Johnny Hunt has been the general editor for seven MyDailyTM books, which have sold more than 340,000 units. Fifty Southern Baptist pastors have provided six devotions each to make up this 312 day devotional. Through Scripture, a devotional thought, and a prayer, trusted pastors communicate God’s faithfulness all year long. This book will be an encouraging devotional in particular for the parishioners of these congregations as well as others in the Southern Baptist denomination and for anyone who needs a reminder of God’s faithfulness day after day and how we show our love to Him through our faithfulness.
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God Is Faithful
My Daily Devotional
By Thomas Nelson
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2014 Thomas Nelson
All rights reserved.
Week 1 — Monday
A Sin-Filled Silence
When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long.
Which do you want first — the good news or the bad? Many of us choose the bad news. Maybe we want to save the better for last. Or maybe the bad sweetens the good for us. The bad news of Psalm 32:3 can definitely make the good news sweeter.
And the bad news is the price of keeping silent about sin. When David "kept silent," he reported, "my bones grew old through my groaning." The implication is to confess your sin and experience God's forgiveness.
Confession is the only means of receiving God's forgiveness. Those who hope to receive righteousness in return for their good works misunderstand the law. God gave us the law so we could recognize our sin (Romans 3:20); God gave us His Son so we could be forgiven of that sin. And this is the process of forgiveness:
Conviction: "For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer" (Psalm 32:4).
Confession: "I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,' and You forgave the iniquity of my sin" (Psalm 32:5).
Confidence: "You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance" (Psalm 32:7).
Holy God, help me be aware when You are convicting me, ready to confess from those sins, and freed to live confidently in Your presence. I am grateful that You called me to be Your child.
Week 1 — Tuesday
The Grace of Forgiveness
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
It's a startling description of a man after God's own heart.
According to John Phillips in Exploring Psalms, Volume One: An Expository Commentary, David was one of the greats in all of Scripture — a great saint, a great sage, and a great sovereign. But he was also one of the greatest sinners of the Bible. Phillips writes, "He sinned with a high-handed rebellion and with a depth of cunning and duplicity which would astonish us did we not know the wickedness of our own hearts."
David was a haunted man after his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah, but for an entire year after his sin, David put up a bold front. When God finally sent Nathan to confront David, the broken man recognized his sin, cried tears of repentance, and accepted God's offer of forgiveness.
David then promised in Psalm 51:13 to teach transgressors God's ways. David did so by writing Psalm 32, a Maschil or teaching psalm from the Hebrew hymnbook. Promise kept!
And what a blessing for subsequent God-followers! As St. Augustine wisely said more than fifteen hundred years ago, "The beginning of knowledge is to know thyself to be a sinner." He kept a copy of Psalm 32 over his bed as a daily reminder of his need for God's grace.
Spirit, thank You for helping me recognize my sin. Jesus, thank You for taking on the punishment for my sin. And thank You, God, for this grace-filled process of forgiveness.
Week 1 — Wednesday
Grace in Any Culture
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
In our postmodern culture, you'd think sin were a four-letter word. Rarely in mainstream media is sin a topic of discussion. Problems in people's lives are caused by a variety of things (parenting, socioeconomics, physiology) other than sin. In Psalm 32, though, David used four different words for sin.
Transgression is rebellion, a revolt against a lawful authority. David had disobeyed God's commandment: "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14).
Sin is missing the mark or falling short of the target, the ideal, or God's established standards. As the apostle Paul noted, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
Iniquity refers to being twisted, crooked, or bent, and human nature is definitely warped like that instead of being straight, perfect, and true. This condition is what we call "original sin," that is, the corruption of God's "very good" man and woman.
Deceit refers to the insincerity and duplicity of human nature. David chose deceit and guile over truth, seeking to hide his sins, and, when that failed, pretended nothing was wrong. We too can pretend that we have done, said, or thought nothing wrong; we can pretend righteousness.
In order to help us recognize our transgression, sin, iniquity, and deceit, God chastens us, lets us deal with consequences, allows us to hit rock bottom — so that we may know His forgiveness and cleansing. And that is grace in any culture.
Thank You, Almighty God, for the Scripture that helps me recognize my sin, for the Holy Spirit who convicts me of that sin, and for Your forgiveness that awaits my confession.
Week 1 — Thursday
Jesus' Blood of Grace
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
Sometimes a verse is a favorite because it is misunderstood. Romans 5:20, for instance, says, "Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more." But Paul countered those who think this is carte blanche to sin (more of a showcase for God's grace, right?) when he said, "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!" (Romans 6:1–2). Were we to continue in our sin, knowing it was sin, we would be cheapening God's grace toward us.
