Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. John 4:23–24, NIV
Lord our God, we thank you for being among us as our Father, for letting us be your children on earth. We thank you that as your children we can find life in spirit and in truth. Grant that each of us may find how our lives on earth can be lifted up by your Spirit. Your Spirit can bring us what we do not possess, so that our daily work, all our striving and struggling for the outward things of life, may be pervaded by what is higher and greater. Your Spirit can keep us from falling into base and petty ways, from getting lost in earthly experiences which do not last, no matter how much they demand our attention. We thank you for all you have done for your children. Continue to help us, that we may serve you every day in gladness and gratitude. Amen.
TODAY’S DAILY DIG
Source: The Greatest Thing in the World
Verse of the Day
Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
Praise is integrally connected with our character. So for us to worship God, the intent of our hearts and the effort of our lives must show the determined desire to know and live his will. While we will never do this perfectly, grace covers us as we seek to live for his glory. But that grace must never be used as a pretense to excuse spiritual laziness or intentional weakness.
Holy God, I want to be more like you in character even though I will never be like you in might or majesty. Open my eyes and through the Spirit enlighten me as I seek your will in your Scriptures and as I seek to be obedient in my daily life. Forgive me of my sin and create a clean and holy heart, wholly determined to do your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
I’m Saved, So Why Do I Still Keep Sinning?
Why do some believer’s struggle with overcoming sin more than others? Why do we keep sinning after salvation?
It is human nature for us to sin. If you took a fish out of the water, they’d be out of their environment because they’re not capable of surviving without being submerged in water. That’s the way fish were created, so it’s their nature, but it’s also our nature to sin, even when we know what it’s wrong. After a person is brought to repentance (2 Tim 2:25-26) and faith in Christ, they still have part of their old nature still living in them, as I do, but Christians are not alone. Some of the greatest figures in the Bible struggled with obedience, even after they knew God, so it’s a struggle that’s common to all of us, and not just believers. For many, that’s somehow comforting. The Bible tells us the truth about human nature and shows us the heroes of the faith, warts and all. The Bible doesn’t hide the fact that some of the greatest biblical figures we know have committed some of the worst sins there are. King David is a great example, but God granted forgiveness as we see in what may be the greatest prayer of repentance in the Bible (Psalm 51). His guilt was“ever before him,” so he couldn’t help but cry out to God for His forgiveness, and God was merciful. Just as Jesus said, “he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:47), so those who are forgiven much are loved much. Even after David committed adultery with his wife and conspired to have Uriah murdered, David was later called a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).
I believe if someone is concerned that they’re still sinning, at least they care enough about to be concerned. That’s a good thing. For one, it’s an honest assessment of us all (Rom 3:23, 1 John 1:8, 10). We all sin, even after conversion, but if there’s a struggle to live an obedient life, at least the Holy Spirit is working in that person’s life. I would be more concerned if they were still sinning and not giving it a second thought. When someone is concerned that they are still sinning after being saved, it’s comforting to me, in a strange sort of way, because at least I know I’m not alone in this struggle. The Bible is full of people who struggled with sin. The Apostle Paul said, “I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out” (Rom 7:18), and who among us doesn’t wrestle with this? Paul desired to do the right thing but didn’t always do it. Welcome to the club. For the body of Christ, which still has sinners and yet saints, that’s the paradox of it. It’s called sanctification…or growing in holiness. We are still very capable of sinning, but at least we strive to avoid it. We are saved from sin but still fall into sin. The difference might be we don’t dive in and swim around in it like we did before conversion. We fall and get back up, but God expects us to fall. He knows our nature as only our Creator would. Solomon acknowledged that “the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity” (Prov 24:16), so even “though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand” (Psalm 37:24). We will never be sinless this side of the veil, but we should be sinning less…over time, and it should be noticeable to others and ourselves after a set amount of time, however each of us grow in holiness at different rates. I’m not sure why, but some struggle more than others, but there’s strength in the struggle. At least you’re in the fight and resisting the Devil, otherwise you couldn’t care less about sin, and that’s not the heart of a believer (1 John 3).
If you are expecting to be sinless after salvation, you need to read the Bible. Sorry if that seems blunt, but we had one man come to our church and say he was bothered by people praying for forgiveness. He said, “I’m no longer a sinner.” I asked, “Do you still sin?” He said, “Yes, but I am not called a sinner anymore.” I said, “Yes, we’re now called saints, but we still sin…all of us” (1 Kings 8:46; 1 John 1:8, 10). He finally told our elder that he was leaving because he didn’t like asking for forgiveness all the time. I wonder how that works at home with his wife. By the same reasoning he’s using, I supposed he doesn’t need forgiveness anymore in his marriage…or among his friends…or anywhere since he doesn’t sin anymore. I can tell you from experience, that’s not going to turn out well in a marriage or in a relationship. Even the spiritual giant, the Apostle Paul, declared himself to be the foremost of sinners (1 Tim 1:15), writing, “For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Cor 15:9), but hey, we’re all unworthy. Paul knew that. It is only because of Christ that we can be declared righteousness in God’s sight (2 Cor 5:21), but everyone will still sin, even after conversion. If they say they don’t sin anymore (like one man told me), I ask, “Why you aren’t in heaven then?”
