Evening, October 18
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Bible League: Living His Word
And because you belong to Christ you are complete, having everything you need.

In Galatians 5:17 the Apostle Paul speaks of the spiritual struggle between the Spirit of Christ Jesus that dwells within us and our sinful spiritual state. He says, "The sinful self wants what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is against the sinful self. They are always fighting against each other."

Under the instigation of Satan, one of the things that the sinful spiritual self wants is to convince us that we are incomplete in some way. The idea it tries to foster is that what we do and who we are is never enough. There is always more that we could have done and there is always more that we could be. The sinful spiritual self never seems to be satisfied. It is always frustrated because we always fall short of its self-aggrandizing expectations.

This deep sense of being spiritually incomplete in some way forces us to search for something that will fill us up and make us whole. The sinful self is always working in its own power and its own strength to fulfill its vainglorious desires. Although we search hard for that something that will fulfill us and make us complete, we never seem to find what we are looking for. Whatever we try to do in life fails to alleviate the spiritual hollowness.

The Spirit of Christ Jesus that dwells within us fights against the spiritual sense of emptiness and incompleteness fostered by the sinful self. In Christ, we are spiritually complete. In Christ, we have the spiritual resources necessary to live the life God wants us to live. We have been given the Holy Spirit, gifts of the Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit in order to live the way God wants us to live. In Christ, the possibility exists to overcome the spiritual emptiness of our sinful selves.

Thus, we don't have to allow the sinful self to torment us with its incessant demands for more. We don't have to make ourselves whole and we don't have to fill the emptiness, for we are complete in Christ. No matter what state we are in and what stage of life we occupy, we have the spiritual resources necessary to please God and make Him happy, right then and there.

Today, then, put an end to the striving for completeness that can never succeed and take your rest in the completeness you already have in Christ Jesus.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Isaiah 65, 66


Isaiah 65 -- Judgment; Salvation; New heavens and a New earth

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Isaiah 66 -- Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; Rejoice with Jerusalem

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


New Testament Reading
2 Thessalonians 1


2 Thessalonians 1 -- Thanksgiving for Faith, Love, and Patience

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Insight
The fruit of the Spirit is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ. They are the by-products of Christ's control—we can't obtain them by trying to get them without his help.
Challenge
If we want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in us, we must join our lives to his. We must know him, love him, remember him, and imitate him. As a result, we will fulfill the intended purpose of the law—to love God and our neighbors. Which of these qualities do you want the Spirit to produce in you?
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
1 Samuel 15:22  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.

Saul had been commanded to slay utterly all the Amalekites and their cattle. Instead of doing so, he preserved the king, and suffered his people to take the best of the oxen and of the sheep. When called to account for this, he declared that he did it with a view of offering sacrifice to God; but Samuel met him at once with the assurance that sacrifices were no excuse for an act of direct rebellion. The sentence before us is worthy to be printed in letters of gold, and to be hung up before the eyes of the present idolatrous generation, who are very fond of the fineries of will-worship, but utterly neglect the laws of God. Be it ever in your remembrance, that to keep strictly in the path of your Saviour's command is better than any outward form of religion; and to hearken to his precept with an attentive ear is better than to bring the fat of rams, or any other precious thing to lay upon his altar. If you are failing to keep the least of Christ's commands to his disciples, I pray you be disobedient no longer. All the pretensions you make of attachment to your Master, and all the devout actions which you may perform, are no recompense for disobedience. "To obey," even in the slightest and smallest thing, "is better than sacrifice," however pompous. Talk not of Gregorian chants, sumptuous robes, incense, and banners; the first thing which God requires of his child is obedience; and though you should give your body to be burned, and all your goods to feed the poor, yet if you do not hearken to the Lord's precepts, all your formalities shall profit you nothing. It is a blessed thing to be teachable as a little child, but it is a much more blessed thing when one has been taught the lesson, to carry it out to the letter. How many adorn their temples and decorate their priests, but refuse to obey the word of the Lord! My soul, come not thou into their secret.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Matthew 6:13  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.'

1 Kings 1:36  Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king and said, "Amen! Thus may the LORD, the God of my lord the king, say.

Isaiah 65:16  "Because he who is blessed in the earth Will be blessed by the God of truth; And he who swears in the earth Will swear by the God of truth; Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My sight!

Hebrews 6:13,16-18  For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, • For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. • In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, • so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.

Revelation 3:14  "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

2 Corinthians 1:20  For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.

Psalm 72:18,19  Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders. • And blessed be His glorious name forever; And may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen.

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.

Morning October 18
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