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    Daily Devotion

    Pray for everyone to be saved.

    Verse of the day; 1 Timothy 2:3-4 NASB95: "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, [4] who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

    God desires to save everyone from eternal punishment. God's genuine love allows us free choice. Some people will reject God's offer of salvation and remain hostile toward Him. God's greater desire for His glory will elect some people to understand their iniquity, Jesus' sinless life, Jesus' substitutional death in their place, and Jesus' resurrection proving God the Father accepts Jesus' sacrifice for our sins. God desires everyone to be saved, but not everyone will accept Jesus' offer of forgiveness and avoid eternal punishment (1 Timothy 2:1–8).

    Since we do not know whom God elected to accept salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, praying for everyone to be saved is a good and acceptable prayer in the sight of God our Savior (1 Timothy 2:3–6). Everyone includes political leaders we do not like, even those who are hostile toward God, His will, and His Word. The false teachers who oppose the Bible can come to the knowledge of the truth. People we disagree with can still be saved. Praying for people, who are hostile to God and believers, to be saved helps us "lead to a tranquil and quiet life in all goodness and dignity" (1 Timothy 2:2). 

    Lord Jesus, I pray that as I encounter difficult people today, I will be quick to pray that everyone comes to understand that there is one God and "one mediator between God and them, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time" (1 Timothy 2:5–6). Lord God, I do not know who will choose Your gracious choice for their salvation; therefore, I will pray for everyone everywhere to be saved. Thank you for reminding me I was selected by God, my Savior, to avoid wrath and dissension with all people by praying for their salvation. I know praying for those I disagree with and dislike will be difficult, but this prayer will be acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. Help Me, Lord Jesus, to be more like You and live a tranquil and quiet life in all goodness and dignity (1 Timothy 2:1–2). In Jesus' name, amen

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    Daily Devotion

    What are you doing for lunch on Good Friday?

    Mark 15:27–39 (NASB95) tells us that from noon to 3 p.m., Jesus hung on the cross separated from God the Father, dying for every wrong you and I ever committed:

    27 They crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left.

    28 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And He was numbered with transgressors."

    29 Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, "Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,

    30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!"

    31 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, "He saved others; He cannot save Himself.

    32 "Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!" Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.

    33 When the sixth hour came (noon), darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour (3 p.m.).

    34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

    35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, "Behold, He is calling for Elijah."

    36 Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, "Let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down."

    37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last.

    38 And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

    39 When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"

    The Son of God spent lunch on the cross so we could feast at the table of God's grace (Revelation 19:7–10). When the temple's veil was torn from heaven to earth, we were granted to dine in the fellowship of God's presence for eternity.

    Pray now and today at lunch; let's all pray:

    Holy Son of God, My Savior and Lord thank you. Christ my Savior, who did not sin, [You Yourself] bore our sins in [Your] body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by [Your] wounds [we] were healed. For [we] were continually straying like sheep, but now [we] have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls... For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit" (1 Peter 2:24-25; 3:18)... "and while being reviled, [You] did not revile in return; while suffering, [You] uttered no threats, but kept entrusting [Yourself} to [God the Father] who judges righteously. Our Jesus gave us an example for us t follow in His steps.

    Thank you, Jesus, for spending Your Friday lunch so we can feast with You for eternity. In Jesus' name, amen.

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    Daily Devotion

    Our hurtful words harm other believers and hurt God.

    Ephesians 4:29 NASB95:

    "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear."

    The apostle Paul reminds the Ephesians that the Holy Spirit dwells so closely with us that the ugly words we speak to other believers grieve the Spirit of God's Son, our Lord Jesus. The word "unwholesome" means "spoiled" or "rotten." Rotten speak spoils unity between believers. Speaking hurtful words to each other grieves the Holy Spirit—Slander, gossip, abusive, and obscene language harm the Christian community. Disrupting the unity of the Christian community grieves the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul reminds us, "... not [to] grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:30-32).

    Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me Your Spirit to help me "... walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which [we] have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also [we] were called in one hope of [our] calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all" (Ephesians 4:1-6).

    Holy Spirit, help us, "... [lay] aside falsehood, speak TRUTH EACH ONE of [us] WITH [OUR] NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. Be ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on [our] anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity" (Ephesians 4:25-27). Today I will make every effort to be an imitator of God, as His beloved child; and live in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma" (Ephesians 5:1–2). I will think before I speak so my words never grieve the Spirit of God. In Jesus' name, amen.