Devotionals
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57   Entries 86-90 of 283
August 29, 2017, 5:00 AM

  Where do you feel like you might be able to lead?


So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

We’ve talked before about the idea that no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. The idea that we are to follow Jesus and live the life He designed for us relies solely on our ability to trust that He is who He says He is. Many times, we confuse leading with teaching. We know that Jesus had much to teach, and the Gospels attest to this fact. But what does any of that matter if we don’t trust Him, or have confidence that the Bible really is His Word?

 

One thing that seems reassuring is that Jesus didn’t just come and rattle off all of these rules and tell people when they were wrong. Jesus lived in such a way that those around Him came to trust Him by His actions, not just by His words. Like much of what Jesus says, today’s devotional passage isn’t about rules or orders. It’s a simple reminder that He will always be there for us. It’s an invitation to trust. It’s easy to think that we have something to teach, and often we feel surrounded by people that need to learn. But before we jump into teaching, we have to remember to lead as we go; that in our day-to-day lives people are watching us to see if we can be trusted.

 

 We have to live in such a way that people want to hear what we have to say and will be willing to trust us to help make changes in their lives.  Where do you feel like you might be able to lead? Do these people already trust you? Are there things in the Bible that you struggle to believe, or apply to your life? Does this have any correlation to a lack of trust in Jesus?

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, help me to trust in who You are. Lord I don’t desire just a head knowledge of facts, but an understanding of truth based off of experiencing Your faithfulness. Jesus may I live in such a way that people will not only trust me but trust You and Your love for them. Help me to steward the influence I’ve been given. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.




August 28, 2017, 5:00 AM

How are you going to position yourself to be used by God today?


For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:14-19

 

It only takes a quick glance at the news headlines to realize the world is broken. From across the globe to the neighbor across the street, heartbreak, confusion, cynicism, anger and despair seem to reign. Fear seems to be winning out over hope. Division and divisiveness are more prevalent than unity and direction. There are more people shouting “us” and “them,” rather than looking another person in the eye and saying “we.”  Our world is a far cry from the Kingdom of God, which is defined by the qualities of love, peace, holiness, hope and joy. As we pray that the world would reflect His Kingdom more fully, we are not only asking God to display His power, but also seeking to figure out how He wants to use us to make His name known.

 

We can’t turn a blind eye, cover our ears or look the other way any longer. We can’t let the world unravel while we twiddle our thumbs and pass off our inactivity by simply stating that “God is in control.” The world is waiting for our response. Will we add to the problems of our culture by looking like everybody else and giving in to fear, hate, and cynicism, or will we seize the opportunity presented to us and be the light of this world? Will we possess the courage to engage the lost, empower the most vulnerable and equip the next generation? What if  through our actions we enabled the world to catch glimpses of what His Kingdom is like by pursuing justice, forgiving generously and loving boldly?

 

The simple truth is this, the church has the only message that has the power to change the human heart, heal a wounded soul, turn hatred into love and comfort the grieving. Our message brings repentance, redemption and reconciliation. Each one of us must pause and ask ourselves whether we are being intentional with the responsibility and influence we’ve been given. God has trusted us with the influence of His love and the integrity of His image. Do not take this lightly. But, don’t let the pressure of this statement overwhelm you. God honors our simple acts of obedience and He can do amazing things with each step we take. The impact of caring isn’t stress, but compassion.

 

As we are transformed into the image of God, the opportunities for our life to be used to display His kingdom increases as well.  God desires for every follower of His to use everything they’ve been given – every moment, every struggle, and every success – for the sake of His Kingdom. We have to look at everything we have, as well as all that we experience, both the good and the bad, and ask, “What is this for?”  We also must open our eyes to the opportunities all around us, those moments often get missed because we are consumed with the state of our individual kingdom and making sure our needs, wants and desires are met. Yet, the freedom we have through Christ was never meant to be held on to, but rather given away by serving others.

 

Yet, before that can happen, we have to make a decision.  Are we going to put ourselves in a position to be used in this way?  Are we going to allow our lives to be used for this purpose? How are you going to position yourself to be used by God today?

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, may my life point towards Your hope. Lord open my eyes to ways I can be used for Your glory. Jesus in the midst of this broken world, I hope I can shine my light and make a difference for Your kingdom. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.




August 27, 2017, 5:00 AM

Where does faith make an appearance in your story?


Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:1-3

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:39-40

When we let comfort and convenience overpower our willingness to step into the unknown, we choose to sit on the sidelines. If our eyes focus solely on whether our tiny, individual kingdom is comfortable, we will miss out on opportunities to be used by God. There is an incredible cost associated with making this decision.  In order to tell a great story with our life, we must choose calling over convenience. The life and meaning we desire is found when we sacrifice for something bigger than ourselves. God’s vision for the person we are becoming has little to do with our peace and pleasure. It gives little regard to our comfort and convenience.

 

There are no epic Bible stories about a man or woman who settled for comfort. The people God utilized were those willing to be inconvenienced and sacrifice their needs and wants for a greater good. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in Hebrews 11.  This passage is often dubbed “The Hall of Faith.” The individuals mentioned were driven by faith and convictions and refused to settle for comfort. They trusted in God’s character as well as His promises.  Imagine for a second if they took the easy route and choose convenience instead. Noah never would have built an ark in the middle of a barren land. Abraham would have missed the opportunity to see God’s promise fulfilled in Isaac. Moses and the Israelites would have never left Egypt or crossed the Red Sea.

