The Daily Encouraging Word Devotional
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“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes.” Ps 101:3 NKJV
Today over half of all children between the ages of nine and seventeen have Internet cable or satellite television hook-ups in their bedrooms. The old image of the family gathered around a single TV set in the living room is almost nonexistent. Instead, the kids are off by themselves where they can choose anything they want to see. Indeed, they don’t even have to be in their bedroom, because now they can access it all on a hand-held device like an Android and an iPhone. One prominent social researcher put it this way: “Almost everything children are seeing is essentially going into their minds in some sort of uncensored or unfiltered way.” Under the “freedom of expression” rule, the government and the courts permit cable and Internet to peddle explicit sex, violence, nudity, and profanity to your children and your grandchildren. Are you concerned? You should be! Why do sheep need a shepherd? For the same reason children need loving and observant parents—wolves! And your ignorance of technology is no defense! Because you weren’t exposed to these evils growing up doesn’t guarantee that your children won’t get hooked on them. Many parents don’t even take the time to know what their children are watching! Don’t be one of them. After his disastrous affair with Bathsheba and the heartache and havoc it brought to his family, David said, “I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set nothing wicked before my eyes” (vv. 2-3 NKJV). Parents, what are your children watching?
“Go to the pool…and wash.” Jn 9:11 NKJV
Jesus told this blind man to go to the pool of Siloam and wash the dirt from his eyes. So here’s the question: What do you need to remove from your life today in order to see what God wants you to see and do what He wants you to do? Whether it’s a destructive habit, a toxic relationship, or a bad attitude, you must get rid of it. James writes: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (Jas 4:7-8 NKJV). God will do His part, but you must do yours. God will extend grace to you, but you must act on it. It’s said that the water which flowed into the pool of Siloam came from under the temple and was used to wash the utensils which were part of worship and sacrifice. In other words, this water didn’t come from a man-made source, but from the presence of God. Don’t miss the point here! Jesus said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (Jn 15:3). Paul speaks of “the washing of water by the word” (Eph 5:26). David writes, “How can a young man (or an older one) cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word” (Ps 119:9 NKJV). The secret of victorious Christian living is bathing your mind each day in the Scriptures. Picture yourself taking a bath in God’s Word and the dirt and grime coming off you. That’s what meditating on the Scriptures does for you.
“He went and washed, and came back seeing.” Jn 9:7 NKJV
Sometimes Jesus healed sick people by speaking to them, other times He layed His hands on them. But this blind man’s healing was not the work of a moment, it was the result of a process. “He said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’…So he went and washed, and came back seeing” (v. 7 NKJV). Question: How far away was the pool of Siloam? For a blind man, any journey is a long one. Picture this man with mud in his eyes, trying to navigate his way to the pool of Siloam. There’s an important lesson here. Even when God touches us, sometimes we’ve got to walk with our mess until we get to the place of healing, freedom, and deliverance. And here’s another thought. Whoever told this man about Jesus, and brought him to Jesus, had to keep walking with him until he got his sight back and could walk on his own. You can’t say to someone who’s struggling with a problem, “I told you about Jesus, and I even brought you to church. But you’re still stumbling around in darkness bound by the same problems, so I give up.” God never gives up on people, and we must not give up on them either. When someone continues to struggle with an old habit, some Christians say they mustn’t really be saved. Question: How often do you give in to resentment, pride, lust, greed, gossip, etc.? The list is endless, yet God doesn’t give up on you. Sometimes people have to “walk out” their deliverance and healing until it fully comes to pass. And that’s how long you need to love them, believe in them, pray for them, and keep working with them.
“One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.” Jn 9:25 NKJV
When Jesus restored this blind man’s sight, the Pharisees tried to engage him in a theological debate about who Jesus was and where His power came from. But he refused to argue with them. He simply said, “One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.” And the same arguments still continue today. Some people say, “The day of miracles is past.” The truth is that there is no day of miracles, there’s only a God of miracles Who says, “I am the Lord, and I change not” (Mal 3:6). The Bible says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb 13:8). That means what He was, He still is. What He did, He still does. What He said, He still says. Whatever your problem may be, you have two choices: Live with it and try to adjust to it, or believe God to set you free from it. Certain things like alcoholism, addiction, and abuse may run in your family, but by the grace of God you can break the cycle! Please hear this: God’s power is greater than your habit! Not only can He set you free from the thing that holds you captive, He can deliver you from its lingering effects. His Word to you is: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way” (Isa 43:18-19 NIV). So turn to God today. Give Him a chance. You’ve tried other things, now try Him. He will not fail you!
“He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.” Jn 9:6 NKJV
Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, points out that your DNA is in your saliva. And that when Jesus spat, this blind man received a divine DNA transfer. He says that Jesus didn’t place the saliva on the man’s eyes, but on the clay—the thing from which the man was made. In other words, Jesus went back to the root of his problem! Understand this: God doesn’t merely treat your symptoms, He goes back to the source of your problem in order to set you free from it. To change the fruit, He changes the root. This man never had the ability to see; he was born blind and needed a creative miracle. And that calls for a divine DNA transfer, making you what you never were, and giving you what you never had. Our God is awesome, isn’t He? Do you know why Jesus came? “To bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…to comfort all who mourn…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isa 61:1-3 NIV). It doesn’t matter whether your parents contributed to your problem or you simply made bad choices in life, Jesus can set you free, make you whole, and give you a new life. Jesus didn’t blame this man or his parents. That’s because He’s not in the condemnation business, He’s in the transformation business.