Daily Devotional Details


“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34

You can’t start at the fourth beatitude and decide you want to have a great hunger for holiness. But if you become poor in spirit, mourn your sins, and submit your life to the will of God, then you will find that a true hunger for righteousness springs from these roots.

One sure way to spoil your appetite is to snack between meals. If you snack on chips throughout the afternoon, you won’t have much appetite for dinner. The principle is simple: restrict what spoils your appetite. The point is not that there is something wicked or sinful about a bag of chips, but eating them at the wrong time and in the wrong amount will spoil your appetite.

Likewise, legitimate pleasures at the wrong time and in the wrong amount will spoil our appetites for holiness. The problem we all face is that legitimate pleasures can make us dull and sluggish in following after Christ.

Maybe you can look back at a time when you had a great passion to live all out for Jesus Christ. What happened to that? Your appetite was spoiled, diminished by legitimate comforts and pleasures. So, the question is, “How do you keep the legitimate pleasures of life in their proper place?” One answer is—by fasting from legitimate pleasures.

Fasting is a means of heightening self-control. It is a special gift that can be used to help you master something that otherwise might master you. Take a month without television, computer games, golf, or social media. Or go six months without buying new clothes or expensive coffee. Drop a sport for a semester. You will be surprised at the freedom you discover.

Identify a legitimate pleasure of your life and deny it to yourself for a time. Who can you share this decision with?