The Quest for Christlikeness

Yesterday we finished our 10 part series on Biblical Contentment with the topic of Holiness. I came across this in my inbox and thought it was an appropriate follow up.

by John MacArthur / Monday, September 23, 2019

No true believer is completely satisfied with his spiritual progress. Under the illuminating, sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit, all of us are aware of our need to be refined and disciplined for the sake of godliness. In fact, the more we mature, the more capable we are of spotting the sin that still remains in our hearts. Peter responds to this need for sanctification when he writes about the importance of God’s people hungering for the pure milk of His Word, “so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2).

The Apostle Paul is a prime example. In many ways, he is the model for believers. In his first epistle to Timothy, he refers to himself as the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). In anguish over the sinful flesh he can neither escape nor conquer, he cried out: “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24). Paul understood the weakness that remained in him, and he longed to be freed of it. To that end, the singular goal of his life was Christlikeness and spiritual growth. In his letter to the Philippian church, he describes his earnest pursuit:

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:7–14)

Paul carried a similar burden of spiritual discontent for those under his care. He referred to the Galatians as “my children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 4:19). Part of the godly shepherd’s duty is to help those in the church see their remaining sin and their need for further sanctification. He is to help them develop a discontentment with their spiritual state and to spur them on to greater growth and godliness. It’s not the pastor’s job to affirm our lifestyles, dangle false promises of health and wealth, or validate our personal ambitions for life. He’s not there to make us feel good about ourselves or convince us that God loves us just the way we are and wants to give us whatever we want. On the contrary, he’s there to hammer on our hearts, burdening them just as his own heart is burdened, with the understanding that we fall far short of what we should be in Christ. All of us—pastors, elders, and laypeople alike—must constantly go back to the Word to understand the high standard of God’s righteousness and to be reminded of just how much we fail to live up to it. We must examine ourselves regularly through the lens of Scripture, developing a spiritual discontentment that motivates us to faithfully continue in sanctification. There is discontentment in the cry of a newborn who can do nothing to fulfill his own needs. There needs to be a similar discontentment—one that draws us back to Scripture as our only source of spiritual sustenance and growth.

Rather than sitting self-satisfied and stagnant, Peter says believers need to “grow in respect to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). God’s people need to grow, and they can only do so through the ministry of His Spirit through His Word. As Paul put it, we must be “transformed into the [Lord’s] image from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18). And how do we mark that progress? How do we know we’re advancing?

Several indicators that mark our spiritual growth. The first is an increase in spiritual understanding. True sanctification goes hand in hand with a deeper, richer understanding of the Bible. It doesn’t happen through some kind of mystical experience. Too many in the church today claim to have received insight through their dreams, their gut feelings, or hearing God’s voice in their heads. That is not the means to true growth in Christlikeness—if anything, it’s leading them away from the truth and further into darkness. We don’t look inside ourselves for truth or wait to receive personal insight from the Lord. True spiritual growth starts with an increase in our spiritual understanding, which requires an increase in our biblical knowledge. As our theology deepens, as our grasp of Scripture strengthens, that fuels our spiritual growth.

Along with an increase in spiritual understanding comes joy—a deeper delight in the things of God. We don’t hold our theology with cold, remote resolve—we develop a warm, rich affection for the God of Scripture. We enthusiastically praise the Lord for who He is and what He has done. We celebrate the work of His Word in our lives, and we long to see it unleashed in the lives of those around us.

One of the reasons I love to speak at pastors’ conferences is the opportunity for corporate worship. In those rooms packed with preachers and church leaders, the singing is not tentative or passive. Just the opposite—the walls reverberate with loud voices belting out their love for the Lord, His gospel, and His church. They’re loudly proclaiming the truths of Scripture that have captured their hearts and minds. Their delight is in the Word, and the same should be true of everyone who is growing spiritually.

A third factor that marks the progress of sanctification is a greater love for God. If we’re growing in our understanding of Scripture, then we’re growing in our appreciation for the majesty of our Lord. We’re more intimately acquainted with His person and work. We’re more enamored of His goodness, His mercy, and the rich blessings He pours out on us every day. The deeper our understanding of Scripture goes, the more deeply we get to know God in the fullness of His revelation to us.

Think of it this way: if you’re not growing in your love for God, there is good reason to believe that you are treating Scripture superficially.

