ACC Devotion: 1 Samuel 15:30

“Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honour me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD your God.” (1 Samuel 15:30).

Saul had deep insecurities. These meant that he was obsessed with what the elders and his men thought of him. He wanted to look good, holy and be honoured by others more than to obey God.

We often live under the burden of being obsessed by what others think of us. Our minds are consumed with thoughts about whether people still love us, respect us, or what they think of us. We often act out of what we think people might be thinking! These attempts to ‘sure up’ our insecurities actually work against us and we worry and anguish all the more.

God through Christ has restored us to being His beloved children. There is nothing we can ever add to this finished work. He has given us a sure place in His plans (which are the only plans which count). If, by faith, we live in this (given) security we can have such peace. We know who is our Father and therefore we know who we are.

This sets us free from slavery and ‘mindlocks’ as we think about ourselves – and sets us free to simply love. This love is not dependent on what we think others think but flows freely from God’s heart.

Devotion: 1 Samuel 15:30

“Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honour me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD your God.” (1 Samuel 15:30).

Saul had deep insecurities. These meant that he was obsessed with what the elders and his men thought of him. He wanted to look good, holy and be honoured by others more than to obey God.

We often live under the burden of being obsessed by what others think of us. Our minds are consumed with thoughts about whether people still love us, respect us, or what they think of us. We often act out of what we think people might be thinking! These attempts to ‘sure up’ our insecurities actually work against us and we worry and anguish all the more.

God through Christ has restored us to being His beloved children. There is nothing we can ever add to this finished work. He has given us a sure place in His plans (which are the only plans which count). If, by faith, we live in this (given) security we can have such peace. We know who is our Father and therefore we know who we are.

This sets us free from slavery and ‘mindlocks’ as we think about ourselves – and sets us free to simply love. This love is not dependent on what we think others think but flows freely from God’s heart.

ACC Devotion: Song of Songs 8:5

“Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?” (Song of Songs 8:5).

So much of our lives we feel like we are wandering, staggering through a desert. Worn out and dry from our constant struggles with trials, temptations, guilt, shame, sicknesses, the powers of darkness, old age, family responsibilities etc. It can seem like the whole world is against us at times and we don’t have the energy to go on.

Where can we find one who can bring us through this desert? Jesus is our lover – His love for us is never ending. He has experienced every aspect of our lives – He even experienced our sins as He bore the punishment for them on the cross. He is the one we desperately need in our pain.

It is not that He gives us strength to continue on our own, but He lovingly bears our weight – He lets us lean on Him and He walks us, step by step, through this life. He does not get tired of bearing us, He does not get sick of our constant rebellion and whining. He teaches us that He alone is our strength and He supports our full weight.

“Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?” It is us, the children whose trust is in the Lord Jesus, whose hope is in Him alone. He is the one who first loved us, who gave Himself up for us and who’s love for us will never die.

Devotion: Song of Songs 8:5

“Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?” (Song of Songs 8:5).

So much of our lives we feel like we are wandering, staggering through a desert. Worn out and dry from our constant struggles with trials, temptations, guilt, shame, sicknesses, the powers of darkness, old age, family responsibilities etc. It can seem like the whole world is against us at times and we don’t have the energy to go on.

Where can we find one who can bring us through this desert? Jesus is our lover – His love for us is never ending. He has experienced every aspect of our lives – He even experienced our sins as He bore the punishment for them on the cross. He is the one we desperately need in our pain.

It is not that He gives us strength to continue on our own, but He lovingly bears our weight – He lets us lean on Him and He walks us, step by step, through this life. He does not get tired of bearing us, He does not get sick of our constant rebellion and whining. He teaches us that He alone is our strength and He supports our full weight.

“Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?” It is us, the children whose trust is in the Lord Jesus, whose hope is in Him alone. He is the one who first loved us, who gave Himself up for us and who’s love for us will never die.

1 Peter 4:8

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8).

