Ed M. uses Deut 7.22 as the basis for his great devotional thought today.

Intentional. God did not drive the enemy out all at once. Some were left to test Israel, to see whether they would keep the way of the Lord, Judges 2:22,23. Without challenges, commitment becomes soft. An unexercised belief becomes a flabby faith, Hebrews 5:13,14. It is a dangerous expedient. Living in the midst of evil can strengthen or weaken an allegiance to the Lord. It is a calculated risk taken by a wise God to nurture His people, Deuteronomy 8:2; Judges 3:1. The faithful look back and acknowledge their indebtedness to the stress of the journey and the burdens along the way, Hebrews 12:11.

Focus question: What challenges to my faith have I faced lately? How has my commitment been strengthened or weakened by them?

Observe your words and actions, to learn and to compare with God’s word. Discover how they affect others. Notice whether or not they move people closer to God. Look hard at yourself, O Soul. Be truthful and do not avoid seeing harmful habits. Recognize the good you do. Be thankful for progress. Be thirsty for greater growth. Step closer to the perfection of Christ. Inch further toward the holiness of God. Open yourself to the Spirit’s discipline. Pray to become a servant more attentive to God, more useful to the Kingdom, glorifying by growth the name of Jesus Christ.

THE LIST. Peter’s list of virtues, 2Pet 1.5-7:

  • They are the virtues of Christ, v. 3.
  • An incomplete list, but representative (7 of them).
  • Last is love, to bind them all together.

These my points tonight in the series, “The Good Addition.”