Change Begins Today

Daily Devotional: Day 97

“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years’” (Hebrews 3:7-9, NKJV).

Today’s Scripture reading is referencing Psalm 95:7-9.

During the forty years Israel walked with God in the desert, many of the people rebelled against God. The rebellion was primarily in the form of disobedience and lack of trust. Of course, if you can’t trust the Lord, you can’t walk with Him. Many Israelites perished in the desert because of their stubbornness and unbelief.

What everyone ought to realize is that God and His Word are inseparable. If you trust God, it means you trust the words that come out of His mouth. And the way you show that you trust His Words is by obeying His commandments. Think about it: Why would you obey someone you don’t trust? Or why would you disobey someone you trust? Trust and obedience, therefore, go hand in hand.

The biggest obstacle to God’s Word is hardness of heart. When the heart is hardened, a person always looks for an excuse to ignore the voice of God or to postpone his decision to obey God. Hardness of heart is a serious spiritual disease that can frustrate God and jeopardize one’s salvation. That is why in today’s passage, the Holy Spirit warns us as he did the Israelites, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts . . .”

One day, Saul, the first king of Israel, disobeyed the voice of God. In response, here is what the prophet Samuel said, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23). When God compares disobedience to witchcraft and idolatry, we need to pay attention.

Decide today: If you need to abandon a sinful lifestyle, the decision to do so is today, not tomorrow. Why repent tomorrow when you can repent today? If you need to start attending church, the decision is today, not tomorrow. If you need to trust in Jesus for salvation, today is your day. If you must start honoring your parents, the time is now.

Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day of change. Today is the day of decision. If you ignore God’s voice today, tomorrow may be too late. Train yourself through study of the Bible to hear God’s voice. And when you do hear His voice, take prompt action. God bless you. Amen.

Prayer:

Dear Father, thank you for your Word today. Remove from my heart every resistance to you, and by your Holy Spirit, enable me to obey your voice. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen. 

For further study: Hebrews 3:1-19

Ready for a Change?

Daily Devotional: Day 49

“Behold I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1Corinthians 15:51-52, KJV).

The word mystery is translated from the Greek word mystērion. It means, among other things, a secret, i.e. something hidden, known only to members within a group. A mystery is no longer a mystery once it’s revealed to us. It remains, however, a mystery to those outside the group. Christian mysteries, for example, are revealed for the understanding and edification of believers; but unbelievers can’t comprehend these mysteries (See 1 Corinthians 2:6-16). Plenty of divine mysteries are revealed to us in the Bible. Today, Apostle Paul talks to us about one of them: the changing of our perishable bodies into imperishable bodies. Look at your body, from the hair on your head to the toes of your feet. What you just saw, to use a fancy tech terminology, is Version 1.0 of your body. This is the body that shall be changed. Currently, the only person with a Version 2.0 body (i.e. a resurrected body) is Jesus Christ. When he returns, then our body, too, shall change from perishable (Version 1.0) to imperishable (Version 2.0).

Christ Jesus shall return anytime, so be ready. The Bible says that we shall not all sleep, i.e. die. When Jesus appears, some of us – believers – will still be alive in this world, but others would have already died. Nonetheless, all believers, alive or dead, shall be changed. This change, the Bible says, shall happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. The word moment is translated from the Greek word atomos. It means indivisible. The change in your body shall, therefore, happen quicker than you can say the word “hi.” The last trumpet shall sound without warning, and the dead in Christ shall be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. This is the basis for your hope in Christ. It’s the basis for your joyful expectation of Jesus’ return. It’s also your motivation to yield your current body to God as an instrument of righteousness (See Romans 6:12-14). Your brand new imperishable body shall not be subject to corruption: no more makeup; no more anti-aging products; no more wrinkles; no more weight control; no more doctor’s appointment; no more pain; no more dying. Get ready for the change.

Prayer:

Dear Father, thank you for sealing me with the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption. Thank you for the resurrection of Jesus and my share in it. Fill my heart with ardent expectation of Christ’s appearing.  In the name of Jesus. Amen. 

For further study: 1 Corinthians 15:1-58