In The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer introduced the concept of cheap grace. Choosing to sin because we know we'll be forgiven is one among many examples. However, in light of the cost of God's grace — Jesus' death on the cross — we are not to be so casual about the forgiveness He extends us. Furthermore, the assurance of God's forgiveness is promised to the person "in whose spirit is no deceit." In other words, God promises to forgive only those who sincerely confess their sins.
When God forgives us, He washes away the stain of our sin (1 John 1:9) and lifts from us the great weight of our guilt. God removes the guilt we rightfully feel after we have chosen to sin. (The scapegoat of Leviticus 16:21–22 illustrates sin being removed from the sinners.) And when God forgives us, He regards our sin as a matter in the past, so He does not bring it up anymore as a ground for His displeasure.
When we cease to hide our sins (when we confess our sins), God will hide it under His blood (He will forgive us).
Holy God, may I never hesitate to confess to You my sin.
Week 1 — Friday
The Father's Gracious Chastening
When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer.
Jesus Christ paid with His life for the forgiveness of our sins. Read that sentence again to hear it afresh — after costing Jesus everything, God's forgiveness is free to us.
But as David's experience — and perhaps yours — illustrates, we may not personally pay to be forgiven by God for our sins, but we can pay dearly when we choose unforgiveness, when we cling to our sins rather than confessing them and moving into the light of God's forgiveness.
As Charles Spurgeon noted, "God does not permit His children to sin successfully." The chastening (disciplining) that we sinners experience isn't a judge's punishment of a criminal; it's a loving Father's dealings with His disobedient children to bring them to the place of surrender. The Lord's discipline is a biblical reminder of His love and desire that we "be partakers of His holiness" (Hebrews 12:10). We are therefore wise to confess our sin, trusting that God will "forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more" (Jeremiah 31:34).
The gratification of earthly desire that often prompts sin is elusive, a shadow, a fiction; but the blessedness of the justified, of the person to whom God imparted righteousness, is substantial, true, and eternal.
Lord God, clinging to sin takes my eyes off of You and robs me of my vitality. Remind me of Your fatherly love. Help me choose forgiveness and keep me from taking that first step toward sin!
Week 1 — Weekend
God's Grace for David — and for You
I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
In Repentance: The First Word of the Gospel, Richard Owen Roberts observed our requests for forgiveness come from pressure from three directions: upwardly, one's recognition of being "poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3); inwardly, mourning over one's sin (v. 4); and outwardly, as "a hunger and thirst for righteousness" (v. 6).
Apparently David experienced this work of the Holy Spirit before he wrote Psalm 32:5. In this verse, David came clean before God: "I acknowledged my sin to You." He confessed his sinful nature and brought it into the light: "And my iniquity I have not hidden." David had experienced both the pain that results from not confessing his sin and the truth of Proverbs 28:13 — "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy."
Ready to admit his sin and very aware of his iniquity, David was ready to confess to God: "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord." To confess is to be in agreement with God about one's sin.
In his sin, David was falling. In his iniquity, David was rebelling. In his transgression, David was straying. When he admitted his sin, became aware of his iniquity, and agreed with God about his transgressions, David confessed to God — and God forgave David's sin, iniquity, and transgression. And He will do the same for you.
I join with David in praising You who "are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You" (Psalm 86:5).CHAPTER 2
Week 2 — Monday
Carried by God
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Romans 8:35, 37
In life we experience highs and lows, good times and bad — and we must understand that God is God in the valley and God on the mountaintop.
You may know the story of the poem "Footprints in the Sand." The speaker wonders why, during the most difficult times of life, there was only one set of footprints in the sand. Why had God left her alone in those trials and times of trouble? The Lord replied, "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you."
We experience hard times as individuals and collectively (we'll never forget 9/11, for example), and many times people want to blame God. The truth is, the evil one puts such ideas into the hearts of men, but God is always there to help us get through the aftermath. Such times of tragedy provide a tremendous opportunity for Christians to show the love of God through words and deeds.
Satan tries to use hard times to separate us from God, but hard times can actually push us believers closer to God. The hardest challenges and deepest valleys force us to rely on God. During those struggles we realize He is always there and all we need. We learn in a new way that God's grace is more than sufficient, that "we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your faithfulness and love in valleys and on mountaintops. Use me to bless those I know who are in a valley.
