Standard Equipment - A Family Devotional


Doing right is not optional, it's crucial. In this devotion, Josh McDowell shares a story about how to live a clean and holy life.

Doing right is not optional, it's crucial.

Bible Reading of the Day: Read Hebrews 12:14-17.

Verse of the Day: “Try to live in peace with everyone, and seek to live a clean and holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

Dad and Shelly went to the car dealership to pick up a brand new car. Dad planned to leave their old car as a trade-in.

“This is the first new car I’ve ever owned,” Dad said as they climbed into the new car.

Shelly inhaled. “It smells so good!” she said. Then she looked at the car’s sound system. “I still don’t understand why we couldn’t get a CD player.”

“I told you, Shelly, a CD player costs extra. The radio and tape deck are standard equipment, but the CD player is optional. It would have cost more.”

“Darbi’s car has a CD player,” Shelly announced, referring to one of her friends.

“I know,” Dad said as he drove out of the car lot. “But we can’t have everything we want, can we?”

“Not in our family!” Shelly countered, a trace of sarcasm surfacing in her voice.

“That reminds me, Shelly,” Dad said. “Mom tells me that some of Darbi’s language has been rubbing off on you.”

Shelly clucked her tongue and rolled her eyes. “I’ve just cussed a couple times, Dad,” she said. “It’s not like I’m making a habit of it.”

“I hope not, Shelly. You know how your mom and I feel about those kinds of words.”

“I don’t see what the big deal is,” Shelly said. “I’m still a Christian. A few bad words aren’t going to keep me out of heaven.”

“That’s true,” Dad answered. “But I don’t want you to make the mistake of thinking that right choices … are … optional. See, Shelly, doing right isn’t like a CD player in a car; it’s more like a steering wheel or an engine. It’s not optional—it’s standard equipment. We can’t just decide, ‘Well, I’m going to heaven, so it doesn’t matter how I act,’ or, ‘I can do this because I know God will forgive me.’”

“I’m not doing that,” Shelly protested.

“Maybe not, but I don’t think you’re taking your sin very seriously,” Dad said. “I’m glad you’re a Christian, Shelly, you know I am. But being a Christian doesn’t make living a clean and holy life unnecessary … it makes it possible!”

Shelly shook her head. “I’m sorry, Dad,” she said. “I’ll do better from now on.” Dad smiled. “I’m sure you will,” he said.

TO DISCUSS: Is it OK for Christians to sin? Why or why not? Is it OK for us to sin as long as we plan to ask for God’s forgiveness later? Why or why not? How can we live clean and holy lives?

TO PRAY: “Lord, help us to remember that you command us to obey you. Help us to live clean and holy lives.”

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