Editor’s note: This month’s devotion is slightly adapted from the Ministry Message that accompanies one of CTA’s latest Father’s Day themes Man of God: Renewed for Life. With the gifts and resources from this theme, men will experience God's love and be strengthened in heart, mind, and spirit. Check it out today and don’t miss the other Christian Father's Day gifts from CTA!
Man of God: Renewed for Life
Glenn was never really a “car guy.” Sure, he knew how to change a flat tire and check the oil, but he’d always been more interested in things like hunting and fishing. Even so, when his car started jerking and whining while he was shifting gears, he knew something was wrong.
Glenn took his car to the mechanic around the corner and the news was bad - it’d be $2,000 for a new transmission. Before he committed to such an expensive repair, Glenn figured he should get a second opinion. And, it’s a good thing he did. Online reviews revealed that the first mechanic had been fleecing people for years! It turns out that the car only needed transmission fluid - a simple $10 fix.
It was a close call for Glenn. Looking for help in the wrong places can cost any of us big time!
Of course, there are no references to cars or transmissions in the Bible, but we know that people have been looking to unreliable sources of help since the beginning of time.
It all started in the Garden of Eden. Satan had a plan to trick God’s human creatures into trusting him, and it worked perfectly. Eve took the fruit and Adam followed suit. He looked to Eve, relying on her confidence in the serpent’s lie. Paradise was lost in the blink of an eye.
We see this same mistake repeated throughout the Bible. King David relied on his own clever tricks to fix his problems, going so far as to plan a murder to cover up his adultery. Judas trusted in the power of money and betrayed his Savior for thirty silver coins. The apostle Paul - who acted as the worst of the worst when he was still known as Saul - tried to find favor with God by murdering those who followed Jesus.
All of these men were looking for help, for a fix, for something to make their lives better. They trusted Satan’s lies and gave in to his temptations.
Where do you turn when you’re in trouble? When you’re in a tight spot and need wisdom, when you’re just tired of the daily-ness of daily life, when you have a mess on your hands and can’t figure out how to leave it behind, where do you go for help? Where do you place your trust?
Our culture tells us how real men are supposed to behave. A few drinks or a few pills will take the edge off. A me-first attitude will smooth the way to a smart decision. It may not feel quite right at first but, after all, that’s just how men are supposed to behave. You may already know that fixes like these fall short. Sooner or later, everyone who tries them ends up sitting beside Adam, beside David, beside Paul -guilty as charged and facing unthinkable consequences.
The fact is that every man on this earth has fallen. Every one of us has at one time or another believed the lies of the devil, turned away from our only true Helper, and found ourselves stuck and sinking more deeply into the pit of sin. Every man - but One.
Our Savior, Jesus Christ was born to be your fix, your one, true source of renewal and hope. Every step of his life was devoted to obeying our heavenly Father. (Read John 4:34.) Jesus never lost focus. He came to live a perfect life in our place, and that life ended as he hung on the cross, dying in payment for our sins. On Calvary’s cross, we find the one - the only - source of help we will ever need.
Jesus’ death and resurrection makes us right with God again. When we come to him with our sins, he forgives us and renews our spirits. His gifts of grace and mercy provide the strength we need to keep on walking through this life as his chosen people, his son and heirs.
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 KJV
Notice the power of that promise! Not might. Not maybe. Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. Minute by minute. Hour by hour. Day by day. Renewed strength is ours.
We will run - read Psalm 119:32.
We will walk and keep on walking - read Psalm 86:11.
And as we mount up on eagles’ wings, we join the psalmist, saying in confidence - read Psalm 18:2.
Men of God, we know that none of us has all the answers. Too often, we look for help in all the wrong places and, yes, we end up being fleeced by Satan’s schemes. But as we leave today, we know that Jesus provides exactly the fix for life and the renewal we need. The forgiveness he won for us on his cross gives us the strength and renewal we need to live for him moment by moment, day by day.
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