Grace to You Devotionals

GTY Devotionals

September 26

Satan Opposes God's Word

"Take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17).

Despite Satanic opposition, God’s Word will accomplish its work in His people.

In Matthew 13 Jesus tells the parable of the sower and the seed: "Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. And others fell upon the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up. . . . But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil, and yielded a crop" (vv. 3-8).

Jesus went on to explain that the seed is the truth of God's Word. Satan and his demonic forces can snatch it away from those who hear it yet don't understand what it means. They can bring affliction and persecution against those who have an emotional commitment only, thereby causing them to lose heart and fall away. In some cases they choke out the Word with worry and the deceitfulness of riches (vv. 19-22).

But truly repentant sinners receive and nurture the gospel truth, just as prepared soil receives and nurtures seed. They hear it, understand it, receive it, and produce spiritual fruit (v. 23).

Proclaiming the gospel is an important aspect of taking the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). As you do, others are saved and join God's army. But be warned: Satan never gives up territory without a fight. Some of the people you witness to will forget what you tell them. Others will refuse to turn from worldly influences. Still others may respond emotionally, but without a genuine commitment to serving Christ and forsaking sin.

Those spiritual battles should compel you to bathe your evangelism in prayer and undergird it with a clear gospel presentation. If people understand precisely what it means to receive Christ, and if their hearts are prepared by the Holy Spirit, they'll not be so easily victimized by satanic opposition.

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask the Lord to give you an opportunity to share Christ with someone today, or to encourage a struggling believer.

For Further Study

Read 1 Thessalonians 3:1-8.

  • What was Paul's concern for the Thessalonian believers?
  • What did he do to eliminate his concern?
From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187,

September 26

The Spirit Brings Understanding

“‘These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will speak no more to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father’” (John 16:25).

We understand truth thanks to the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Scripture makes it clear that the disciples and all subsequent believers would need additional divine assistance to understand all of God’s teachings. Jesus Himself knew that, as we saw in yesterday’s lesson. And the apostle Paul alludes to that fact in 1 Corinthians 2:9: “Just as it is written, ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.’” Our human minds and senses by themselves can’t give us an understanding of God’s truth. That’s why we need the Holy Spirit.

In John 16:25 Jesus says, “An hour is coming when I . . . will tell you plainly.” That reference is to the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured forth to permanently indwell the disciples and all other believers. Therefore, Jesus is saying that the Spirit will help us understand God’s truth, even the veiled mysteries and figurative statements in His Word.

We know and understand all that we do about God only because His Spirit is our teacher. The Holy Spirit is the one who knows the mind of God and teaches us the deep things of God from Scripture (1 Cor. 2:10-14). All the New Testament epistles were written to plainly explain Christ’s teachings to us. At times the Spirit teaches us directly through the Word, and other times He uses people to teach us and unveil what was previously a mystery. But it’s all His working, it’s reliable, and we can thank Him every day for granting us spiritual understanding.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • If there is a Scripture passage that has been unclear to you, pray that God would clarify it for you as you study it again, or that He would lead you to someone who can help you understand it.
  • Pray for an unbeliever who has been struggling with accepting God’s truth. Ask the Spirit to draw that person to the Lord and unlock Scripture’s truths.

For Further Study

Read Acts 8:26-38.

  • What does this passage teach about the importance of obeying the Spirit’s direction?
  • How did Philip and the Ethiopian exhibit different aspects of that obedience?
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187,

September 26

Reading for Today:

  • Isaiah 43:1–44:28
  • Psalm 110:1-7
  • Proverbs 26:5-9
  • Galatians 4:1-31


Isaiah 43:25 I, even I…not remember your sins. This verse is probably the high point of grace in the Old Testament. In spite of Israel’s utter unworthiness, the Lord in His grace has devised a way that He can forgive their sins and grant righteousness, without compromising His holiness. This He would accomplish through the work of His Servant (53:6). In spite of her failures, Israel will always be God’s chosen people.

Isaiah 44:28 Cyrus,…My shepherd. The prophecy—given a century and a half before Cyrus lived and became king of Persia—predicted God’s use of the Persian king to gather the faithful remnant of Israel back to the land. In this role, Cyrus prefigured the Lord’s Servant, who will shepherd the sheep of Israel in their final regathering (Mic. 5:4). The title “shepherd” applied to kings as leaders of God’s people (2 Sam. 5:2; Jer. 3:15). In Acts 13:22, Paul compares David to the standard of Cyrus’s obedience. Jerusalem…the temple. In 538 B.C., Cyrus decreed the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 1:1, 2; 6:3), thus fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy. The returning Jews completed the work in 516 B.C. (Ezra 6:15).