Another vital component of spiritual growth is strengthened faith. With an increased knowledge of Scripture and a greater love for God, we become able to trust Him through all of life’s trials. I’ve spoken to many believers who have just received news of a terminal disease or another dire diagnosis. Often, their primary prayer request isn’t for healing, but that God would use them as a witness for Himself in the time they have left. There’s no collapsing in the face of trials, no despair in the midst of the storm. Their faith is firmly rooted in the goodness of God and His glorious purposes for their lives. If we’re growing spiritually, we’re more steadfast in our faith and surer of God’s sovereign care and provision. In a restless world, we can rest in His goodness.

The believer’s spiritual growth is also measured by his constant obedience. As the Apostle John succinctly says:

By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. (1 John 2:3–6)

Spiritual growth is the process of growing in Christlikeness—how we think, talk, and act must always be conforming to the Lord’s righteous standard.

If we’re being sanctified by the Spirit through the Scriptures, it will be evident through an increase in our spiritual understanding, a deeper delight in the things of the Lord, a greater love for God, a strengthening faith in Him, and a consistent pattern of obedience to His Word. That is the kind of spiritual growth Peter wants us to pursue.

(Adapted from Final Word)

Biblical Contentment, Part X


Image result for John 17:19

Last night I had the great pleasure of hearing Dr. Hensworth Jonas  preach. His topic in keeping with this years theme was “Faithful Missions in Hostile Times” using John 17:13-19 as his text.  

But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify[a] them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. (NKJV)

Pero ahora voy a ti; y hablo esto en el mundo, para que tengan mi gozo cumplido en sí mismos. 14 Yo les he dado tu palabra; y el mundo los aborreció, porque no son del mundo, como tampoco yo soy del mundo. 15 No ruego que los quites del mundo, sino que los guardes del mal. 16 No son del mundo, como tampoco yo soy del mundo. 17 Santifícalos en tu verdad; tu palabra es verdad. 18 Como tú me enviaste al mundo, así yo los he enviado al mundo. 19 Y por ellos yo me santifico a mí mismo, para que también ellos sean santificados en la verdad. (RVR 1960)


He focused on v. 18, As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world to make the case that missions is for all believers. He also said we are to make our case with love and compassion but never ever compromising God’s truth. Then he made a very interesting comparison, those who argue against “Christian Beliefs” are in themselves missionaries of their point of view.

He then broke down into three points the force for personal missions found in our text:

The Catalyst for the mission: v. 13-15 we find that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves is the catalyst for missions 

The Commission for the Mission: v. 16-18, self appointed missionaries have no authority. We must be appointed by God and His governing bodies.  He also noted that when we are sanctified by God’s Truth v.17 we are unable to keep the Good News of Christ a private matter.

The Control of the Mission: v. 18-19, “As”… might seem like a simple word but holds much power for it controls how we proceed. You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them. The only way we go is AS Jesus went. Finally Dr. Jonas spoke of the personal “sanctifying” holiness that makes us effective as missionaries. 

It is this last point I would like to explore just a little further as we close out this series today. Personal Holiness (Sanctification) is an ongoing process, that should not discourage but encourage us daily. God is Holy and we are called to be Holy like Him 1 Peter 1:15-16.

This does not mean it will be an easy cheesy task. Hebrews 12:14 tells us we must strive for peace and holiness. Ephesians 4:24 says we must “put on” the new self created in … holiness. Colossians 3:5 tells us we must put to death the old ways the earthly or natural human desires. It is a work that should be recognized by those around us 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12

If holiness (sanctification) is important to missions (and I agree it is) I would argue it is more important to our Biblical Contentment. Maybe the greatest missionary for Christ, the Apostle Paul understood Biblical Contentment and Holiness were tied together. Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Is not penned from the hand of a man devoid of holiness nor of a man of malcontent in his surroundings. He new that godliness and contentment were meant to go hand in hand 1 Timothy 6:6-7 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, [a]and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

It was this complete surrender in Christ that made made Paul the man of God he was and Biblically Content Philippians 4:1-20.



