8 Verses That Drive My Walk With God

I make no claim here to be the best follower of Christ in the world. I have so much room for growth that it alarms me sometimes. Nevertheless, I’m giving you my life verses in hopes that you, too, will have verses that drive you forward.

  1. Acts 19:15“But the evil spirit answered them, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?’” The demon who spoke these words simply wasn’t threatened by the exorcists who had taken him on. My prayer is that I would walk with God in such a way that the enemy would know me by name.
  2. Revelation 7:9“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb . . . .”  God is going to accomplish His plan, and we get to be a part of it. I hope I never fail to be amazed by this privilege.
  3. Luke 16:24“And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’”  Knowing the reality of hell reminds me that my telling the story of Jesus matters.
  4. 1 Corinthians 11:1“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” My wife, my mentees, and others are watching me. I don’t want to disappoint them by letting them see anything less than Christ.
  5. Ephesians 5:25“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her . . . .” How I love my wife ought to be a unique witness to the gospel.
  6. Revelation 4:10“The twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne . . . .” I want to live in such a way that I will have crowns – but not for me. It’s important to me to have something to give back to my Redeemer.
  7. 2 Corinthians 12:10“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” It’s a straightforward teaching of the Word of God: I am strongest when I’m weak. So, that means I must welcome times that break me.
  8. Revelation 14:13“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” I have the assurance that no matter what I face – even if it costs me my life – all will be okay. Thus, I can press on, trusting God all the way.

Chuck Lawless devotional. Comment at: https://chucklawless.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1f66ea30867c3c2882f0eae77&id=d25d6787dd&e=e8a5edc6f6

Living in Bondage

When we stop listening to the Holy Spirit, the temptation can be strong to meet our needs with sinful options.

John 8:31-36

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 Now the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.

 

Freedom is one of humanity’s most prized treasures. Yet every human being is born in captivity to sin. Jesus said anyone who commits sin is a slave to it (John 8:34). The only way to be set free is if the Lord releases you. Salvation is the permanent liberation spoken about here, but the Savior also continuallysets believers free from the sins entangle them.

Ungodly habits typically begin as an attempt to fulfill a desire or need in the wrong way. If feelings of guilt come, we may quickly rationalize them away. Over time, we become desensitized to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and the ongoing trespass becomes a comfort. Eventually it controls us, and we feel powerless to stop.

As believers, however, we’re never without strength, because the Holy Spirit indwells us. With His help, we’re no longer slaves to sin but instead become slaves of righteousness (12 Therefore sin is not to reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the parts of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your body’s parts as instruments of righteousness for God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under the Law but under grace. 15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under the Law but under grace? Far from it! 16 Do you not know that the one to whom you present yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of that same one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were entrusted, 18 and after being freed from sin, you became slaves to righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented the parts of your body as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your body’s parts as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. Rom. 6:12-19).

Take an honest look at your life. Are there any habits that own you? If so, it’s time to fight the good fight. As you submit yourself in obedience to God, He’ll begin to set you free.

The Shattered Mirror

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

Dustin Stradley woke up on a jailhouse floor in an orange jumpsuit—with no idea how he had gotten there. His drinking was out of control. When he was released on bail, he went home and looked in the mirror. “I was disgusted with what I saw. And so, I…just punched the mirror and shattered the mirror and fell down and just started bawling, crying.”
Dustin’s dad gave him a Bible with a note saying, “This is God’s love letter,” and Dustin eventually gave his heart to Christ. “I realized God loved me, period. Even though I did all these things, God loved me exactly like I am. And He wants to have a relationship with me now.”

God made us in His image, but we’ve all broken the mirror by our sins, addictions, and flaws. But God can restore us! His love for us enables us to love Him in return.

Choose to love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength today.

God met me right there, and He’s doing the same thing for all of us. It’s not about earning more of God’s love. He loves you right now, exactly like you are.

Dustin Stradley
– David Jeremiah

The Blessings of God

Ephesians 1:3-14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He favored us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our wrongdoings, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He set forth in Him, 10 regarding His plan of the fullness of the times, to bring all things together in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. 11 In Him we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things in accordance with the plan of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in the Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of the promise, 14 who is a first installment of our inheritance, in regard to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

We all face difficult times, and when we’re in the midst of them, we may feel as though God isn’t blessing us. But even in the midst of hard times, we experience many of His amazing gifts; we just have to open our eyes to them. Below are several examples of blessings that we can enjoy on bright or dark days:

• We are assured that our almighty God chose us before the foundation of the world and predestined us to be adopted as His children (just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, Eph. 1:4-5).

• Jesus Christ redeemed us, providing salvation through His death and resurrection (In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our wrongdoings, according to the riches of His grace). As a result, believers receive a brand-new nature and daily forgiveness (Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Cor. 5:17; If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9).

• The Holy Spirit resides within all who trust in the Savior. He guides, warns, and fills us so we are never without counsel or comfort. He also seals us so that our eternity is secure (In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of the promise,  Eph. 1:13).

• Our Father prepares an inheritance for us that is imperishable (to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 1 Pet. 1:4). We may experience momentary troubles, but we can look forward to living eternally in God’s presence, where there is joy and no suffering.

In painful situations, it may be easy to feel as if God’s hand is not resting on your life. But believers have wonderful spiritual blessings at all times. So express gratitude, even in difficulty.

