Tag Archives: Ray stedman for today

Devotional by Ray Stedman – God’s Compassion And Mercy – A daily devotion for December 29

Topic:God’s Compassion And Mercy

 READ THE SCRIPTURE: JOB 42:12-13

The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.Job 42:12a

This is what James calls in the Revised Standard Version the purpose of the Lord (James 5:11), revealing God to be compassionate and merciful. God did not suddenly become compassionate and merciful to Job; He had been that way all along. God’s character, unchanging, is compassion and mercy. He is love. Though He puts us through times of trials and pressures and hardships, it is not because He is angry and upset; it is because He is compassionate and merciful. If we wait, He will bring us to the place where we will see that as plainly and clearly as Job did. So the purpose of the Lord is to reveal His own heart of compassion and mercy to this dear old man.

There is a beautiful passage in Jeremiah’s Lamentations that I think we must always remember when we are going through trials and afflictions. I would urge you to memorize it as you face a new year: For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men (Lamentations 3:31-33).

Isn’t that encouraging? He does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men. He will bring grief because He loves us and we need it, but He does not do it lightly. He feels our pain with us. As a good parent with His children, He hurts worse than we do at times. He does not willingly do it. I think we need to recall that when we are put through times of pressure and danger.

God moves Job’s relatives and friends to bring him gifts of silver and gold. But perhaps these gifts of silver and gold that friends and relatives brought were God’s way of providing a foundation of the wealth that He will bring Job. At any rate, Job ended up with double everything that he had before.

Well, you say, God doubled everything but his sons and daughters. He ended up with seven sons and three daughters, just like he had at the beginning. No. You forget he has seven sons and three daughters in heaven, and seven sons and three daughters more on earth, so God indeed gave Job double everything that he had to start with. That is the mercy of God. He does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men but longs to give them blessing when they come to the place where they can handle the blessing that He wants to give.

Help us to accept Your tender mercies, Lord, and to see behind them Your loving, compassionate heart. Help us, out of our understanding to bring praise to the glory of our great God.

Life Application

Trials are graduate courses where we can learn to trust the immutable purpose of our Father. Do we see him as our kind Father whose desire is always to bless his child?

Devotional by Ray Stedman – A God Of Purpose – A daily devotion for December 28

Topic:A God Of Purpose

Then Job replied to the LORD: I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.
Job 42:1-2


The greatest theme in this book of Job is that it reveals to us the character of God Himself. God often appears to us as a cold, impersonal Being, distant from us, uncaring, even ruthless and vindictive, demanding many things from us–a powerful Being but without compassion. I am sure if you conducted a poll you would find that to be the most common view of God in the world today. The average people on the street, if they think of God at all, think of Him as being a rather cold and distant Being who is powerful and just, hard and demanding, an angry God. This God is commonly called the Old Testament God, as though God were two kinds of beings, one in the Old Testament and one in the New.

But what the book of Job shows is that behind that appearance (and even Job saw Him that way for a while), God is always exactly what He is, not ruthless and cold, but actually deeply aware of our problems. He is concerned about us, carefully controlling everything that touches us, limiting the power of Satan and allowing certain expressions, according to His knowledge of how much we can bear. He is patient, forgiving, and ultimately responsible for all that happens.

In the beginning of this book, the reader’s attention is focused on three beings: God, Satan, and Job. By the end of the book, Satan has completely disappeared. All you have left is God standing before Job, saying to him, All right, Job, I’m responsible. Any questions? When Job begins to see what God is working out in His vast, cosmic purposes and what He is making possible by means of Job’s sufferings, he has no questions to ask whatsoever. The final view of God in this book is of a Being of incredible wisdom who puts things together far beyond human dreams and imaginations, who is working out incredible plans of infinite delight and joy that He will give to us if we wait for His purposes to be fully resolved.

The Lord mentions a time when all the sons of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7 RSV) at the creation of the world, but other Scriptures tell us about a future time when the sons of God will be revealed (Romans 8:19), when all creation will shout in a greater glory than was ever hailed at the first creation in the new creation that God has brought into being by means of the sufferings, the trials, and the tribulations of this present scene. That is why Scripture speaks in numerous passages about our light and momentary troubles that are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (2 Corinthians 4:17). When that day breaks, the one thing for which we will be infinitely thankful, the one thing above all others that will thrill us and cheer us and cause us to glory, is the fact that out of all the created universe, we were chosen to be the ones who bore the name of God in the hour of danger and affliction, problem and trial. There is no higher honor than that.