Week 2 — Tuesday
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.
Lost souls are all around us. My eleven-year-old son, Jake, has a dear friend who plays baseball with him. Our entire family has been concerned about this boy's salvation and has prayed for him often.
Several months ago my son and his buddy came into the living room, and I shared in detail the gospel (Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection). He said he knew he was not saved, but wasn't ready. This only increased the weight of the burden we felt for him.
Recently, Jake's friend went to church with us. Afterwards, the boys wanted to go to the ball field to hit. I was exhausted, but I went anyway. From the bleachers I called to the boys to gather at home plate to pray before they started hitting. Jake said, "Okay, Dad, you can lead us."
As I walked onto that field, I felt nudged by the Spirit of God to share the gospel again with this young man, but this time I took a different approach. I said, "At the cross, the Lord got hit by the pitch intended for you, and you got the free base. You know, the Lord Jesus came and died for the sin of the world, but He rose again on the third day victorious over death, hell, and the grave. Then I asked, "What's keeping you from asking Jesus into your heart today? Anything?" He said no, and I had the awesome privilege of leading him to Jesus — at home plate. Now that is a home run! We need to make altars out of our end zones and baseball diamonds, our car pools and neighborhoods — because souls matter!
Lord Jesus, help me to recognize the soul-winning opportunities all around me. Give me the words to speak boldly and in love.
Week 2 — Wednesday
Whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
Everyone must make a decision about Jesus.
James 4:14 reminds us that life is just a vapor. We must accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord in this life before it is too late.
Late one night last summer, I was watching TV when my usually calm wife came racing into the room. "Come in here! Now!"
I followed her into the bedroom and saw our thirteen-year-old daughter sitting on the edge of her bed crying projectile tears. God had convicted her that she was lost and needed to be saved. When she was younger, she had asked Jesus to be her Savior and been baptized, but suddenly she knew she was not truly saved. I hugged her tightly, proud of her for listening to the Spirit of God. She prayed and asked Jesus into her heart that very night. She confessed Him before men, and one day He will present her in heaven.
As an evangelist, I preach every year to thousands of people who are counterfeit Christians. They are church members, but not kingdom members.
They have compartmentalized their relationship with God: He's number one on Sunday but basically irrelevant the rest of the week. How about you? Have you accepted Jesus as your 24/7 Lord? You are a free(will) agent; the decision is yours.
Lord Jesus, I know You alone offer forgiveness. I also know I need You to be my Savior. So I thank You, Jesus, for Your bloody cross and Your empty tomb. Thank You for salvation. Amen.
Week 2 — Thursday
He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
Many times people have said to me at the altar, "God feels a million miles away." To which I respond, "Who moved?"
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Feeling like He is a million miles away has nothing to do with Him. But the devil — who attempts to kill, steal, and destroy God's followers — wants to do everything to prevent you from being saved or, if you're already a follower of Christ, to keep you from being confident about that saving relationship. The enemy will make you fearful or prideful; he wants to ruin your fellowship with God and others, and he will distract you with vocation, leisure, or hobbies. Whatever his choice, we get back into fellowship with God the same way we entered into our relationship with Him: we repent.
God often uses fellow believers to come alongside us to rebuke us and move us toward repentance. Those people are game changers in God's kingdom. They know that when we wander from truth, we wander from Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
But God may want you to be that kind of game changer. If so, go to your wounded or wayward brother or sister in Christ with the right motives and attitudes. Ask God to use you to help the person return to Jesus.
Lord Jesus, use me this day to be a game changer. Give me wisdom, understanding, boldness, mercy, and compassion, so You can use me to help those You put in my path to return to fellowship with You.