Starting Over

7 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1

Por tanto, amados, teniendo estas promesas, limpiémonos de toda inmundicia de la carne y del espíritu, perfeccionando la santidad en el temor de Dios. (LBLA)

Having therefore these promises: What are the promises that Paul is speaking about? Context requires us to look back at chapter 6 and see the following: 

14 Do not be unequally bound together with unbelievers [do not make mismatched alliances with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial (Satan)? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said:“I will dwell among them and walk among them;And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 17 “So come out from among unbelievers and be separate,” says the Lord, “And do not touch what is unclean;And I will graciously receive you and welcome you [with favor], 18 And I will be a Father to you, And you will be My sons and daughters,” Says the Lord Almighty. (AMP) 

God promises if we will come out from among the filth of this world (willful sinful acts) then He will be a Father to us. Glory, what a promise that is, the almighty creator of all says you will be My sons and daughters. 

Of course this is not some one time say it, pray it and you are done thing. It is a life time commitment and work of mind and spirit. That is why the rest of verse 7:1 says we must not only separate but cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God

Alexander MacLaren’s Expositions of Holy Scripture

It is often made a charge against professing Christians that their religion has very little to do with common morality. The taunt has sharpened multitudes of gibes and been echoed in all sorts of tones: it is very often too true and perfectly just, but if ever it is, let it be distinctly understood that it is not so because of Christian men’s religion but in spite of it. Their bitterest enemy does not condemn them half so emphatically as their own religion does: the sharpest censure of others is not so sharp as the rebukes of the New Testament. If there is one thing which it insists upon more than another, it is that religion without morality is nothing–that the one test to which, after all, every man must submit is, what sort of character has he and how has he behaved–is he pure or foul? All high-flown pretension, all fervid emotion has at last to face the question which little children ask, ‘Was he a good man?’

The Apostle has been speaking about very high and mystical truths, about all Christians being the temple of God, about God dwelling in men, about men and women being His sons and daughters; these are the very truths on which so often fervid imaginations have built up a mystical piety that had little to do with the common rules of right and wrong. But Paul keeps true to the intensely practical purpose of his preaching and brings his heroes down to the prosaic earth with the homely common sense of this far-reaching exhortation, which he gives as the fitting conclusion for such celestial visions.

I. A Christian life should be a life of constant self-purifying.

This epistle is addressed to the church of God which is at Corinth with all the _saints_ which are in all Achaia.

Looking out over that wide region, Paul saw scattered over godless masses a little dispersed company to each of whom the sacred name of Saint applied. They had been deeply stained with the vices of their age and place, and after a black list of criminals he had had to say to them ‘such were some of you,’ and he lays his finger on the miracle that had changed them and hesitates not to say of them all, ‘But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.’

The first thing, then, that every Christian has is a cleansing which accompanies forgiveness, and however his garment may have been ‘spotted by the flesh,’ it is ‘washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb.’ Strange cleansing by which black stains melt out of garments plunged in red blood! With the cleansing of forgiveness and justification comes, wherever they come, the gift of the Holy Spirit–a new life springing up within the old life, and untouched by any contact with its evils. These gifts belong universally to the initial stage of the Christian life and require for their possession only the receptiveness of faith. They admit of no co-operation of human effort, and to possess them men have only to ‘take the things that are freely given to them of God.’ But of the subsequent stages of the Christian life, the laborious and constant effort to develop and apply that free gift is as essential as, in the earliest stage, it is worse than useless. The gift received has to be wrought into the very substance of the soul, and to be wrought out in all the endless varieties of life and conduct. Christians are cleansed to begin with, but they have still daily to cleanse themselves: the leaven is hid in the three measures of meal, but ‘‘tis a life-long task till the lump be leavened,’ and no man, even though he has the life that was in Jesus within him, will grow up ‘into the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ’ unless, by patient and persistent effort, he is ever pressing on to ‘the things that are before’ and daily striving to draw nearer to the prize of his high calling. We are cleansed, but we have still to cleanse ourselves.

Yet another paradox attaches to the Christian life, inasmuch as God cleanses us, but we have to cleanse ourselves. The great truth that the spirit of God in a man is the fontal source of all his goodness, and that Christ’s righteousness is given to us, is no pillow on which to rest an idle head, but should rather be a trumpet-call to effort which is thereby made certain of success. If we were left to the task of self-purifying by our own efforts we might well fling it up as impossible. It is as easy for a man to lift himself from the ground by gripping his own shoulders as it is for us to rise to greater heights of moral conduct by our own efforts; but if we can believe that God gives the impulse after purity, and the vision of what purity is, and imparts the power of attaining it, strengthening at once our dim sight and stirring our feeble desires and energising our crippled limbs, then we can ‘run with patience the race that is set before us.’