Our Father, I do count it indeed a mighty privilege to bear reproach for Your name’s sake. I know that the day is coming when that will be my chief joy.

Life Application
Pain is often God’s megaphone to re-focus our attention on our gracious Lord. Are we so caught up in worldly minutia that we miss seeing the vast plan of God’s love?

Devotional by Ray Stedman – A Willing Spirit – A daily devotion for October 24

Topic:A Willing Spirit

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalm 51:12

Ray Stedman

Several years ago, while I was preparing to preach a sermon on this psalm, I received an anonymous letter from someone in my congregation saying that he was a Christian but was involved in a very serious and continuing moral failure. The letter was an attempt to be honest and tell me the trouble in his life. I didn’t know if that person would be in the service the next Sunday or not, but I hoped he would be.

I decided to refer to the letter in my sermon for two reasons: first, because it was anonymous, and I could do it without betraying a confidence; and second, because the problem was of such a serious nature that I wanted to help the person if I could.

The writer had acknowledged that he knew the action was wrong but finally excused himself on the basis that God had not yet given him the power to break away from it. That was self-deception. The truth is that God has given us the power to break away from these things. Peter clearly declares: His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The very possession of the life of Jesus Christ in us is the power that it takes to break away from habits of sin. No one will ever be free from the awful grip of evil upon their lives until they understand that they already have from God all that it takes to be free, if they will but step out upon it.

David is also asking for help. Lord, give me this willing spirit, he says, and God immediately gives it. Then it must be acted on. That is the point. Do not wait for a feeling to come that you are forgiven. God has said you are forgiven. Do not wait for a feeling of power to possess you. God has declared He has already given you the power. As you believe Him (and that is what faith is), you can do what you need to do and what God wants you to do.

That is what happened with David, and that is what happened with the anonymous letter writer. After preaching that sermon, I found out the person had been in that service, because he later wrote a second anonymous letter. This time he shared how God had used that message to deliver him from the grip of the evil relationship he had described before.

Lord, thank You for giving me all that I need for both forgiveness and power through the Lord Jesus.

Life Application
We can choose to be helpless victims of ruinous habits, but God provides an alternative. Are we willing to be set free by Christ’s divine power?

Devotional by Ray Stedman – No Faith – A daily devotion for January 9

Topic:No Faith
A daily devotion for January 9th

Do you still have no faith?
Mark 4:40c

Ray Stedman

This is why people become afraid–because they lose faith. Faith is the answer to fear. Faith is always the answer to our fears, regardless of what they are. Jesus put His finger right on it: “Do you still have no faith?”

Well, evidently they did not. They had forgotten all the things He said to them in the Sermon on the Mount about the extent of God’s care for them: “Are you not much more valuable than flowers and birds? God cares for them; will he not much more care for you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30). Here Jesus was in the boat with them; their fate would be His fate; and yet they had forgotten this.

How would these men have acted, do you think, if they had faith? Suppose their faith had been strong–their faith in Him and in God’s care and love–what would they have done? One thing is certain: they would not have wakened Him; they would have let Him rest. He was tired and needed the rest badly. They would have done so because their faith would have reminded them of two great facts: First, the boat will not sink; it cannot sink when the Master of ocean and earth and sky is in it. Second, the storm will not last forever.

A good friend of mine, a handsome young evangelist from another country, told me about all the troubles he and his wife were going through. He was dejected. She was struggling with severe physical problems, ill health arising from asthma and bronchitis, which constantly kept her down. They had gone through years of struggle with this condition of hers already, and it seemed to pull the bottom out of everything he attempted to do. Here they were planning to go back to their own country, and now she was sick again. He came to me discouraged.

I remember turning to this incident in Mark and reciting this story and saying to him, “Remember, the boat will not sink, and the storm will not last forever. That is having faith–to remember those facts.” He thanked me, we prayed together, and he left. I did not see him for a couple of months; then we ran into each other. I said, “How are things going? How is your wife?” He said, “Oh, not much better. She’s still having terrible struggles. She can’t breathe and can’t take care of the children or the house, and we have a hard time. But I do remember two things: the boat will not sink, and the storm will not last forever!” So I prayed with him again.

