Every Day With Jesus

Daily Devotionals from Pastor Quintin Stieff

The Spirit's Work

Today's Scripture

 

John 16:12-16 (NIV)

 

12 "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 

13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 

14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 

15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

16 "In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me."

 

Today's Message

 

the spirit's work

 

Look at the ways the Spirit of God is at work today:

  • He guides us into all truth.
  • He leads us to understand what God has revealed.
  • He brings glory to Christ by helping us to know what Jesus has taught.

These are no small things. Without the Spirit of God indwelling us, we would not and we could not understand the Bible. Though we could read the words, we would not understand the depth of their meaning and their true application. Without the Spirit of God, we would not even desire to obey the teachings of the Lord, we would not have the power to follow through on our desire to follow Christ, and we would be helpless and powerless.

The Spirit of God is not a force or power or energy. The Spirit of God is the third person of the Trinity. He is personal. He indwells believers everywhere. He lives within us.

Did you forget that he is with you always? Today, perhaps you could pray or even sing the old chorus:

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Friday, April 20, 2018

We're Never Alone

Today's Scripture

 

John 16:5-11 (NIV)

 

5 "Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' 

6 Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 

7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 

8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 

9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 

10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 

11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

 

Today's Message

 

We're never alone

 

The good news for the follower of Jesus is that he or she is never truly alone. Though the world hates him and even his friends desert him, he is never truly left alone or abandoned.

Why is this true? It's true because after Jesus ascended into heaven (physically left his disciples), he sent his Holy Spirit to indwell every believer. Today, if you are a true believer in Christ, then God's Holy Spirit lives within you. God himself dwells within your heart to empower, encourage, lead, guide, comfort, and sustain you.

The Holy Spirit also convicts those in the world around us of sin and righteousness and judgment. He is active in the world, convicting people of sin, and drawing people to faith in Christ.

Yes, the world is a hostile place for the believer to live. But we're not abandoned or forsaken. The Holy Spirit of God is always there.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Thursday, April 19, 2018

Human Sacrifice as Worship

Today's Scripture

 

John 15:26-16:4 (NIV)

 

26 "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. 

27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

16:1 "All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. 

2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. 

3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 

4 I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.

 

Today's Message

 

human sacrifice as worship

 

One of the most shocking statements of Jesus is found in our passage today:

"They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God."

The word "service" in that verse connotes more than just doing something for God or working hard for God. It actually has worship overtones. "Service" is used in the New Testament to describe duties or rituals carried out in the worship of the Lord.

So, Jesus warns, there will come a day when people will think that killing a Christian is a sacrifice pleasing to God. It is an offering of worship to the Deity.

"Say it ain't so!" you say. But sadly, it is so. Church history records countless examples when people mistakenly believed that executing a true follower of Christ was precisely what God wanted them to do in service to him.

Of course, most of these people believed that those Christians they were killing were worthy of death because they were heretics, rebels, apostates, or demonically-inspired. They were sincere in their hostility, but horribly wrong.

The apostle Paul reminds us of what we are to expect in a confused, fallen, and evil world:

"In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."(2 Timothy 3:12)

If you encounter opposition to your faith, don't despair. You are standing in a long line of heroes of the faith who have gone before us. Stand firm and do not be discouraged.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hate Without Reason

Today's Scripture

 

John 15:17-25 (NIV)

 

17 This is my command: Love each other.

18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 

19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 

20 Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 

21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. 

22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. 

23 He who hates me hates my Father as well. 

24 If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 

25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.'

 

Today's Message

 

hate without reason

 

One of the surest signs of the truth of Jesus Christ is the irrational hatred aimed at him throughout history. "They hated me without reason" is a tragic, yet accurate summary of the kind of reception Jesus received when he came to our planet and his own people. The ultimate evidence of this hatred, of course, is the cross. What do you do with the kindest, wisest, most loving man who ever walked the planet? You execute him on a Roman cross!

Understanding this tendency in fallen human beings to hate God and the things of God is important. Otherwise, we are surprised and even shocked when people react negatively to us and to our Christian faith.

Many Christians today stew over the fact that our culture is becoming increasingly more hostile to Christianity and the church. They spend tremendous amounts of time trying to reverse this trend. Though there is something to be said for lobbying for religious freedom in our land, we dare not forget Jesus' words in this passage:

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also."

In other words, what we see in our culture today (hostility to Christianity) is more the norm. What we have experienced in our land in the last 350 years (endorsement of Christianity) is the exception.

Jesus is not trying to be harsh or uncaring. He just is telling us the truth. This is reality. "If you follow me, you can expect persecution."

And when we get discouraged because of opposition, Jesus can truly say to us, "I know exactly how you feel."

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Love Each Other

Today's Scripture

 

John 15:9-16 (NIV)
 

9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 

10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 

11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 

13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 

14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 

15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 

16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

 

Today's Message

 

love each other

 

When you think of Jesus' love for you, what kind of words spring to your mind to describe it? Here are some possibilities:

Jesus' love for me is...

  • Unconditional
  • Long-suffering
  • Forgiving
  • Everlasting
  • Merciful
  • Constant
  • Patient
  • Sacrificial
  • Boundless
  • Endless

The list could go on forever. But here's the kicker. Jesus says to keep those words in mind and then follow his example: "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."

Take those words that describe Jesus' love for you and apply them in your relationships. Show people the same kind of love Jesus showed you. Since he has forgiven you, forgive others. Since his love is sacrificial, sacrificially love others. 

It's easy to think about this, but it takes a lifetime to do it in real life. But start today. "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Monday, April 16, 2018