We must note the thoroughness of the cleansing which the Apostle here enjoins. What is to be got rid of is not this or that defect or vice, but ‘_all_ filthiness of flesh and spirit.’ The former, of course, refers primarily to sins of impurity which in the eyes of the Greeks of Corinth were scarcely sins at all, and the latter to a state of mind when fancy, imagination, and memory were enlisted in the service of evil. Both are rampant in our day as they were in Corinth. Much modern literature and the new gospel of ‘Art for Art’s sake’ minister to both, and every man carries in himself inclinations to either. It is no partial cleansing with which Paul would have us to be satisfied: ‘_all_’ filthiness is to be cast out. Like careful housewives who are never content to cease their scrubbing while a speck remains upon furniture, Christian men are to regard their work as unfinished as long as the least trace of the unclean thing remains in their flesh or in their spirit. The ideal may be far from being realised at any moment, but it is at the peril of the whole sincerity and peacefulness of their lives if they, in the smallest degree, lower the perfection of their ideal in deference to the imperfection of their realisation of it.

It must be abundantly clear from our own experience that any such cleansing is a very long process. No character is made, whether it be good or bad, but by a slow building up: no man becomes most wicked all at once, and no man is sanctified by a wish or at a jump. As long as men are in a world so abounding with temptation, ‘he that is washed’ will need daily to ‘wash his feet’ that have been stained in the foul ways of life, if he is to be ‘clean every whit.’

As long as the spirit is imprisoned in the body and has it for its instrument there will be need for much effort at purifying. We must be content to overcome one foe at a time, and however strong may be the pilgrim’s spirit in us, we must be content to take one step at a time, and to advance by very slow degrees. Nor is it to be forgotten that as we get nearer what we ought to be, we should be more conscious of the things in which we are not what we ought to be. The nearer we get to Jesus Christ, the more will our consciences be enlightened as to the particulars in which we are still distant from Him. A speck on a polished shield will show plain that would never have been seen on a rusty one. The saint who is nearest God will think more of his sins than the man who is furthest from him. So new work of purifying will open before us as we grow more pure, and this will last as long as life itself.

II. The Christian life is to be not merely a continual getting rid of evil, but a continual becoming good.

Paul here draws a distinction between cleansing ourselves from filthiness and perfecting holiness, and these two, though closely connected and capable of being regarded as being but the positive and negative sides of one process, are in reality different, though in practice the former is never achieved without the latter, nor the latter accomplished without the former. Holiness is more than purity; it is consecration. That is holy which is devoted to God, and a saint is one whose daily effort is to devote his whole self, in all his faculties and nature, thoughts, heart, and will, more and more, to God, and to receive into himself more and more of God.

The purifying which Paul has been enjoining will only be successful in the measure of our consecration, and the consecration will only be genuine in the measure of our purifying. Herein lies the broad and blessed distinction between the world’s morality and Christian ethics. The former fails just because it lacks the attitude towards a Person who is the very foundation of Christian morality, and changes a hard and impossible law into love. There is no more futile waste of breath than that of teachers of morality who have no message but Be good! Be good! and no motive by which to urge it but the pleasures of virtue and the disadvantages of vice, but when the vagueness of the abstract thought of goodness solidifies into a living Person and that Person makes his appeal first to our hearts and bids us love him, and then opens before us the unstained light of his own character and beseeches us to be like him, the repellent becomes attractive: the impossible becomes possible, and ‘if ye love Me keep My commandments’ becomes a constraining power and a victorious impulse in our lives.