After a while I received a note from him. He and his family had gone back to their country, and there they had found the answer. A doctor discovered a minor deficiency in his wife’s diet that needed to be remedied. When that was done, the asthma and bronchitis disappeared, and she was in glorious, radiant health, and they were rejoicing together. At the bottom of the page he had written, “The boat will not sink, and the storm will not last forever.”

I thank You. Lord, that You are here with me to comfort and strengthen me, to reassure me, and to take me through whatever storms may come. I know You are not here to stop the storms from coming, but to take me through them.

Life Application
How would we respond to our fears if we acted on the basis of faith in God’s sovereignty? Today’s circumstances allow us to see our lives from His point of view.

Devotional by Ray Stedman – Seed Thoughts – A daily devotion for January 7

Topic:Seed Thoughts
A daily devotion for January 7th

He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.”
Mark 4:26-27

Ray Stedman

This is a secret of the kingdom of God, and to me it is one of the most encouraging of all the parables Jesus ever uttered. He is speaking of how this rule of God increases, how it grows in a life. He explains it as a coming to harvest by a patient expectation that God will work. The key of this whole passage is, “the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.” That is, there are forces at work that will be faithful to perform their work—whether a farmer stews and frets about it or not. Farmers do what they can do, what is expected of them. But then God must work. And God will work. And in the confidence of that, this farmer rests secure. As Jesus draws the picture this farmer goes out to sow. It is hard work as he sows the field, but this is what he can do. But then he goes home and goes to bed. He does not sit up all night biting his fingernails, wondering if the seed fell in the right places or whether it will take root. Nor does he rise the next morning and go out and dig it up to see whether or not it has sprouted yet. He rests secure in the fact that God is at work, that He has a part in this process, and He must do it; no one can do it for Him. But he will faithfully perform it. So the farmer rests secure, knowing that as the seed grows there are stages that are observable: “first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.” It is only as the grain is ripe that he is called into action again. When the harvest is ready, then he is to act once more.

This is exactly what Paul describes for us in that passage in 1 Corinthians 3:9a: “For we are God’s fellow workers.” This is the way we ought to expect Him to work. It involves a witness first, perhaps a word of teaching or exhortation to someone—or to ourselves. And then an inevitable process begins, one that takes time and patience and allows God to work. One of the most destructive forces at work in the church today is our insistent demand for instant results. We want to have immediate conversions, immediate responses every time we speak. We tend not to allow time for the Word to take root and grow and come to harvest.

I have watched a boy in Peninsula Bible Church (PBC) growing up since grade school. I watched him come into adolescence and enter into a period of deep and bitter rebellion against God. I watched his parents, hurt and crushed by his attitudes, yet nevertheless praying for him—saying what they could to him—but above all holding him up in prayer. I watched the whole process as the seed that had been sown in his heart took root and began to grow. There were tiny observable signs of change occurring. Gradually he came back to the Lord. And as an adult young man, he asked me to fill out a reference for him to go to seminary. That is the Word growing secretly. The sower knows not how it happens but can rest secure in this.

Our Lord is teaching us the fantastic truth that God is at work. It does not all depend on us!

Thank You, Lord that I can trust that as I do my part and sow the seed of Your Word wherever I can, You will do the rest.

Life Application
We have the privilege of sowing the fertile seed of the gospel. Do we trust the sovereign work of the Spirit to produce a harvest, or rely on our own effectiveness?

Devotional by Ray Stedman – Warning, Warning! – A daily devotion for December 9

Topic:Warning, Warning!
A DAILY DEVOTION FOR DECEMBER 9TH
READ THE SCRIPTURE: HEBREWS 3:7-15

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.
Hebrews 3:12-14

Ray Stedman

We share in Christ if that faith which began continues to produce in us that which faith alone can produce, the fruit of the Spirit. This is an important warning of this book; a warning against the danger of hardening — of hearing the words and believing them, understanding what they mean, but of taking no action upon them. The peril of holding truth in the head, but never letting it get into the heart. But truth known never does anything; it is truth done which sets us free. Truth known simply puffs us up in pride of knowledge. We can quote the Scriptures by the yard, can memorize it, can know the message of every book and know the whole book from cover to cover, but truth known will never do anything for us. It is truth done, truth acted upon, that moves and delivers and changes.