Galatians 4:4 the fullness of the time. In God’s timetable, when the exact religious, cultural, and political conditions demanded by His perfect plan were in place, Jesus came into the world. God sent forth His Son. As a father set the time for the ceremony of his son becoming of age and being released from the guardians, stewards, and tutors, so God sent His Son at the precise moment to bring all who believe out from under bondage to the law—a truth Jesus repeatedly affirmed (John 5:30, 36, 37; 6:39, 44, 57; 8:16, 18, 42; 12:49; 17:21, 25; 20:21). That the Father sent Jesus into the world teaches His preexistence as the eternal second member of the Trinity. born of a woman. This emphasizes Jesus’ full humanity, not merely His virgin birth (Is. 7:14; Matt. 1:20–25). Jesus had to be fully God for His sacrifice to be of the infinite worth needed to atone for sin. But He also had to be fully man so He could take upon Himself the penalty of sin as the substitute for man. under the law. Like all men, Jesus was obligated to obey God’s law. Unlike anyone else, however, He perfectly obeyed that law (John 8:46; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 7:26; 1 Pet. 2:22; 1 John 3:5). His sinlessness made Him the unblemished sacrifice for sins, who “fulfilled all righteousness,” i.e., perfectly obeyed God in everything. That perfect righteousness is what is imputed to those who believe in Him.

Galatians 4:5 those…under the law. Guilty sinners who are under the law’s demands and its curses and in need of a Savior. the adoption as sons. “Adoption” is the act of bringing someone who is the offspring of another into one’s own family. Since unregenerate people are by nature children of the devil, the only way they can become God’s children is by spiritual adoption.

DAY 26: How does Psalm 110 exalt Jesus Christ?

This psalm contains one of the most exalted prophetic portions of Scripture presenting Jesus Christ as both a holy king and a royal high priest—something that no human monarch of Israel ever experienced. It, along with Psalm 118, is by far the most quoted psalm in the New Testament (Matt. 22:44; 26:64; Mark 12:36; 14:62; Luke 20:42, 43; 22:69; Acts 2:34, 35; Heb. 1:13; 5:6; 7:17, 21; 10:13). While portraying the perfect king, the perfect high priest, and the perfect government, Psalm 110 declares Christ’s current role in heaven as the resurrected Savior (110:1) and His future role on earth as the reigning Monarch (110:2–7). This psalm is decidedly messianic and millennial in content. Jesus Christ (Matt. 22:43, 44) verifies the Davidic authorship.

“The LORD said to my Lord” (v. 1). Refers to the divine/human King of Israel—the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ’s humanity descended from David, which is demanded by the Davidic promise of 2 Samuel 7:12. Using this passage, Christ also declared His deity in the Gospels (Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42–43) by arguing that only God could have been lord to King David. “My right hand.” God the Father invited God the Son in His ascension to sit at the place of honor in the heavenly throne room (Acts. 2:22–36; Heb. 10:10–12). “Your enemies Your footstool.” Footstool was an ancient Near Eastern picture of absolute victory portraying the idea that one’s enemy was now underfoot (Pss. 8:6, 7; 47:3; Is. 66:1; 1 Cor. 15:27).

“You are a priest” (v. 4).The first time in the history of Israel when a king simultaneously served as high priest. Christ (a.k.a. “Branch,” Is. 4:2; Jer. 23:5, 6; Zech. 3:8; 6:12, 13) will build the temple at which the world will worship God (2 Sam. 7:13; Is. 2:2–4; Ezek. 40–48). “Forever.” Christ represents the final and foremost high priest in the history of Israel. “The order of Melchizedek.” This high priest could not be of Aaron’s lineage in that he would not be eternal, not be of Judah, not be a king, and not be of the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31–33; Heb. 8,9). Melchizedek, which means “king of righteousness,” served as the human priest/king of Salem in Genesis 14:17–20 and provides a picture of the order of Christ’s priesthood (Heb. 5:6; 7:17, 21).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214,

September 26 - An Old Testament Illustration of Salvation

“‘As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life’” (John 3:14–15).

To emphasize for Nicodemus that there was no excuse for him to be ignorant of the way of salvation, Jesus appealed to a familiar incident in the Old Testament (Num. 21:5–9).

The event took place during Israel’s forty years of wilderness wandering after leaving Egypt and before entering the Promised Land. As a judgment on the people’s incessant complaining, the Lord sent venomous snakes to infest their camp. In desperation, the Israelites begged Moses to intercede on their behalf. And God answered Moses’ prayerful petition by showing mercy to His rebellious people. He instructed Moses to make a bronze replica of a snake and raise it above the camp on a pole. Those who were bitten would be healed if they but looked at it, thereby acknowledging their guilt and expressing faith in God’s forgiveness and healing power.

The point of Jesus’ analogy is that just “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up” (crucified; cf. 8:28; 12:32, 34). The term “must” emphasizes that Christ’s death was a necessary part of God’s plan of salvation. He had to die as a substitute for sinners. The stricken Israelites were cured by obediently looking to the elevated serpent, apart from any works or righteousness of their own, in complete hope and dependence on God’s Word. In the same way, whoever looks in faith alone to the crucified Christ will be cured from sin’s deadly bite and “will in Him have eternal life.”

Ask Yourself

The use of analogies and common knowledge is most effective in sharing gospel truth with others. What are some of the most compelling ones God has registered in your heart? Be deliberate about getting these down, grounding them biblically, then having them mentally available to share.

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610,

Del libro La Verdad para Hoy de John MacArthur DERECHOS DE AUTOR © 2001 Utilizado con permiso de Editorial Portavoz,
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