Excerpted from God Is Faithful by Thomas Nelson. Copyright © 2014 Thomas Nelson. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
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Table of Contents
ContentsWeek 1 Dr. Johnny Hunt, First Baptist Woodstock, Woodstock, GA, 2,
Week 2 Rev. Brian Fossett, Fossett Evangelistic Ministries, Dalton, GA, 8,
Week 3 Evangelist Junior Hill, Hartselle, AL, 14,
Week 4 Dr. Bob Pitman, Bob Pitman Ministries, Muscle Shoals, AL, 20,
Week 5 Dennis Nunn, Every Believer a Witness Ministries, Dallas, GA, 26,
Week 6 Dr. Larry Thompson, First Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 32,
Week 7 Paul Purvis, First Baptist Church of Temple Terrace, Temple Terrace, FL, 38,
Week 8 Phil Waldrep, Phil Waldrep Ministries, Decatur, AL, 44,
Week 9 Dr. Ted H. Traylor, Olive Baptist Church, Pensacola, FL, 50,
Week 10 Dr. Jim Perdue, Second Baptist Church, Warner Robins, GA, 56,
Week 11 Pastor Jeff Schreve, First Baptist Texarkana, Texarkana, TX, 62,
Week 12 Pastor Steve Flockhart, New Season Church, Hiram, GA, 68,
Week 13 Trevor Barton, Hawk Creek Church, London, KY, 74,
Week 14 Pastor Jeff Crook, Blackshear Place Baptist Church, Flowery Branch, GA, 80,
Week 15 Dr. Adam Dooley, Sunnyvale First Baptist Church, Mesquite, TX, 86,
Week 16 Dr. Ronnie Floyd, Cross Church, Northwest Arkansas, 92,
Week 17 Dr. Don Wilton, First Baptist Church, Spartanburg, SC, 98,
Week 18 Dr. Grant Ethridge, Liberty Baptist Church, Hampton, VA / Suffolk, VA, 104,
Week 19 Dr. Rob Zinn, Immanuel Baptist Church, Highland, CA, 110,
Week 20 Tim DeTellis, New Missions, Orlando, FL, 116,
Week 21 Vance Pitman, Hope Church, Las Vegas, NV, 122,
Week 22 Dr. Frank Cox, North Metro First Baptist Church, Lawrenceville, GA, 128,
Week 23 Chris Dixon, Lead Pastor, Liberty Baptist Church, Dublin, GA, 134,
Week 24 Pastor Roy Mack, Grace Fellowship Church, Warren, OH, 140,
Week 25 Dr. Mike Whitson, FBC Indian Trail, Indian Trail, NC, 146,
Week 26 David Edwards, David Edwards Productions Inc., Oklahoma City, OK, 152,
Week 27 Caz McCaslin, Upward Sports, Spartanburg, SC, 158,
Week 28 Dr. J. Kie Bowman, Hyde Park Baptist Church, Austin, TX, 164,
Week 29 Dr. James Merritt, Cross Pointe Church, Duluth, GA, 170,
Week 30 Dr. Marty Jacumin, Bay Leaf Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC, 176,
Week 31 Dr. William Rice, Calvary Church, Clearwater, FL, 182,
Week 32 Dr. Richard A. Powell, McGregor Baptist Church, Fort Myers, FL, 188,
Week 33 Pastor J. Craig Bowers, First Baptist Church Locust Grove, Locust Grove, GA, 194,
Week 34 Dr. Lee Sheppard, Mabel White Baptist Church, Macon, GA, 200,
Week 35 Rick White, Senior Pastor, The People's Church, Franklin, TN, 206,
Week 36 Dr. Levi Skipper, Concord Baptist Church, Clermont, GA, 212,
Week 37 Dr. Clayton Cloer, First Baptist Church of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, 218,
Week 38 Dr. Alex Himaya, theChurch.at, Tulsa, OK, 224,
Week 39 Rev. Jeremy Morton, Cartersville First Baptist Church, Cartersville, GA, 230,
Week 40 Brad Bowen, Heritage Church, Moultrie, GA, 236,
Week 41 Mark Hoover, NewSpring Church, Wichita, KS, 242,
Week 42 Mike Orr, First Baptist Church, Chipley, FL, 248,
Week 43 Pastor William Crook, Kernan Boulevard Baptist Church, Jacksonville, FL, 254,
Week 44 Dr. Steve Dighton, Lenexa Baptist Church, Lenexa, KS, 260,
Week 45 Dr. Benny Tate, Rock Springs Church, Milner, GA, 266,
Week 46 Tim Anderson, Senior Pastor, Clements Baptist Church, Athens, AL, 272,
Week 47 Dr. Stephen Rummage, Bell Shoals Baptist Church, Brandon, FL, 278,
Week 48 Rev. Bucky Kennedy, First Baptist Church Vidalia, Vidalia, GA, 284,
Week 49 Dr. Bob McCartney, First Baptist Church, Wichita Falls, TX, 290,
Week 50 John Meador, First Baptist Church, Euless, TX, 296,
Week 51 Allan Taylor, Minister of Education, First Baptist Woodstock, Woodstock, GA, 302,
Week 52 Dr. Johnny Hunt, First Baptist Woodstock, Woodstock, GA, 308,
Scripture Index, 318,