God through Jesus has forgiven a multitude of our sins. We cannot even fathom the extent or number of our sins as our sinful nature conceals them from us. But Jesus has dealt with all of our sins once and for all at the cross. He’s even dealt with those we do not know about, and have not confessed and repented of. Through the cross Jesus has received the punishment for all of our sins and God has chosen not to remember our multitude of sins anymore.

This means that we can live in love for one another also not holding other people’s sins against them. Others will always be sinning against us (just as we are constantly sinning against them) but the Spirit leads us to forgive – even when an apology doesn’t come!

The love of God has come to us through Jesus and this love flows through us to others in the same form as it came to us. We can live in the joy of ‘not remembering’ other people’s sins and not holding sin against them. Free forgiveness flows from us and then we live in the freedom of the love of God.

1 Peter 4:8

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8).

God through Jesus has forgiven a multitude of our sins. We cannot even fathom the extent or number of our sins as our sinful nature conceals them from us. But Jesus has dealt with all of our sins once and for all at the cross. He’s even dealt with those we do not know about, and have not confessed and repented of. Through the cross Jesus has received the punishment for all of our sins and God has chosen not to remember our multitude of sins anymore.

This means that we can live in love for one another also not holding other people’s sins against them. Others will always be sinning against us (just as we are constantly sinning against them) but the Spirit leads us to forgive – even when an apology doesn’t come!

The love of God has come to us through Jesus and this love flows through us to others in the same form as it came to us. We can live in the joy of ‘not remembering’ other people’s sins and not holding sin against them. Free forgiveness flows from us and then we live in the freedom of the love of God.

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8).

What sort of blessing will those who are pure in heart receive? The greatest blessing of being pure in heart is that we live with the joy of having a pure heart! We must not think that Jesus is saying, “If you keep your hearts pure God will give you all sorts of physical blessings”. What could give us greater joy and peace than to know we are pure, undefiled and living with a fully cleansed consciences – and then to live in that fullness!

The opposite of this is, “This is what the LORD says, “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. (Jeremiah 17:5). The worst part of not trusting God is living in the pain and frustration of trusting in man.

So how can we have and maintain a pure heart? David asked, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10). David knew that the only way he could have a pure heart was if God created it from nothing!

When we have faith in the Lord Jesus, God credits us as righteous – that is we are cleansed, pure and made new. He gives us a pure heart. Then as we walk in the holiness He has given us, the blood of Jesus goes on cleansing us from all of our sin.

This Christmas may you know the gift of living in God’s precious gift of purity.

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8).

What sort of blessing will those who are pure in heart receive? The greatest blessing of being pure in heart is that we live with the joy of having a pure heart! We must not think that Jesus is saying, “If you keep your hearts pure God will give you all sorts of physical blessings”. What could give us greater joy and peace than to know we are pure, undefiled and living with a fully cleansed consciences – and then to live in that fullness!

The opposite of this is, “This is what the LORD says, “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. (Jeremiah 17:5). The worst part of not trusting God is living in the pain and frustration of trusting in man.

So how can we have and maintain a pure heart? David asked, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10). David knew that the only way he could have a pure heart was if God created it from nothing!

When we have faith in the Lord Jesus, God credits us as righteous – that is we are cleansed, pure and made new. He gives us a pure heart. Then as we walk in the holiness He has given us, the blood of Jesus goes on cleansing us from all of our sin.

This Christmas may you know the gift of living in God’s precious gift of purity.

2 Corinthians 5:4-5

“For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 5:4-5).

We were created to have a heavenly body. This new body will not decay but be immortal, and one day all who trust in Jesus will receive this heavenly dwelling. God made us in for this very purpose to live in his life.

Our future is not in the things that this world says will bring hope, peace and pleasure. We can have every blessing this world can give and yet ‘forfeit our own soul’. It is so tempting for us to seek the approval and respect of men.

But through faith in Christ we receive a foretaste, a hope which cannot be removed even if we have none of the world’s blessings and even if we are scorned by men.

We have the Holy Spirit as a guarantee. “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:5). There is nothing more precious than the Spirit alive in us. He brings heavenly treasures which give us peace, whether we have much or have nothing – we have hope!