God’s Word is filled with blessings and insights that encourage, comfort, and bring joy. Delve into the riches of Scripture through The Believer’s Code, and find each day’s devotional, including Scripture, a daily reading, and a Code Word. The unique Code Words offer a challenge and practical suggestion to put your faith in action.
All author royalties from the book are donated to Mission:Dignity to help pastors, their wives and widows in financial need in their declining years.
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By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
1 John 3:16
You have not passed this way before. ... Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.
New Year's Day provides us with a new beginning, so ...
Be flexible. Don't be afraid of change. Change can be your friend and not your foe.
Be focused. Enter the new year with your eyes on the Lord.
Be faithful. Commit yourself to stay pure in mind, motives, and morals.
Be futuristic. Don't let memories of yesterday be more important than visions of tomorrow.
Be fearless. Jesus is your Good Shepherd, and great is His faithfulness.
At this new beginning, we come to the water's edge. We might be tempted to say, "Lord, just let those waters part, and then I will step in." But — like the priests taking the ark across the Jordan River — we often have to get our feet wet before God begins to "work wonders among us."
Code Word: NEW
"New" is one of those words that almost always finds the welcome mat out at our heart's front door. God is the giver of many wonderful new things. And now He is giving you a new start, a new beginning, a new year!
Lord, You said, "Old things pass away, and all becomes new" As I turn the page to this new year, help me seize the new opportunities it may bring. In Jesus' name, amen.
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.
Psalm 24 prompts us to look toward Calvary, toward that "hill of the Lord" where Christ was crucified and died, an atonement for the sins of the world.
We will be able to "ascend into the hill of the Lord" because of the one Person in all of history whose hands were clean and heart was pure. Knowing I was without hope, He descended from heaven so that I could one day ascend. His clean hands became dirty with the sin of the world, with my sin and yours. Why? So that our dirty hands could become clean and our sinful hearts could be made pure.
So we join the psalmist's praise! We welcome the King of glory to take up residence within us, so that "it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).
Code Word: PURE
Pure — that is one word that you and I are not. We have dirty hands and impure hearts. Your only hope of ascending eternity's hill is in your substitutionary Savior, who took your place.
Lord, help me get out of the way so that "Christ [who] lives in me" may also live through me today. In Jesus' name, amen.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
When he was thirteen, Angel Martinez (1922-1995) became a follower of Jesus — and he preached his first sermon two months later. Besides saving souls during his sixty-year ministry, the evangelist memorized the entire New Testament. So of course Angel clearly knew salvation's cause: our holy God's love for us, His sinful, straying people.
The motivating factor behind God's redemptive plan is His love for us, a love with a "breadth, and length, and depth, and height" that are hard to comprehend (Ephesians 3:18 KJV). The apostle John declared, "God is love" (1 John 4:16) and celebrated "how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God" (1 John 3:1 NASB). God's unfathomable and never-ending love for you is the motivating cause of salvation.
Code Word: CAUSE
We know that everything has a cause and effect. And we know well the story of the cross. Focus today on what really caused Jesus to die on that cross: God's amazing love for you!
Father, You loved me so much You gave Your "only begotten Son" Help me this day to love others as You have loved me ... sacrificially. In Jesus' name, amen.
The righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed ... the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.
Jesus died for all.
Jesus never shows favoritism. He reaches out to each of us — to you and to me whom He created, whom He loves, and whose brokenness and pain He sees. Jesus knows you — including all those hidden thoughts of your heart. And He loves you — deeply. He loves you so much that He took all your sin upon Himself, suffered, and died your death so you could live forgiven of your sin and in relationship with Him. Admit. Confess. Forsake. Mercy still triumphs over judgment.
May we live as if Christ died yesterday and the cross is still standing tall atop Golgotha. May we live as if Christ rose this morning and we can still see His grave clothes, folded neatly, inside the empty tomb. And may we live as if He is coming back tomorrow!
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Code Word: FRESH
Is the gospel story still fresh to you? If not, seek to live today as if the cross is still standing, the tomb is still empty, and He is coming tomorrow.
Lord, come near. May I sense the aroma of Your presence in a fresh way today. In Jesus' name, amen.
You were bought at a price.
1 Corinthians 6:20
For followers of Jesus, salvation refers to being saved from judgment for our sin. God's righteous wrath — and the consequent eternal separation from our holy God — is the appropriate consequence for our sin. But God mercifully provided deliverance from that sentence. This salvation — the free pardoning of our sin and the promise of eternal life — did not come without cost.