The terrible danger which the writer is pointing out is that truth that is known but not acted on has an awful effect of hardening the heart so that it is no longer able to act — and we lose the ability to believe. This is what the Lord Jesus meant when he said to his disciples, If they believe not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe though one should rise from the dead, (Luke 16:31).

A man said to me, If we only had the ability to do miracles like the early church did, then we could really make this Christian cause go. If we could perform these things again, and had faith enough to do miracles, we could make people believe. But I had to tell him that after thirty years of observing this scene, and studying the Scriptures, I am absolutely convinced that if God granted us this power, as he is perfectly able to do, so that miracles were being demonstrated on every hand, there would not be one further Christian added to the cause of Christ than there is right now! At the close of Jesus’ own ministry, after that remarkable demonstration of the power of God in the midst of people, how many stood with him at the foot of the cross? A tiny band of women and one man, and they had been won, not by his miracles, but by his words.

This is why God says up in verse 11, I swore in my wrath, They shall never enter my rest. That is not petulance. That does not mean God is upset because he has offered something and they will not take it. That is simply a revelation of the nature of the case. When truth is known and not acted upon, it always, on every level of life, in any area of human knowledge, has this peculiar quality: It hardens, so the heart is not able to believe what it refuses to act on.

Father, may I heed this important warning and act upon that truth which you have shown me.

Life Application
Are we trivializing the eternal loss to our souls of simply knowing, while deliberately failing to live, biblical Truth? What is the short term as well as long term loss?

Devotional by Ray Stedman – Perfect Through Suffering – A daily devotion for December 7

Topic:Perfect Through Suffering
A DAILY DEVOTION FOR DECEMBER 7TH
READ THE SCRIPTURE: HEBREWS 2:10-18

In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.
Hebrews 2:10

Ray Stedman

The earthly life of Jesus is referred to in one phrase, perfect through what he suffered. Was he not perfect when he came? When Jesus was a babe in Bethlehem’s manger, was he not perfect even then? When he was tempted in the desert and Satan tried to turn him from the cross, was he not already perfect? When he was feeding the five thousand, in compassionate ministry to the hungry multitudes, was he not perfect? Why then does it say he was perfected by suffering?

There are, of course, two perfections involved. He was perfect in his person all along, but he was not yet perfect in his work. A person may be perfect in health, perfect in body, perfect in strength, perfect in soundness of humanity, but not yet perfect in the work they are called to do. Suppose Jesus Christ had come full-grown into the world a week before he died. Suppose he had never been born as a baby and grown up into adult life, but had stepped into the earth full-grown as a man. Suppose he had uttered in one week’s time the Sermon on the Mount, the Olivet Discourse, the Upper Room Discourse and all the teachings that we have from his lips recorded in Scripture. Imagine that he came on Monday and on Friday they took him out and crucified him, hanging him on the cross, and that he died, bearing the sins of the world. Would he still have been a perfect Savior?

Certainly he would have been perfect as far as bearing our guilt is concerned — that only required a sinless Savior. But he would not have been perfect as far as bearing our infirmities, our weaknesses, is concerned. He would have been able to fit us for heaven, but never able to make us ready for earth right now. In such a case, we could always say, How can God expect me to live a perfect life in my situation? After all, I’m only human! Christ has never been where I am. What does he know of my pressures, what does he know of what I’m up against? But he was made perfect through his suffering. He does know, he does know!

He was a man who experienced fear and uncertainty. If we deny him this, we deny him his identification with us as humans. These were the temptations he faced, the pressures he withstood. Every fear is temptation, every sense of uncertainty is temptation. Of course he never acted out of uncertainty, he never spoke out of fear. The moment Jesus felt fear gripping his heart, he leaned back upon the full-flowing life of the indwelling Father and that fear was met by faith. The moment he felt uncertain, he rested back upon the indwelling wisdom of God and was immediately given a word that was the right word for the situation. Yet, because he fully entered into our fears and pressures, he is fully one with us and able to bring many sons and daughters to glory.

Lord, grant me depth, honesty, and earnestness that I may believe this marvelous ministry made available to me by the Lord Jesus in bringing many sons and daughters to glory through that which he suffered.

