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July 18 – A backslider and a good man

“The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above.” – Proverbs 14:14 

Scripture reading: Proverbs 14:14-21

A backslider turns back from following Christ. He does not guard his heart. He yields to a single temptation, but that step fails to satisfy. He then yields to another, then another until his heart grows cold towards the Lord and he loses the ability to resist what is wrong (Matthew 24:12).

He ends up, as our Proverb points out, “full of his own ways.” His conscience is guilty and takes away his peace. His heart is dissatisfied. and never has enough. He is left to his own misery. Paul found Demas to be a backslider and reports, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.”

By way of contrast, “a good man will be satisfied from above.” He is a believer in Jesus Christ and his heart is renewed by the Holy Spirit (John 3:8). He loves God (1 John 4:19) and serves Him by keeping His commandments (1 John 3:22). He has the joy of the Lord in his heart (John 15:11). He is satisfied. At the same time he joins Paul who said, “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14). He is looking forward to glory.

I trust today you are trusting in Christ and pressing on. If not, the counsel of Malachi 3:7 affirms, “Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the LORD of hosts.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask God to restore backsliders and keep His people moving forward.

Rev. James Reaves served his last congregation, Grace Reformed Church (URCNA), in Kelowna, BC. He retired in 2014 after fifty years of ordained ministry. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.

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