Freedom is never free, and in God's economy, freedom from sin is always bought with blood. Starting in Genesis and woven throughout Scripture, a scarlet thread indicates the blood atonement God requires for the forgiveness of sin. This condition for salvation is ultimately fulfilled in the final sacrifice for sin: Jesus died on a cross outside the gates of Jerusalem. Jesus not only spoke of His love for us, "but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Our salvation came at a great cost: God "gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16). That is the gospel.
Code Word: COST
The value of an object is determined by its cost. Your salvation came at a high cost: the death of the Father's only Son — in your place! How very valuable you are to God!
Father, no one's love for me compares to Your love. Help me this day to live worthy of the tremendous price You paid. In Jesus' name, amen.
John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"
There seems to be a forgotten word in our Christian vocabulary. The word? Repentance. The call to repent is strangely absent today, yet it was the message of all the prophets. It was the message of John the Baptist when he preached in the wilderness (Matthew 3:1-2). It was the message with which the Lord Jesus commenced His ministry (Matthew 4:17). It was the message of the apostles as they preached throughout the known world (Mark 6:12). It was the message that birthed the church at Pentecost (Acts 2:37-38). It was the missionary message of the apostle Paul (Acts 17:30). In the final book of the Bible, it is John's message to the churches of Asia (Revelation 2:5). In fact, this call to repent is woven throughout Scripture, appearing on almost every page.
Repentance involves recognizing your sin, acknowledging it before God, receiving His forgiveness, and turning away from that behavior and attitude.
Code Word: TURN
Repentance is not a right turn or a left turn at an intersection of life. It is a U-turn, turning around from your own selfish desires and heading in the direction of Christ and His plan for your life.
Lord, as an act of my will I turn to You and seek only Your face today. In Jesus' name, amen.
Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.
Is our Lord weeping with you or over you today? There is a huge difference between the two.
If He is weeping over you, it's time to repent of your sin.
If He is weeping with you in your pain, be encouraged by the promise of Revelation 21:4. We read that in heaven "God will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes." King David put it this way: "His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5). This is our hope: one day our compassionate God will wipe away all our tears.
We have a Lord who is not far off and removed. He is very near. He is touched by our broken hearts, and He weeps with us. And He is troubled by our blinded eyes, and He weeps over us.
Code Word: EXPECTANCY
What a promise — weeping may endure for a night. But joy comes in the morning! God can see past today. Can you?
Lord, help me live today in light of what is coming-joy in the morning. In Jesus' name, amen.
"A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.... A certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion."
Luke 10:30, 33
This Samaritan could have passed by the bleeding man, but he didn't. The Samaritan carried the man to an inn, left him in the care of the innkeeper, paid his bill in advance, and promised to return in a few days to pay for any extra expenses.
Consider that each of us has been the wounded man. Jesus saw us beaten, battered by sin, and lying on the side of the road. Overwhelmed by compassion and love for us, He left heaven, came into our world, and provided for us. He died on the cross for our sins so that we could know complete spiritual health and wholeness as well as eternity with Him.
Praise God for our compassionate and gracious Lord!
Code Word: NEED
Open your eyes today. There are needs all around you. Learn from this Samaritan. See the need, feel the need, meet the need.
Lord, help me to really "see" the needs of others who cross my path today and meet them. In Jesus' name, amen.
"He who believes in Me has everlasting life."
The promise of everlasting life is stated in John 3:16, which one wise believer expanded this way:
For God ... the greatest Lover so loved ... the greatest degree the world ... the greatest company that He gave ... the greatest act His only begotten Son ... the greatest gift that whoever ... the greatest opportunity believes ... the greatest simplicity in Him ... the greatest attraction should not perish ... the greatest promise but ... the greatest difference have ... the greatest certainty everlasting life ... the greatest possession
Code Word: CONSEQUENCE
Much of the time we associate consequences with some type of unpleasant cause and effect. In this case, however, the consequence is the positive outcome that when you put your trust in Christ, you will not "perish but have everlasting life."
Father, I am aware that this amazing consequence of placing my faith and trust in You for salvation came at a high cost: You gave Your only Son for me. I thank You with all my heart. In Jesus' name, amen.
There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?
