The world doesn’t think so, but complaining is a grievous sin. Today’s devotional focused on Israel in the desert, Ex 17.7. And how we do the same thing.

Frequency of complaint. “Is God among us?” has been uttered throughout history. Saints frequently act like life in the Lord is a holiday cruise. To ignore the place of suffering, results in grumbling. Should we marvel if special seasons of blessing are followed by challenging demands for trust?

Focus question: What are my expectations of God? What do I think he should do for me?

God gives courage to the simple and untrained who speak boldly about Jesus. May it be so today!

Urgency of the apostles. In spite of the warning, the apostles continued to speak about the Lord, Acts 4:20; 5:20,21. They talked about Christ because they were irrepressibly compelled to mention Him, I Corinthians 9:16; cf. Jeremiah 20:9.

Ed M.’s devotional today reminds us to not wait for “congenial times” to speak.

Focus question: How will boldness motivate me to speak up today about Jesus’ work of salvation?

Tonight in our Bible reading group we talked about finishing what we start — as in resolutions and plans for the year. From Ecc 7.8 we went to 2 Cor 8.1-12 and especially verse 11, where Paul told the saints in that city to finish the task. Planning is good — God does it. And he finishes his plans. (Remember Jesus: “It is finished!”)

Focus question: How can we make our resolutions and plans so as to guarantee, as far as lies within us, their success?

One suggestion is to write them down. Another is to set down as many details as possible.

What suggestion do you have to answer the question above?

I read the devotional yesterday, even though I didn’t get anything posted. And today’s.

In the cause of Christ, profession and practice must go hand in hand. If the mind is twisted and the conscience numbed, nothing worthwhile can be accomplished. The world turns away from the Good News when a believer is no better than an unbeliever.

Ed’s emphasis today is on practicing what we profess to believe, using Tt 1.16 as the leading verse.

A good reminder on my spiritual birthday.

Focus question: Where is the fine line between accepting ourselves with our foibles and weakness and justifying sin in our lives?

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:18

Many people accept the salvation in Christ Jesus but never see the riches of their relationship with Him. When we see Him as Lord of our life, a whole new world can be ours. We can see it in the eyes of others when they really understand what we are telling them. The eyes focus and brighten. Our prayer should be that everyone’s eyes will focus and brighten in understanding all of God’s will for their lives. Do we have bright and focused eyes yet ?

So said David Grubb today.

I love 1 Peter, and I love 1.8, and I love what Kathryn H. said about it:

The scripture for today, January 8 (1/8), is 1st Peter 1:8 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Though you have not seen him, you love him! And even though you do not see him now, you believe in him! And are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy!”

Ah, the memories Peter had of being with Jesus when they all were young. Now he was old and people were dying out who had seen Jesus in person.

After Jesus returned to heaven, it was the job of his Apostles to tell people about him and repeat his words. They spent the rest of their lives doing just that. What joy they found when people believed, even though they had not seen him. They not only believed, but they also loved him

Thank God, the Apostles wrote the New Testament so we would never have to guess what Jesus was like and never have to guess what his words were, even after the Apostles died. In fact, we have the advantage because we do not have to wait for an Apostle to come visit us and tell us. We can read about Jesus for ourselves over and over as many times as we like right in our home.

Yes, we have not seen Jesus. Yet, with his life and words before us, we believe! And we love him. What inexpressible and glorious joy!

Let it come to a boil first before setting it in concrete, but pretty sure that, as a part of my mission statement, my Bible verse for 2018 will be Rom 5.5.

And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

It contains the note of love, which was the theme of 2017 for us. It mentions the Holy Spirit, who is the focus for this year. It highlights the action of God, which is always good.

What’s not to like?

Using Ecclesiastes 7.10 as the lead-off Bible verse, Ed M. shares a powerful devotional today. His first paragraph tells you where he’s headed:

To dwell on the past is to neglect the present. Pining for the “good ole days” reflects a misunderstanding of the ways of God. Servants of the Most High will accept things as they are. They will learn “to be content whatever the circumstances,” Philippians 4:11.

Focus question: How can we be mindful of the present? What do you do to cultivate contentment now?