OLIVE TREE ONE YEAR DAILY DEVOTIONAL – FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2018

“The Good Steward”

Topic: Living for God

Romans 13:11-14

Brothers and sisters, “who is wise and understanding among you?” (James 3:13). Let him show the wisdom from above, by walking fitting to his character. If he calls himself a steward of the many gifts of God, let him see that all his thoughts, words, and works fulfill the duty God has assigned him. It is no small thing to lay out for God all which you have received from God. It requires all your wisdom, all your determination, all your patience and faithfulness; far more than ever you had by nature but not more than you may have by grace. His grace is sufficient for you. “All things,” you know, “are possible to him that believes” (Mark 9:23). By faith, then, “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14), “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11), and you will be able to glorify Him in all your words and works. Yes, to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ!

– Edinburgh, May 14, 1768

Adapted from “The Good Steward” in The Collected Sermons of John Wesley

HE CASE FOR CHRISTIANITY: ANSWER BOOK – FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2018

I have so many questions—and a few doubts—about the Christian faith. What should I do with them?

You are doing precisely what you need to do—you’re being honest with yourself and open with your questions. That’s the first step toward finding answers. If you do the opposite—bottling up your concerns in the hopes they’ll go away—then they’ll just fester and infect your entire spiritual life.

Instead, let me urge you to follow the wisdom of Scripture. Jesus said, “Everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matt. 7:8). This echoes a principle in the Old Testament: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).

I’ve struggled with spiritual questions for most of my life, and in some ways I still do. It’s an ongoing process to find answers that satisfy my heart and soul. But even bouts of doubt can show we’re thinking and growing, rather than simply clinging to what we’ve been told.

As I described in The Case for Christ, my greatest season of spiritual introspection came after my wife, Leslie, announced that she had become a Christian. That was hard news for a skeptical journalist to hear! But it set in motion my own journey of asking tough questions—and discovering unexpected answers. In the end, I concluded that it would take more faith for me to maintain my atheism than it would to become a Christian!

After almost two years of searching, I got on my knees and asked Jesus to forgive my sins and lead my life. It was a decision that changed everything; in fact, it was the pivotal moment of my life.

That decision, mixed with the research I did then and in the time since then, led me to a sense of confidence that there are satisfying answers to even our hardest questions. It’s in that spirit that I write this book.

Jesus stayed behind . . . sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

Luke 2:4346–47

Copyright © 2014 by Lee Strobel.