Devotionals

You can also click the links below to access other devotional websites.

Make Your Life Count!

make your life count
 
When life gets crazy or the burden from trials comes our way, it is so easy to move in to “shutdown mode” if we are not careful.
 
The reality is life is usually fairly hectic with the challenges that come from daily living.  In the midst of all the craziness, how do we make sure that we live purposeful lives?
 
The simple answer is to keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.  Though, living it out is a little more difficult since most of us become distracted by the circumstances around us.
 
As a follower of Christ, you need to live intentionally and make the life God has called you to count!  Part of making your life count requires declaring what the Lord has done and pouring the truth of God’s Word into the lives of others.
 
Psalm 145:4, “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
 
God desires for each of us to maximize relationships with others and share the reason for our hope in Christ Jesus.
 
Jesus is the example that all can look to, as He poured His truth and wisdom into His disciples and others around Him.
 
You may not feel qualified or worthy, but Jesus is! As a believer, you are the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ.
 
Make your life count by sharing the gospel and by sharing how God is working in your life so others who are struggling in their faith can turn to The Hope, The Redeemer; Jesus Christ.


Built to Last

Built to Last
 
As a believer in Christ, everlasting life is a glorious end in which all who put their faith and trust in Jesus have the opportunity to experience the abundant life.
 
In Galatians 6:8-9, Paul uses the principle of sow and reaping. He wants the reader to understand that nothing sown in the flesh is built to last. However all who sow to the Spirit will reap an abundant life.
 
Galatians 6:8-9,For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”
 
A glorious end for so many in our society is to fulfill all of our fleshly desire before we leave this earth.  But there is a strong warning that doing so will lead to corruption and ultimately a harvest of destruction.  [The word corruption has been interpreted by some scholars as a term for a field in which the produce was too rotten to harvest.]
 
At any rate, Paul wants us to understand that we can experience a life that is built to last through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 
 
Sowing to the Spirit does not mean that eternal life is earned by works, but by the guidance of the Spirit, you will experience the fullness of Christ in a manner that is lasting.
 
Paul goes on to share about the importance of doing good in verse 9.  Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”
 
In living the Christian life, good works are a fruit which reveals a life of faith in Jesus.  It speaks to our desire (attitude and actions) to sow in the flesh or to the Spirit.
 
If you truly desire to experience the abundant life, you remain in Christ and sow to His Spirit.
 
John 15:5, “I am the vine and you are the branches, he who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
 
The only things that are built to last are centered in Christ! Amen.
 
 
 
 


Extreme Makeover: Jesus Addition

extreme-makeover
 
Can you think of a time when there was something significant you needed to get done so you did it your way?
 
 
You labored to finish the task in a timely manner, but all it stirred up was frustration.  You put in a ton of hours that ended up being unproductive.
 
Psalm 127 is a psalm of wisdom exhorting us to be careful in our approach to labor.  Endeavors in which we labor without the Lord, is useless because it is in vain.
 
Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord build the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchmen stay awake in vain.
 
Life apart from the Lord is really not worth living, but God allows us to choose.  You can choose to do things His way or your own.  There are plenty of painful lessons I learned from laboring without the power of Holy Spirit.
 
An Extreme Makeover requires a solid foundation that can built on…His name is Jesus!
 
Jesus will build you up in the truth of His Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. As He does a transforming work in your life, it will be extreme as you labor according to His will, purpose, and plan.
 
Are you in need of an “Extreme Makeover?”
 
2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passes away; behold, all things have become new.”
 
I encourage you to abide in Him and by His grace, He will transform you in a way that all of your labor will be productive and powerful for the Kingdom of God.


Whom Do You Love?

love-world-graphic
 
Love is one of those words that is used loosely in the English language.  
We say things like,
“I love ice cream” 
“I love that show” 
“I love ________”(you fill in the blank)
 
God gave much greater meaning to the word “love.” God is love…and because of that, He warns against loving the world or the things in it.
 
