August 16

Today's Bible Reading
            I Samuel 7, 8
            Romans 6
            Jeremiah 44
            Psalms 20, 21
“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)
            Whoever you are, you are making a conscious and volitional decision throughout every day of your life, who you will obey and to whom you will be a slave. You are absolutely and totally responsible. I'm a slave to myself. I am to blame because somewhere in the past, I yielded to myself. Now, volitionally, I obey God. I do so because at some point in my life, I gave myself to Him.
            When you bring yourself to yield to something, you will soon realize the tremendous control it has over you. Even though you say, ''Oh, I can give up that habit whenever I like'', you will know that you cannot. You will find that the habit absolutely dominates you because you willingly yielded to it. It is easy to sing, ''He will break every fetter'' while at the same time living the life of obvious slavery to yourself. But yielding to Jesus will break every kind of slavery in every person's life. 
            What masters you today? What do you find yourself in slavery to? Could it be that you are a slave to your own appetites? Do they seem to you legitimate or sinful? Are you perhaps in bondage to your own ambitions? Is your drive to be successful in the path you have chosen stronger than your yieldedness to the Lordship of Christ in your life?
            Could it be that your slavery has to do with your agenda? Perhaps your abilities are so powerfully strong that you've decided that you can do this on your own and you need be a slave to no one. Then, my friend, you have chosen a formula of failure in the Christian life. The key to the effectiveness of a powerful Christian is that he is attached to nothing or no one except our Lord Himself. It does not mean simply being detached from the external things surrounding us. Our Lord was amazingly in touch with the ordinary things of life, but He had an inner detachment from everything except toward God. External detachment is often an actual indication of a secret, growing inner attachment to the things we stay away from externally. Our verse seems to indicate that you can present yourself today to a master and that you have that choice. The glorious result of the right choice will be righteousness in your life today. 
            Focus today on the country of Andorra, where there is approximately 100,000 people with 93% Christian. Andorra is located in the Pyrenees Mountains and has the highest altitude of any inhabited country in Europe. It is one of the smallest populations of Europe but could have influence on both Spain and France. Realize, as you pray, that materialism is strong in this country, and the occult is a stronghold. Biblical Christianity is slowly but surely gaining a foothold. Pray for Andorran believers, that they will be bold in their witness for Christ. We praise God for the first fruits of the harvest in Andorra, and ask that it may grow.