Morning, October 13
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Bible League: Living His Word
If you think you can fool God, you are only fooling yourselves. You will harvest what you plant.

It is possible to fool people. It is possible to put up a front that speaks well of you to the people around you, but which has nothing actually backing it up in reality. The goal of the people that do this kind of thing is to reap the benefits of righteous behavior without actually doing anything righteous. A good example of this are people who boast about how much they give to the work of the Lord, but without actually giving anything significant at all.

It is not, on the other hand, possible to fool God. God is omniscient and knows everything that is going on in His creation. He sees what people claim to be doing and He sees what they actually do in private (Matthew 6:4). If they try to pull the wool over someone's eyes, He knows about it. God knows our deepest thoughts (Romans 8:27). He knows who is genuine and who is phony.

If you try to do the impossible, if you try to fool God, you are only fooling yourself. Since God cannot be fooled, since God sees through the deceptions, to think that you can get away with the fronts and the phoniness is deeply self-deceptive. It is self-deceptive because the people who put up fronts actually think that God does not see, or that God does not care. Although they are well aware of God's existence and nature, they have convinced themselves that God will overlook what they are doing.

Even though phonies may receive some short-term benefit from their deception, they fail in the things that really matter. This is because of a law in God's Kingdom: you will harvest what you have planted. That's why, for example, if you have only planted a few seeds, if you have only given a small percentage, then you will only receive a small harvest, you will only receive a small blessing (II Corinthians 9:6). And this law of the Kingdom stands firm no matter what boasts you may have made to the people around you.

Thus, we should strive for sincerity and genuineness. Although people may be impressed with the fronts we construct for that purpose, we will never impress the one that really counts.

We will never impress God.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Isaiah 50, 51, 52


Isaiah 50 -- Israel's Sin and God's Help for His Servant

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Isaiah 51 -- Exhortation to Zion; Affliction and deliverance of Jerusalem foretold

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Isaiah 52 -- Put on Your Strength, Zion; My Servant Shall Deal Wisely

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


New Testament Reading
1 Thessalonians 1


1 Thessalonians 1 -- Thanksgiving for the Thessalonians

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.
Insight
The Holy Spirit gives Christians great power to live for God. Some Christians want more than this. They want to live in a state of perpetual excitement. The tedium of everyday living leads them to conclude that something is wrong spiritually. Often the Holy Spirit's greatest work is teaching us to persist, to keep on doing what is right even when it no longer seems interesting or exciting. The Galatians quickly turned from Paul's Good News to the teachings of the newest teachers in town; what they needed was the Holy Spirit's gift of persistence.
Challenge
If the Christian life seems ordinary, you may need the Spirit to stir you up. Every day offers a challenge to live for Christ.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
2 Corinthians 7:10  Godly sorrow worketh repentance.

Genuine, spiritual mourning for sin is the work of the Spirit of God. Repentance is too choice a flower to grow in nature's garden. Pearls grow naturally in oysters, but penitence never shows itself in sinners except divine grace works it in them. If thou hast one particle of real hatred for sin, God must have given it thee, for human nature's thorns never produced a single fig. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh."

True repentance has a distinct reference to the Saviour. When we repent of sin, we must have one eye upon sin and another upon the cross, or it will be better still if we fix both our eyes upon Christ and see our transgressions only, in the light of his love.

True sorrow for sin is eminently practical. No man may say he hates sin, if he lives in it. Repentance makes us see the evil of sin, not merely as a theory, but experimentally--as a burnt child dreads fire. We shall be as much afraid of it, as a man who has lately been stopped and robbed is afraid of the thief upon the highway; and we shall shun it--shun it in everything--not in great things only, but in little things, as men shun little vipers as well as great snakes. True mourning for sin will make us very jealous over our tongue, lest it should say a wrong word; we shall be very watchful over our daily actions, lest in anything we offend, and each night we shall close the day with painful confessions of shortcoming, and each morning awaken with anxious prayers, that this day God would hold us up that we may not sin against him.

Sincere repentance is continual. Believers repent until their dying day. This dropping well is not intermittent. Every other sorrow yields to time, but this dear sorrow grows with our growth, and it is so sweet a bitter, that we thank God we are permitted to enjoy and to suffer it until we enter our eternal rest.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Daniel 10:12  Then he said to me, "Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words.

Isaiah 57:15  For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.

Psalm 51:17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

Psalm 138:6  For though the LORD is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly, But the haughty He knows from afar.

Proverbs 5:6  She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.

James 4:6  But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE."

James 4:7  Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Psalm 86:5-7  For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You. • Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; And give heed to the voice of my supplications! • In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You, For You will answer me.

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org.

Evening October 12
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