1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
 
Love of the world started in the garden of Eden and remains to this day.
 
In Genesis 3:6, “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”
 
God had already warned Adam and Eve to eat from any tree in the garden, except that one or they would surely die.  But they got caught up in the serpents lies and believed it would make them wise.
 
The result= fall of man.
 
The world is opposed to everything God stands for…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  
 
As Christians, we need live out our love for God as we seek and serve Him only.
 
In his book, Drawing Nearer, John McArthur says, “you can’t love the world and God at the same time because love knows no rivals. It gives its object first place. If you love God, He will have first place in your life. If you love the world, the love of the Father isn’t in you.”
 
God can provide us with the wisdom and grace to resist the influences of this world. In fact, He has already promised a way of escape when we face the temptation.
 
1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
 
Loving God and following His direction for your life is profitable for all eternity.
 
Loving this world and the things in it will be great for a season, but will cheat you for an eternity.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Expect Greatness

greatness
 
Missionary William Carey said, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.
 
Have you ever been recognized for an amazing accomplishment you have done or received an award for doing something special?
 
If so, I am sure it was probably an experience that was gratifying and humbling.
 
As a believer in Christ, God prepares us through all types of circumstances and situations to respond with confidence to expect great things from God.
 
When we learn to expect great things from God, knowing He is able to far more than we ask or imagine, then we will attempt great things for God.
 
In 1 Timothy 4, Paul is encouraging the young pastor, Timothy, to walk in the confidence of the Lord.  In spite of his age and the heavy burden of responsibility facing the church at Ephesus.
 
Ephesus was one of the major cities in the Roman Empire. It was a center for politics, commerce, and religions of Asia Minor.  It was also a city famous for its Temple and worship of the goddess Diana.
 
1 Timothy 4:11-14a, “Prescribe and teach these things. Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you,”
 
This passage provides six areas we should expect to be great.  
 
In speech (our conversations with others)
in conduct (our behavior)
in love (with the love of God)
in faith (trusting the lord with the Spirit guiding us)
in purity (our thoughts and sexual matters)
 
The recognition that will follow is; you will save yourself and those who around you. (1 Timothy 4:16)
 
Become a person of impact…
Expect great things from God, 
go attempt great things for God!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Victory is Mine

Victory in Jesus1
 
Satan works hard to distract us with his schemes in trying to get our focus on him.  That’s why it is so important to fill your heart and mind with the power, sovereignty, and awe of God.
 
If you’re not careful, satan will try to push his way into your life in an attempt to cause fear and doubt. But we need to remember, though he has not conceded defeat, Jesus already conquered satan by His atoning work on the cross.
 
If you keep the faith, in the midst of the spiritual warfare, you will be victorious.
 
Revelation 2:7, “He who has an ear let him hear, what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.”
 
We can’t win alone, but by the strength and power of the Lord, we have all we need to stand against the principalities and power of the evil one.
 
As a believer in Christ, victory is yours because the One who proclaimed victory live in you.
 
As you battle through the woes of the devil, remember to fix your eyes on Jesus.  Keep a proper perspective knowing the finished work on the Cross will lead you to triumph.
 
1 Corinthians 15:57, ” but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
 
The sound of the last trumpet will be the final victory for all believers…you will have overcome and eat of the tree of life in Paradise with God.
 
 
 


Reinforce Your Faith

fit-keep-running  running2
 
In this world, there will be times of testing and trials. Times when it appears the sky is falling and the Lord may not be able to keep it from crushing you.
 
Pain, stress, and worry have set in, and you find yourself overwhelmed with how it’s all going to work out.  
I can assure you the Lord is able to help you through it, but we must stay the course and not give up.
 
Hebrews 12:12-13, “Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.”
 
These verses return to the metaphor in Hebrews 12:1-3 concerning the race.  In the race of faith, we must not allow our circumstances to get the best of us.
 
There are times in the race when your hands may be weak and your knees are feeble.  But it’s in those times, your faith will be reinforced, if you remain disciplined and keep running in anticipation of your second wind.
 