Misplaced Priorities

Luke 12:13-21

13 Now someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14 But He said to him, “You there—who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over the two of you?” 15 But He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one is affluent does his life consist of his possessions.” 16 And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17 And he began thinking to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and I will store all my grain and my goods there. 19 And I will say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years to come; relax, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself!”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is demanded of you; and as for all that you have prepared, who will own it now?’ 21 Such is the one who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich in relation to God.”

Jesus’ parable of the foolish wealthy man is a study in misplaced priorities. The man neglected God and spent his life greedily accumulating treasure for himself on earth. Then he died with no opportunity to enjoy his goods. But worse than that, he died with a bankrupt soul.

Serving the Lord is the key to setting goals that will benefit us eternally. The question we ought to ask is not What shall I do? but, rather, What does God want me to do? The answer—which should be prayerfully sought and biblically evaluated—dictates which things we must put first to please the Lord.

Life isn’t something that simply happens to us. Where we are today is largely determined by the priorities we set previously. This means we can also begin the process of re-evaluating them according to biblical guidelines and changing those that are misplaced.

What do you prioritize in life? There’s nothing wrong with having earthly plans and goals, but we should also store up treasure in heaven, which can never be lost. Our top priority should be to live a life that honors the Lord.

The Narrow Way

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

Few ideas are more loathsome in an age of political correctness than the claim that there is only one way to God. Yet this is the clear teaching of Scripture. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his exposition of the gospel of Luke by examining Jesus’ words about the narrow way of salvation.

A Hot Mess

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:13

Talk about “cleanup on aisle 5!” A truck in Memphis, Tennessee, hit a retaining wall and crashed, spilling its load of Bertolli alfredo sauce. The road was closed as workers struggled to clean up the sticky, high-calorie sauce and the thousands of broken glass jars.[1]
We all make messes, don’t we? Remember the time you dropped the pizza upside down on the kitchen floor? What about the time the garbage bag broke before you got it into the bin? Or that awful moment you opened your mouth and said something impulsively?

Sometimes we make a mess spiritually—yielding to temptation, neglecting our devotions, losing our temper, engaging in a habit we know is displeasing to our God. We need to guard our heart carefully and repent of sins promptly. We should also remember that God doesn’t stop loving us when we mess up. At times we might think that God’s love for us stops when we sin. But that’s not true. God compassionately loves us in spite of our sin.

Thank Him today for His compassion and love, and seek to please Him always.

No matter what storm you face, you need to know that God loves you. He has not abandoned you.

Franklin Graham
– David Jeremiah

Taking Risks

Acts 9:1-20

Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them in shackles to Jerusalem. Now as he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told to you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints in Jerusalem; 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on Your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer in behalf of My name.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like fish scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; 19 and he took food and was strengthened.

Now for several days he was with the disciples who were in Damascus, 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”

 

Do you like playing it safe, or are you more adventurous in your choices? Many Christians don’t like risk because the outcome is uncertain and may involve loss or other unwanted results. From a human viewpoint, eliminating potential harm makes sense. But for Christians, uncertainty is part of walking by faith. There are times when obedience may seem risky to us, but from God’s perspective, there’s no danger since He controls all things and never fails to accomplish His purposes.

The Bible tells of real people who obeyed the Lord in unpredictable situations. One of them is Ananias, a disciple sent by God to minister to the newly converted Saul. Ananias risked his life by visiting this notorious opponent of Christianity. Saul, too, lived with risk after his conversion, facing peril almost every day of his life as he obediently preached the same gospel that he’d previously opposed. By focusing on God, His character, and His promises, both of these men obeyed despite uncertainty and were used greatly by the Lord.

Where is God calling you to trust Him? Remember, each time you face risk, it’s an opportunity to experience His faithfulness firsthand.

Things Unseen

A Broadcast with Nathan W. Bingham

In a world of distractions, Christians must fix their focus on knowing Christ and His Word. Today, Sinclair Ferguson introduces his new daily devotional podcast from Ligonier Ministries to help God’s people think clearly and live faithfully for the Lord.

The Risk of Faith

Matthew 14:22-33

22 Immediately afterward He compelled the disciples to get into the boat and to go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. 24 But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

28 Peter responded and said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and when he began to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out with His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are truly God’s Son!”

 

Sometimes obeying the Lord feels as if we’re taking a chance. Like Peter, we may find ourselves in a precarious situation, overcome by fear. Although life is filled with uncertainties, biblical truths never change. As we focus on them, we’ll be able to obey with confidence—not in our desired outcome, but in the Lord’s faithfulness.

We can count on God being with us. It’s impossible for believers to live a single day without His presence because our relationship with Him through our Savior Jesus Christ is a permanent one (Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever abandon you,” Heb. l3:5). God’s love for us is deep and abiding, and His promises are sure. When He calls us to leave our “comfort zone,” we can obey because He’s there at our side.

God’s enabling power is ours. The Holy Spirit gives us divine strength to do what the Father says. Obedience isn’t achieved by self-effort but by complete dependence on the Lord. His grace is sufficient for every situation, and His power is perfected in our weakness (And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Cor. 12:9).

Is there something God wants you to do that you’re resisting? The Lord has provided everything you need in order to obey. So fix your eyes on Him, and step out in faith.