 (NIV)

It is the Holy Spirit who directs our steps. His is the still, small voice that says to us, “This is the way; walk in it.” That still, small voice might be likened to a GPS device in our cars that tell us to turn left in 300 feet or to take this highway or that street. The Holy Spirit is our GPS and we need to listen to His voice if we are to stay on the right course.

Jesus said, “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.” John 14:27 (NIV)

What does the world give us? Many circumstances and temptations that disrupt our inner peace that make us fearful and full of anxiety. But Jesus doesn’t give to us as the world gives. His gift is peace.

Sometimes we feel ourselves succumbing to fear, driving ourselves headlong into disaster. That’s the moment to put on the brakes and assess where we are, who we are with, and what we are doing. Whenever the alarms start going off inside of us, we need to pay very close attention. That’s the Holy Spirit speaking.

Even knowing that we sometimes ignore the still, small voice and yield to the loud, brash, beckoning siren song of the world around us. We still have free will, and we sometimes use it to override the warnings of the still, small voice. We end up headed for danger. Paul wrote to believers in Rome about a time when the children of Israel refused to listen:

But regarding Israel, God said, ‘All day long I opened my arms to them, but they were disobedient and rebellious.’ Romans 10:21 (NLT)

In this Scripture, Paul reminds us how the Spirit kept nudging, poking, and wooing the children of Israel, and even calling them to go a different direction, and they kept ignoring His leading.

Two questions for you to think about this week:


I. Is God calling you in some way today?
II. Are you ignoring Him?

(Today's devotional comes from the book Living Holiness Out Loud in The 21st Century by Major Rick Raymer. This book can be purchased through Trade South.)

OUR CORPORATE PRAYER


Father, hear our prayers this morning as we contemplate upon You and what You have for us to do and accomplish in Your name. Open the ears of our hearts, Lord, that we might hear You calling us. May we follow the path You have and not ignore what You are saying. In the matchless name of Christ Jesus, amen. 

OUR WORLDWIDE PRAYER MEETING FOR MAY 11, 2023, ~ EASTERN EUROPE TERRITORY

REACHING OUT TO OTHERS


Is there someone who you have been avoiding or ignoring? Take time this week to open your arms to them so that God can use you to bless them. You may discover an even greater blessing in return. 

NOTABLE QUOTABLES

"The man who has wasted his life, scorned the voice of conscience, turned his back on light and goodness and God? It is the only Book in the world that does. It, and it alone, tells of a redeeming God, a Savior from sin, a loving Heavenly Father who waits to welcome sinners."

- Samuel Logan Brengle, Commissioner
----------------------------------------------------
This devotional will be sent to your email address every Wednesday morning. If you do not wish to receive this or if there is another email address you would like to use, please use the link below to unsubscribe or change your address. Also, please send the email to others who should be uniting with us in this shared devotional. Anyone can add their email address through the link below or by going to our website – SpiritualLifeDevelopment.org

We would appreciate any feedback and/or suggestions on how to improve these devotionals. Please email comments to
SpiritualLifeDevelopment@uss.salvationarmy.org
or by going to our website. We would love to hear from you.

Rick Raymer, Major
Territorial Spiritual Life Development Officer/THQ Chaplain
USA Southern Territory
Facebook
Website
Email
Copyright © 2023 The Salvation Army, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp