One thing I enjoy reading alongside with my Bible each new year is a daily devotional. There are some amazing daily devotionals out there that I would recommend to anyone who is looking: Classic ones like Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon, and My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.
The following comes from a devotional that I am reading through this year: Drawing Near: Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith by John MacArthur. The following is his entry for Tuesday, January 5:
"God...has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" (Eph. 1:3, emphasis added).
It's been said that some Christians are so heavenly minded, they're no earthly good. But usually the opposite is true. Many Christians are so enamored with this present world that they no longer look forward to heaven. They have everything they want right here. The health, wealth, and prosperity doctrine has convinced them that Christians can have it all, and they pursue "the good life" with a vengeance.
Despite the prevalence of such thinking, the old Negro spiritual well says, "This world is not my home. I'm just a passin' through."
Paul reminds us of that truth in Philippians 3:20: "Our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." That's why we must set our minds on heavenly, not on earthly things (Col. 3:1- 2). Our deepest affections and highest aspirations should center there. Our actions and decisions should reflect heavenly priorities, not earthly indulgences.
Even though we live in a sin-stained world and must constantly fight against its corrupting influences, God hasn't left us stranded. He extends to us all the rights and privileges of our heavenly citizenship. Let that assurance encourage you today to live to His glory and rely on His heavenly provisions. Take care not to let impure aspirations or trivial pursuits distract you from your heavenly priorities.
Suggestions for Prayer:
- Tell Jesus how thankful and full of praise you are because of the place He is preparing for you in heaven (John 14:1-3).
- Pray for a greater awareness of the fleeting value of this world and the surpassing value of the world to come (1 John 2:17).
May God bless us to grow deeper in our faith this year!
- Bro. Dave