In that moment you don’t think you can run another step comes that second wind…renewed strength, if you continue looking to Jesus.
 
The Lord has a unique way of using trials and pain to condition us to complete the race.  But thanks be to God that He gives us everything we need to finish the race; including a great cloud of witnesses  that testify to the truth of  the faith.
 
Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus consistently trusting Him, instead of the circumstances around you, and you will finish well.
 
 


Let It Shine!

Light Shine

One of my favorite children’s songs I learned in Sunday School was This Little Light Of Mine.
 

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine Oh, this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I’m going to let it shine
Everywhere I go, I’m going to let it shine Oh, everywhere I go, I’m going to let it shine Everywhere I go, I’m going to let it shine

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I’m going to let it shine
In John chapter 1, John describes Jesus as the Light who gives light to every man coming into the world.
 
As a believer in Jesus, you are His light that shines and a provider of hope for a world bound by the darkness of sin.
 

Our sins and failures are forgiven; his love and acceptance should move us to a changed life, commitment to Him, and the desire to share the hope we have in Jesus.

 

Thank God that Jesus, the Christ, the Light of the World, was the bearer of redemption for the forgiveness of sins and God’s grace for all mankind.

 

All Christians are called to carry the light of the gospel to those around.

With the power we have received by the Holy Spirit, we can step into this world and let our light shine.

 

Acts 1:8, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

 

Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

 

Let your light shine this day.

“Let it shine, let it shine, oh let it shine!”

 



What’s In Your Well

Deep-Well1
 
An old farmer said, “What’s in the well, comes up in the bucket.”
 
I hope this quote encourages you to examine what is in the “well of your heart.”
 
Is love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control coming up in the bucket?
Or is hate, anger, unforgiveness, brutality, despising good, pride, disobedience, lack of self-control, or words of discouragement coming up in the bucket?
 
If your well is polluted, it’s almost a certainty that words of discouragement and sinful behavior will come up in the bucket.
 
Is there garbage in your well that needs to be removed?
 
James 3:11-12, “Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt and fresh.”
 
We need to put God in our heart daily…Think about Him, talk about Him, Pray to Him, and Study His Word, then God will come out.
 
As you face trials and circumstances in life, what’s in the well will certainly come up in the bucket.
 
If God is in the “well of your heart,”  His love and the desire to please Him will come up in the bucket.
 
Proverbs 4:23, Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.”
 
Think about some steps you can take to guard your heart?
 
May the Lord bless you and fill you with a fresh anointing this day! Amen.
 
 
 
 
 


A Tool of the Tempter

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 10.03.09 PM
 
Suppose you were asked if you wanted to be used by Satan?  I’m sure your answer would probably be “NO!”
 
Pastor Charles Stanley says in his book, Enter His Gates, that is exactly what happens when we spread gossip, speak coarsely, allow questionable television programs in our homes, or dress inappropriately. We can become the tempter’s agent.
 
Of course, no one wants to feel used by another person, but if we cause other believers to stumble in their walk with the Lord, we have unintentionally become a tool of the tempter.
 
In 1 Corinthians 8:9-10, Paul is speaking to the Church at Corinth regarding food sacrificed to idols, but there is great application in other areas of life.  Paul is reminding the church to handle liberty with responsibility.
 
1 Corinthians 8:9-10, But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols?”
 
Satan will use schemes to deceive us then use our sin and bad habits to mislead others in his desire for Christians to be his tool. 
 
Ultimately, we are all responsible in our response to temptation, but we can avoid the deceiver’s tactics if we remember our actions can have a a positive or negative effect on others.
 
Memorizing Matthew 18:6 can be a great reminder of the importance of not becoming a tool of the tempter.
 
Matthew 18:6, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a b]heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
 
We need to remember our actions are not in isolation.  For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  But we can decide, in the many moments of each day, to be a blessing to others instead of a curse.
 
May the Lord bless and keep you! Amen.