Life Application
Jesus suffered intense temptation to sin, yet further chose to bear the sins of the world on the cross for our salvation. Do we grasp the depths of His suffering and His total identification with us in our sin and in our suffering?

Devotional by Ray Stedman – The Power to Cleanse – A daily devotion for December 3

Topic:The Power to Cleanse
A DAILY DEVOTION FOR DECEMBER 3RD
READ THE SCRIPTURE: HEBREWS 1:3B-4

He provided the way for people to be made pure from sin. Then he sat down at the right hand of the King, the Majesty in heaven.
Hebrews 1:3b

Ray Stedman

Jesus is the final and complete word of God to man because he has solved the deepest problem in human life — the problem of human sinfulness. Everybody today is asking, in the face of some of the tragic things that are happening, What’s wrong with humanity? What’s wrong with life? Why is the world in a such a mess? Why are our papers filled with murder and violence and hate and corruption and darkness? The answer of Scripture universally is, Man’s sin, or, to put it even more realistically, and more helpfully, to us, Man’s selfishness. That is what lies at the root of it all, the terrible taint that all of us possess that can never be washed away by our own efforts. Like Lady Macbeth, we all want to cry out and curse the spot and stain. Yet it is never gone.

The amazing declaration of Scripture is that the reason the Creator of the world became the Babe of Bethlehem was that he might make purification for human selfishness, that he might solve the insoluble problem, and wash away the UN-washable stain. The good news is that every one of us who has found Christ, who has come to him, and who follows him finds again and again that he has the power to cleanse us. He has the power to put away the guilt of the past, whether it is the past 50 years of life or the past five minutes of time. He has the power to cleanse it, and wash it away, and to set us on our feet again with a clean slate and a fresh page to write on every day, to live life again in the power and the grace of the living God. That is the greatest message of all. When he had made purification for sins (what agony, what terrible hurt is involved in that phrase), he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Jesus is Lord: this was the early creed of the Church and it is the creed of all who come to know him now. He has solved that desperate problem of human life; he is in control and in charge of all human events.

Father, thank you for the Lord of Glory. It is with very inadequate words that I seek to set forth the amazing wonder that he, this Lord of Glory, should give himself to come in the form of a helpless child and become a man, that he might die for me to set me free and make purification for sins. Thank you for this. I pray that I will never forget that I am a redeemed creature, that I have no value in myself, but have eternal value in the One who loved me and gave himself for me.

Life Application
Have we been scandalized by our own selfishness? Are we learning to bring this intolerable burden to Jesus for our cleansing and healing? If not, to whom shall we go, what path shall we take? Is there another?

Devotional by Ray Stedman – That You May Become What I Am – A daily devotion for November 27

Topic:That You May Become What I Am
A DAILY DEVOTION FOR JULY 27TH
READ THE SCRIPTURE: ACTS 26:24-32

King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do. Then Agrippa said to Paul, Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian? Paul replied, Short time or long — I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.
Acts 26:27-29

Ray Stedman

As Paul continues speaking directly to Agrippa he says, King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe. Do you see what he’s saying? He is saying, You know the historical facts of Jesus’ life. You believe the prophets. So put the two together. What did the prophets say the Messiah would do? Where does that drive you? Jesus fulfilled what the prophets wrote.

At this point this enslaved king, mastered by his own lusts, is faced right into the issue. You can just see him squirming up there on his throne. Unfortunately his answer is to turn his back on what Paul says. It is a little difficult to understand exactly what he replied. The Greek is a bit obscure. Certainly he didn’t say what we have in our King James Version: Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. He is not saying, You’ve almost got me, Paul. You almost have me convinced. Many a message has been preached on that theme, as though Agrippa had almost come to the point of becoming a Christian. It is much more likely that he said with almost sneering sarcasm, Do you really think that in this short a time you’re going to make me a Christian? You’ve got to do a lot more than that if you’re going to make me a Christian!

Paul’s reply is magnificent. With a heavy heart he says, King Agrippa, whether I had to spend a short time or a long time with you, I just want you to know that the hunger of my heart is that not only you, on your throne with your wife beside you, but that every one in this room could be like I am — except for these chains. This is a magnificent answer! It is hardly the answer of a prisoner, is it? As he stands there he says, I wish you could be like I am. I wish you had the peace, the liberty, the power, the joy, the gladness of my heart and life.

