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Devotional for Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Train in the Right Direction

Today's Scripture: Hebrews 5:14
"The mature . . . have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil."
Read it online at the Bible Gateway: (NIV) (NASB) (KJV) (The Message)

Paul exhorted Timothy, "Train yourself for godliness" (1 Timothy 4:7). Though godliness is a broader concept than holiness, holiness is a major part of it, so training ourselves to be godly certainly includes training in holiness.

This training requires exercise. In fact, the King James Version translates this phrase, "exercise thyself . . . unto godliness." How do we exercise ourselves in the spiritual realm? Through the choices we make. When we make wrong choices, we train ourselves in the wrong direction—like the false teachers Peter described, who had "hearts trained in greed" (2 Peter 2:14).

God wants us to train ourselves in the right direction through making right choices. Frankly, this is where the going gets tough. We'll agree with Scripture's teaching about some particular sin and even make a commitment of sorts to put it out of our lives. Then the temptation to indulge that sin comes once again, and we're unwilling to make the tough choice. We would like to be rid of that sin, and even pray to God to take it away, but are we willing to say no to it?

Every day we're training ourselves in one direction or the other: toward lying or truthfulness; selfishness or unselfishness; anger or forgiveness; impurity or purity; irritability or patience; covetousness or generosity; pride or humility; materialism or simplicity.

Only through making the right choice to obey God's Word will we break the habits of sin and develop habits of holiness. This is where we desperately need the Holy Spirit's power to enable us to make the right choices. So cry out to God every day for his help; cry out each time you are confronted with the choice to sin or to obey.

The text for this devotional comes from the award-winning NavPress devotional book Holiness Day by Day by Jerry Bridges. For more information or to order a copy, visit the NavPress website.

Visit The Navigators Resources website for more devotional resources.

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