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Showing posts from July 8, 2013

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

July 12: Eternal Hope
1 Peter 1:1–12; Psalm 121:1–122:9

We don’t often realize where we put our hope. We can seek sustenance, energy, or relief in the most transient, innocuous things—from our morning coffee to a vacation we’ve been anticipating for months. These things are not bad in themselves, but if they constantly serve as minor fixes in our daily lives, they can shift our focus. We can end up trading God’s help for caffeine and a few days in the sun.
The trouble arises when we fail to see the complexity in our motives. The psalmist helps us look beyond what seems comforting and shielding: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains; whence will my help come? My help is from Yahweh, maker of heaven and earth” (Psa 121:1). The psalmist uses the hills and mountains to point us beyond what we can see to the true source of help and protection. These stationary shields seem to offer protection, but God is the true source of help and refuge in our often chaotic circumstances. He is constantly…

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

July 8: Honor, Credit, and Godly Wisdom
We’re primed to seek validation. Earning “likes” on our social media outlets gives us a sense of self-worth. Getting kudos for a good idea at work makes us feel important. When this is how we derive our self-worth, the opposite will also be true: Being overlooked can crush us, making us angry and jealous if others have stolen the limelight.
If we’re not careful, we can easily become ruled by our need for validation. James calls this mindset and behavior “earthly,” “un-spiritual,” and even “demonic” (Jas 2:15). When we are guided by it, chaos reigns: “For where there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice” (Jas 3:16).
We may be aware of how often we are tempted to follow our earthly responses, and we might try to practice restraint. We try to filter the forces at work inside us, but this won’t solve the heart of the problem, as James shows us. He contrasts human ambition with godly wisdom, which “comes from a…