Given the situation you face and the seemingly inadequate resources at your disposal, maybe you are asking, "What are they among so many?"
The loaves and fish didn't seem like much if you looked at them and at the crowd from a human perspective. But Christ wasn't limited by the number of loaves or fish. He had big plans, and He fed five thousand men, plus women and children, with the boy's lunch.
Have you considered that this lad left home that morning with the potential to feed thousands of people with his little lunch — and he didn't even know it? Maybe you who are reading these words right now have incredible potential for serving God, and you don't even realize it.
Yes, little is much when you factor Christ into the equation of your life. Similarly, "all things" are used for our good when we factor in Christ.
Code Word: POTENTIAL
You are like that little lad with the lunch. You start out this day with the potential to be used by God to do incredible things for His glory. Christ is IN you right now!
Lord, help me live today not in light of what I see in myself but in light of the potential that You see in me. Live Your life through me today. In Jesus' name, amen.
By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves ... lest anyone should boast.
Scripture says our salvation is by God's grace and through our faith — and faith means trusting in God alone for forgiveness. As the Greek word for through suggests, our faith is the channel through which God's saving grace flows to us. Salvation from punishment for our sins comes through faith that Jesus suffered our punishment with His death.
Paul emphasized that salvation is "not of yourselves" and "not of works" (Ephesians 2:8-9), but not everyone has heard this message. How much clearer could Paul be than this? Salvation is "by grace ... through faith ... not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." No amount of human effort, no magic number of good deeds, and no level of giving can earn us God's favor. Salvation is God's work ("by grace") in God's way ("through faith").
Code Word: CHANNEL
Just as an aqueduct channels water to those who are thirsty, so our faith is the channel through which God's amazing grace — that far exceeds our sin and our guilt — flows into our thirsty hearts.
Lord, I am aware that You have saved me not because of any good words I have spoken or any good works I have done. I have received salvation through the channel of Your grace, through my faith in You, and through that faith alone. In Jesus' name, amen.
Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Even before we put our trust in Christ alone for our salvation, most of us believed the facts of Christ's story. Few of us were bona fide atheists or agnostics.
Yet many people today believe that Jesus died on a cross in much the same way that we think of George Washington being the first president of the United States. They acknowledge that Jesus existed as a real person. They may even accept the wisdom of His teachings, but they do not trust their lives and eternal destiny to Him.
The tragedy is that these people don't realize that their "faith" is false and futile. Yet without true saving faith — which is putting our trust in Christ alone for our salvation rather than relying on any effort of our own — our faith is false and futile.
Code Word: ASSENT
Many give intellectual assent to the claims of Christ without ever being converted. Even the devil believes. Examine your own heart today. Do you have the assurance that your faith is real?
Lord, You have searched me and You know me. Give me the assurance of my salvation. In Jesus' name, amen.
Excerpted from "The Believer's Code"
Copyright © 2017 O. S. Hawkins.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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What People are Saying About This
'O. S. Hawkins has 'broken the code' to bringing practical and powerful insights into the patterns and principles of Scripture. There's a reason that more than a million of his devotionals have been embraced by those who have discovered this insightful series.' Mike Huckabee, television commentator and former governor of Arkansas
'True devotion to Christ draws us into the Bible and increases our love for the Word of God. That's what makes the Code series so powerful. Deeply biblical, relevant, and faithfulthis series will greatly bless you, your friends, and your church.' R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
'Too many devotionals are long on the thoughts of men and short on the wisdom of God. I endorse the entire Code series of devotionals from my friend O. S. Hawkins because they start with Scripture and keep the focus on the Lord.' Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship
'Whether on the football field or the field of life, you need a playbook. The entire Code series of devotionals is a great resource for my own spiritual growth. I read one of the Code books regularly in my own devotions and enthusiastically recommend them to my family, friends, and fans.' Roger Staubach, Hall of Fame quarterback and real estate developer
'In my forty-five years in ministry, I have never seen a more desperate need for truly biblically wise counsel. Unfortunately, most of the books available are man-centered, which do not even provide temporary help. That is why I am so thankful that Dr. O. S. Hawkins penned the Code series. The questions that are asked in the Bible are the questions everyone is asking, and thank God the Code series gives us truly sustaining and uplifting answers. This book is a must for everyone. Read and reread it, and be eternally blessed.' Dr. Michael Youssef, senior pastor, Church of the Apostles, Atlanta, Georgia