The Apostle John wrote, “Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister” (1 John 3:10b), and “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him” (1 John 3:15). He adds that, “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him” (1 John 3:6), because “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning” (1 John 3:8a). Notice he said, they “practice…sinning,” meaning it’s a regular custom or routine for them. He’s not referring to believers because John knows they (and I) will still sin (1 John 1:8, 10), but they don’t make a practice of it. If you play sports, you practice sport, and that means you intentionally practice over periods of time, practicing again and again, but Christians are not to sin intentionally, and even though they (and I) do, they repent of that and confess it to God and try to resist the same temptation next time. That’s not the case with the lost. We all fall short, and not one of us are good in and of ourselves (Rom 3:10-12), but the good news is, we are saved by a very good God.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.
Saint Camillus de Lellis
Saint of the Day for July 18
(1550 – July 14, 1614)
Saint Camillus de Lellis’ Story
Humanly speaking, Camillus was not a likely candidate for sainthood. His mother died when he was a child, his father neglected him, and he grew up with an excessive love for gambling. At 17, he was afflicted with a disease of his leg that remained with him for life. In Rome he entered the San Giacomo Hospital for Incurables as both patient and servant, but was dismissed for quarrelsomeness after nine months. He served in the Venetian army for three years.
Then in the winter of 1574, when he was 24, Camillus gambled away everything he had—savings, weapons, literally down to his shirt. He accepted work at the Capuchin friary at Manfredonia, and was one day so moved by a sermon of the superior that he began a conversion that changed his life. He entered the Capuchin novitiate, but was dismissed because of the apparently incurable sore on his leg. After another stint of service at San Giacomo, he came back to the Capuchins, only to be dismissed again, for the same reason.
Again, back at San Giacomo, his dedication was rewarded by his being made superintendent. Camillus devoted the rest of his life to the care of the sick. Along with Saint John of God he has been named patron of hospitals, nurses, and the sick. With the advice of his friend Saint Philip Neri, he studied for the priesthood and was ordained at the age of 34. Contrary to the advice of his friend, Camillus left San Giacomo and founded a congregation of his own. As superior, he devoted much of his own time to the care of the sick.
Charity was his first concern, but the physical aspects of the hospital also received his diligent attention. Camillus insisted on cleanliness and the technical competence of those who served the sick. The members of his community bound themselves to serve prisoners and persons infected by the plague as well as those dying in private homes. Some of his men were with troops fighting in Hungary and Croatia in 1595, forming the first recorded military field ambulance. In Naples, he and his men went onto the galleys that had plague and were not allowed to land. He discovered that there were people being buried alive, and ordered his brothers to continue the prayers for the dying 15 minutes after apparent death.
Camillus himself suffered the disease of his leg through his life. In his last illness, he left his own bed to see if other patients in the hospital needed help.
Saints are created by God. Parents must indeed nurture the faith in their children; husbands and wives must cooperate to deepen their baptismal grace; friends must support each other. But all human effort is only the dispensing of divine power. We must all try as if everything depended on us. But only the power of God can fulfill the plan of God—to make us like himself.
Saint Camillus de Lellis is the Patron Saint of:
What Jesus Did! ‘One Flock from Many Pastures’
Father, I long for the day when all the barriers that divide the people of earth are gone, and we find joy and peace in your presence. I long for the time when all peoples can join with one voice to praise you for your grace, holiness, mercy, faithfulness, justice, righteousness, and might. Maranatha — come, O Lord! In Jesus’ name. Amen
Related Scripture Readings
Morning & Evening: Morning Devo, Jul. 18th
The rear guard is a place of danger. There are foes behind us as well as before us. Attacks may come from any quarter. We read that Amalek fell upon Israel, and slew some of the hindmost of them. The experienced Christian will find much work for his weapons in aiding those poor doubting, desponding, wavering, souls, who are hindmost in faith, knowledge, and joy. These must not be left unaided, and therefore be it the business of well-taught saints to bear their standards among the hindmost. My soul, do thou tenderly watch to help the hindmost this day.
They [locusts] do not jostle one another;
each marches in his path.
Locusts always keep their rank, and although their number is legion, they do not crowd upon each other, so as to throw their columns into confusion. This remarkable fact in natural history shows how thoroughly the Lord has infused the spirit of order into His universe, since the smallest animate creatures are as much controlled by it as are the rolling spheres or the angelic throng. It would be wise for believers to be ruled by the same influence in all their spiritual life.
In their Christian graces no one virtue should usurp the sphere of another or feed off the rest for its own support. Affection must not smother honesty, courage must not elbow weakness out of the field, modesty must not jostle energy, and patience must not slaughter resolution. So also with our duties. One must not interfere with another; public usefulness must not injure private piety; church work must not push family worship into a corner. It is wrong to offer God one duty stained with the blood of another. Each thing is beautiful in its season, but not otherwise.