 

This list, doesn’t even mentioned those from the New Testament who exhibited incredible faith – people like the apostle Paul, Peter, John and the rest of the disciples. If they settled for security, the early church, along with the life-changing message of the Gospel, would never have dispersed to the ends of world. Yet, they did answer the call and many heard their radical message of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. In the face of fiery opposition, they spoke of God taking on human form, being vulnerable, and willingly dying on a cross to bridge the divide that our sin created. This message has been changing the world ever since. What type of story are you telling with your life? Where does faith make an appearance in your story?

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, I want to tell a great story with my life. I want my days to count. Lord, I know this won’t occur if I’m consumed with making a name for myself. Help me to live for something bigger than myself. Jesus may Your name be praised through the way I live my life. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.




August 26, 2017, 5:00 AM

We need to continually be reminded of the message we have been entrusted with as believers.


John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:4-6

We need to continually be reminded of the message we have been entrusted with as believers. It’s a tale of restoration. It involves hope for the hopeless and freedom from the endless cycles of futility. It is the fulfillment of all of our longings. For those who feel worthless, unlovable and ugly, it says quite the opposite. It tells them they are valued and cared for beyond their wildest imagination.  In the midst of humanity’s mess, the beauty of the cross shines brighter. God didn’t wait till we had our act together before extending a hand. Instead, He demonstrated His great love for us by sending His Son.

 

Jesus bridged the gap. He righted every wrong. He defeated death. He had victory over sin, assuring us that in the end, love wins. This is the gift we’ve been given. And by accepting this gift we are guaranteed a place in His kingdom. But, it doesn’t stop there. We are given a whole new identity. No longer are we defined by our past, our shortcomings, or how others might label us. If you’ve accepted Christ’s sacrifice, today when you woke up and looked in the mirror a priest was staring back at you. Although I would venture to say that’s not what you think you saw.

 

From your critical viewpoint, all your eyes focused on was what a mess you were, a person who fails, who stumbles, and who wrestles with doubt. God, on the other hand, sees something completely different. Ephesians 2:10 says we are “God’s workmanship” while 1 Peter 2:9 describes us as a “royal priesthood.” In the Old Testament, priests wore a special turban with a gold medallion fastened to it. A special saying was engraved on the plate: “HOLY TO THE LORD” (Exodus 39:30). Holy simply means to be set apart of separate. You are set apart for God, not because of what you’ve done, but solely due to what God did on your behalf.

 

As a result, your life is no longer your own. You have been given the task of displaying God’s love to others. Serving others is what should define our days. This is why we as a church community should be tuning our ears to what the Holy Spirit might be saying to us individually and corporately. We want to stay in step with the Spirit’s leading and steward the message of hope well. Because we are free, we point others towards the way of freedom. In this passage, the apostle John refers to us as priests. Do you find it challenging to see yourself in this way?

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, I don’t want to lose sight of the incredible freedom I’ve been given. Lord this is the message I want to proclaim. Jesus since I’ve been extended grace, may grace and love fuel my steps and interactions with others. May I live a life defined by Your holiness. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.




August 26, 2017, 5:00 AM

We need to continually be reminded of the message we have been entrusted with as believers.


John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:4-6

We need to continually be reminded of the message we have been entrusted with as believers. It’s a tale of restoration. It involves hope for the hopeless and freedom from the endless cycles of futility. It is the fulfillment of all of our longings. For those who feel worthless, unlovable and ugly, it says quite the opposite. It tells them they are valued and cared for beyond their wildest imagination.  In the midst of humanity’s mess, the beauty of the cross shines brighter. God didn’t wait till we had our act together before extending a hand. Instead, He demonstrated His great love for us by sending His Son.

 

Jesus bridged the gap. He righted every wrong. He defeated death. He had victory over sin, assuring us that in the end, love wins. This is the gift we’ve been given. And by accepting this gift we are guaranteed a place in His kingdom. But, it doesn’t stop there. We are given a whole new identity. No longer are we defined by our past, our shortcomings, or how others might label us. If you’ve accepted Christ’s sacrifice, today when you woke up and looked in the mirror a priest was staring back at you. Although I would venture to say that’s not what you think you saw.

 

From your critical viewpoint, all your eyes focused on was what a mess you were, a person who fails, who stumbles, and who wrestles with doubt. God, on the other hand, sees something completely different. Ephesians 2:10 says we are “God’s workmanship” while 1 Peter 2:9 describes us as a “royal priesthood.” In the Old Testament, priests wore a special turban with a gold medallion fastened to it. A special saying was engraved on the plate: “HOLY TO THE LORD” (Exodus 39:30). Holy simply means to be set apart of separate. You are set apart for God, not because of what you’ve done, but solely due to what God did on your behalf.

 

As a result, your life is no longer your own. You have been given the task of displaying God’s love to others. Serving others is what should define our days. This is why we as a church community should be tuning our ears to what the Holy Spirit might be saying to us individually and corporately. We want to stay in step with the Spirit’s leading and steward the message of hope well. Because we are free, we point others towards the way of freedom. In this passage, the apostle John refers to us as priests. Do you find it challenging to see yourself in this way?

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, I don’t want to lose sight of the incredible freedom I’ve been given. Lord this is the message I want to proclaim. Jesus since I’ve been extended grace, may grace and love fuel my steps and interactions with others. May I live a life defined by Your holiness. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.


Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57   Entries 86-90 of 283