III. The Christian life of purifying and consecration is to be animated by hope and fear.

The Apostle seems to connect hope more immediately with the cleansing, and holiness with the fear of God, but probably both hope and fear are in his mind as the double foundation on which both purity and consecration are to rest, or the double emotion which is to produce them both. These promises refer directly to the immediately preceding words, ‘I will be a Father unto you and ye shall be My sons and daughters,’ in which all the blessings which God can give or men can receive are fused together in one lustrous and all-comprehensive whole. So all the great truths of the Gospel and all the blessed emotions of sonship which can spring up in a human heart are intended to find their practical result in holy and pure living. For this end God has spoken to us out of the thick darkness; for this end Christ has come into our darkness; for this end He has lived; for this end He died; for this end He rose again; for this end He sends His Spirit and administers the providence of the world. The purpose of all the Divine activity as regards us men is not merely to make us happy, but to make us happy in order that we may be good. He whom what he calls his religion has only saved from the wrath of God and the fear of hell has not learned the alphabet of religion. Unless God’s promises evoke men’s goodness it will be of little avail that they seem to quicken their hope. Joyful confidence in our sonship is only warranted in the measure in which we are like our Father. Hope often deludes and makes men dreamy and unpractical. It generally paints pictures far lovelier than the realities, and without any of their shadows; it is too often the stimulus and ally of ignoble lives, and seldom stirs to heroism or endurance, but its many defects are not due to itself but to its false choice of objects on which to fix. The hope which is lifted from trailing along the earth and twining round creatures and which rises to grasp these promises ought to be, and in the measure of its reality is the ally of all patient endurance and noble self-sacrifice. Its vision of coming good is all directed to the coming Christ, and ‘every man that hath this hope in Him, purifieth himself even as He is pure.’

In Paul’s experience there was no contrariety between hope set on Jesus and fear directed towards God. It is in the fear of God that holiness is to be perfected. There is a fear which has no torment. Yet more, there is no love in sons or daughters without fear. The reverential awe with which God’s children draw near to God has in it nothing slavish and no terror. Their love is not only joyful but lowly. The worshipping gaze upon His Divine majesty, the reverential and adoring contemplation of His ineffable holiness, and the poignant consciousness, after all effort, of the distance between us and Him will bow the hearts that love Him most in lowliest prostration before Him. These two, hope and fear, confidence and awe, are like the poles on which the whole round world turns and are united here in one result. They who ‘set their hope in God’ must ‘not forget the works of God but keep His commandments’; they who ‘call Him Father,’ ‘who without respect of persons judgeth’ must ‘pass the time of their sojourning here in fear,’ and their hopes and their fears must drive the wheels of life, purify them from all filthiness and perfect them in all holiness.




The excellencies of him – 1 Peter 2:9 (R.V.)

His glorious attributes – Ephesians 1:12 (Weymouth)

Grace is the attribute God delights to honor. – Elisha Coles

The holiness of God is his glory, as his grace is his riches. – Stephen Charnock


Surely I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with his mother – Psalm 131:2 (R.V.)

Attend upon the Lord without distraction. – 1 Corinthians 7:35

Inward peace can only be espoused to inward purity. – William Secker

Peace is never bought to dear but by sin. – Jeremiah Burroughs

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent, “Walking with God”, daily devotional. The topics are



Faith and Love – 1 Timothy 1:14

Faith and verity – 1 Timothy 2:7

Faith and charity and holiness with sobriety – 1 Timothy 2:15

Faith and Patience – Hebrews 6:12

Faith hath and influence upon all other graces, it is like a silver thread that runs through a chain of pearls. – Thomas Brooks

Faith is armour upon armour, a grace that preserves all other graces. – William Gurnall


Put thou my tears into thy bottle – Psalm 56:8

You that have filled the book of God with your sins, should fill the bottle of God with your tears. – Thomas Goodwin

Where tears move not, nothing will move. – Henry Smith

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent “Walking with God” daily devotional



Ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity – Matthew 23:28

 Hypocrisy is a lie with a fair cover over it. – William Gurnall

 What greater falseness than to be in the skin a Christian and in the core a heathen. – William Jenyken.


 Faith and love – 1 Timothy 1:14

Faith and verity – 1 Timothy 2:7

Faith and charity and holiness with sobriety – 1 Timothy 2:15

Faith and Patience – Hebrews 6:12

 All other graces like birds in the nest depend upon what grace brings to them. – John Flavel

 Other graces makes us like Christ, faith makes us members of Christ. – Thomas Watson

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent “Walking with God” daily devotional

Made to Love

This is a continuation of our discussion on Bridges. Please join in the conversation. Reblogged from Susan Irene Fox  January 6, 2017 · by Susan Irene Fox · in BridgesChristianity ·

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)

Think about this: rather than….

From: Made to Love



“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” – 2 Tim 3:12(KJV)

True godliness is that which breeds a quarrel between God’s children and the wicked. – John Dod

Saints must be best in worst times – John Trapp

{For more information about the persecution of believers today see The Voice of the Martyrs at}

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

** Note for a daily devotional this year check out our FSM FB page and M.L. Jones’s excellent “Walking with God”