The same rule applies to our personal position. We must take care to know our place, take it, and keep to it. We must minister as the Spirit has given us ability, and not intrude upon our fellow servant’s domain. Our Lord Jesus taught us not to covet the high places, but to be willing to be the least among our brothers and sisters. Let us say no to an envious, ambitious spirit; let us feel the force of the Master’s command and do as He bids us, keeping in step with the rest of the company. Tonight let us see whether we are keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace, and let our prayer be that in all the churches of the Lord Jesus peace and order may prevail.
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
July 18, 2018
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”Philippians 4:13
What might God want to accomplish through you in your lifetime? As a workplace believer, you may yet have your greatest contribution to society. Such was the case of Cyrus McCormick, born in 1809. Raised on a farm by an inventor father, Cyrus McCormick sought to invent a mechanical reaper to harvest wheat. His father’s attempts at inventing a successful machine had failed until Cyrus, at 22, created one that worked. McCormick had to overcome many setbacks including the loss of his patent 14 years after his first invention. This opened up competition. Then, in 1837 he went bankrupt due to the bank panic of 1837. However, these setbacks did not prevent McCormick from achieving his goals.
He expanded his market by trying to sell his machine to European farmers in 1851. A long series of honors compensated for the lack of recognition and praise from his American compatriots. By 1856, he was not only a world figure but his factory produced more than 4,000 reapers a year.
McCormick was a committed believer. He lived during the time of D.L. Moody and gave $10,000 to Moody to start the Chicago YMCA in 1869. That building burned along with his Chicago factory in 1871. By this time, McCormick was over 60 and wealthy enough to retire. Before his death in 1884, he had given $100,000 to help open Moody Bible Institute. His son, Cyrus Jr., was to become the first chairman of the school’s board. Cyrus McCormick was a devoted Christian who passed his faith on to his son who later met up with J. Pierpoint Morgan to become the first president of a combined reaper firm, the famed International Harvester Corporation. [John Woodbridge, ed., More Than Conquerors (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1992), 328-331.]
What might God want to accomplish through your life? Surely you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman
July 18, 2018
“They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which He had given their forefathers through Moses” (Judg. 3:4).
There is a spiritual truth God revealed in the conquest of the Promised Land recorded in Judges chapter 3: “These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan” (Judg 3:1-3).
They didn’t pass the test. “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs” ( Judg 3:7-8).
Martin Luther said there are three things necessary to create a successful minister of God: prayer, meditation, and temptation. You’ll really never know the strength and reality of your faith until you experience difficulty in life. You’ll never know for sure whether God can be trusted or if you’ll fall to temptation.
The apostle Peter thought his faith in Christ was solid until the temptation came to deny Him. Jesus knew Peter was not mature yet and that he would deny Jesus three times in one day. Peter didn’t believe it. Sure enough, Peter denied Jesus three times. Peter could not believe he could do such a terrible thing. In order to discover this about himself, he needed to be placed in a situation to reveal his true condition.
God allows circumstances to develop around your life to give your faith opportunity to be proven. It is only when we are tested in battle that we become skilled warriors. You can be confident God will allow trials to come your way through situations like an unreasonable boss, a client who refuses to pay, a false assault on your character, or a difficult relationship that requires unconditional love. These battles are sent your way to test what you know in the mind in order that they might become part of your heart.
If you fail the test, do not be overly concerned. Learn from it and grow through the experience just as Peter did.
NATIONAL HOT DOG DAY
The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has designated July as Hot Dog Month and for 2018 Wednesday, July 18 as National Hot Dog Day.
Over 25 million hot dogs are sold at baseball stadiums each year.
Whether they are grilled, boiled, broiled, pan-fried, rotisserie cooked, cooked on a stick over a campfire or any other way, hot dogs are a favorite summertime staple. They are loved by children and adults alike plain or garnished with one or a combination of mustard, ketchup, onions, mayonnaise, relish, cheese, bacon, chili, or sauerkraut.
On May 31, 2012, a world record was set for the most expensive hot dog. The “California Capitol City Dawg” sold for $145.49 at Capitol Dawg in Sacramento, California. The “California Capitol City Dawg” features:
- A grilled 18″ all-beef, in natural casing frank from Chicago
- served on a fresh-baked herb and oil focaccia roll spread with white truffle butter, then grilled
- topped with whole grain mustard from France, garlic and herb mayonnaise
- sauteed chopped shallots, organic mixed baby greens, maple syrup
- marinated/fruitwood smoked uncured bacon from New Hampshire
- chopped tomatoes, sweetened dried cranberries, chopped tomato
- expensive moose cheese from Sweden
- basil olive oil/pear-cranberry-coconut balsamic vinaigrette and ground peppercorn
- Proceeds from the sale of each 3 lb. super dog were donated to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
7-Eleven sells the most grilled hot dogs in North America – 100 million annually.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Have a hot dog and post on social media using #NationalHotDogDay to encourage others to join in.
The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council created National Hot Dog Day. The first National Hot Dog Day was established in 1991 to coincide with a hot dog lunch on Capitol Hill every year on the 3rd Wednesday in July.