What an appeal out of a great heart! What a revelation of the greatness of the gospel! It can rise above every circumstance, every situation, and fill the heart with joy, so that a man in chains, bound and a prisoner, can stand before a king and say, Even though you are a king, and you have all that wealth can buy, I would gladly recommend that you become like I am, so great is this glorious liberty in Jesus Christ. It is a challenging moment, a marvelous presentation of the freedom that the gospel gives, that this chained prisoner could thus challenge a king upon his throne and offer to trade places with him. But remember that Agrippa is a Herod. He is an Edomite, a descendant of Esau. Esau stands throughout Scripture as a mark of that independent spirit which refuses help from God, which turns its back upon all the love of God poured out to reach us, and in independent arrogance refuses the proffered hand of God’s grace. That is what this king does. And now he fades from history. He is the last of the line of the Herods. But Paul’s great words ring in our ears down through the centuries. There is nothing like the liberty of Jesus Christ. No external condition of wealth or prestige or power is worth a snap of the finger compared with the freedom and the power and the joy and the gladness that a man can find in Jesus Christ.

Father, thank you for the freedom you give me in Christ, a freedom so great that no human circumstance can rob me of my joy in you. Please let this freedom and joy make me unashamed of the Gospel like Paul.

Life Application
Are we unfettered from our circumstances, liberated by new ownership to the transcendent power of our indwelling Savior and Lord? Are we claiming the liberating practice of Christ’s presence as the essence of life?

Devotional by Ray Stedman – By Faith In Me – A daily devotion for November 26

Topic:By Faith In Me
A DAILY DEVOTION FOR JULY 26TH
READ THE SCRIPTURE: ACTS 25:1-26:23

Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
Acts 26:16-18

Ray Stedman

Here is the heart of Paul’s message before King Agrippa — his own transforming experience with Jesus Christ, in which in a nutshell he lays the good news out before the king. What a marvelous declaration of the gospel! Here from the words of Jesus himself, as Paul recalls hearing them on the Damascus road, is an accurate analysis of the problem with humanity. What is the matter with people? They are blind, Jesus says, blind and living in darkness.

Two thousand years later that is exactly what is wrong with our world. People do not know where to turn; they do not know where the answers lie. They do not even know how to analyze the problems accurately; they cannot see what is happening. They cannot predict the end of courses they adopt nor of the forces which they loose. They do not know where we are going. They are utterly blind, like men staggering around in a dark room, groping and feeling and trying to find their way through the course of history. This sense of being lost pervades our society. Two thousand years later we can see the truth of Jesus’ words. How accurately he analyzes the problem!

Then the Lord Jesus analyzes why men are blind. Because, he says, they are under the power of Satan. Behind the darkness is the great enemy of mankind, who is twisting and distorting the thinking of men, clouding their eyes, and spreading abroad widespread delusions. He has loosed into this world a great flood of lying propaganda. And everywhere today men and women have believed these delusions and lies.

You hear them on every side. All the commonly accepted philosophies of our day reflect the basic satanic lie that we are capable and adequate and independent, able to run our own affairs. You also hear that if you live for yourself, take care of number one, you will find advancement and fulfillment in life. And you hear that material things can satisfy you, that, if you get enough money, you will be happy. All these lies permeate our society. That is the power of Satan.

But the power of the gospel is that it comes in to turn men from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to the power of God. God has found a way to forgive men’s sins, to wipe out all the guilt from the mistakes of the past, from all that they have done in their ignorance and enslavement to the lying propaganda of Satan, and to give them a resource from which they may live in fulfillment and strength. That is what Jesus means by a place among those who are sanctified. How do you get this? Jesus says precisely: By faith in me. That is why we believe him when he says, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man can come unto the Father but by me. We have no other choice, because it was Jesus himself who said that all this happens by faith in me. Wherever men have turned to him, they have indeed turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to the power of God.

Father, how grateful I am that this same mighty, delivering power is just as available to people today, that you can turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, and forgive their sins, and set them free, and give them an inheritance, a new position, a new resource from which they may live.

Life Application
Have we been so impacted by Jesus, the Light of the world, that we are passionate to spread his Light into the deep, dark blindness that holds this world hostage to the enemy? Do our lives demonstrate the transcendent wisdom and power of Jesus? Are we spreading the fragrance of Jesus everywhere?