Devotionals

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

What Are You Reflecting

Reflection face
 
Proverbs 27:19, “As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects man.”
 
French preacher and theologian, Sebastian Castalio paraphrased the verse this way, “As a man may know what kind of a face he hath if he will look into the water, so he may know what kind of a man he is if he will examine his conscience.”
 
The heart, like water holds the image of man; the mirror in which we see his character. He is to us what our heart makes him out to be.  The fact is, what we find in our own heart, we find in others.
 
The distinguishing marks of your character, you will uncover in others.
 
In spite of all of the diversity that can be seen in the world, there is no difference between one man and another by nature. Only by the grace of God, centered in a relationship with Jesus and guided by the Holy Spirit will you find a difference.
 
True character is revealed through our thoughts.  Gill’s exposition of the entire Bible says, “the hearts of unregenerate men are alike and answer to each other; for they are equally corrupted, depraved, and desperately wicked.”
 
Thanks be to God who is the Difference Maker!
 
Whether you seek Christ or not, you will struggle with temptations and trials. However, those who depend on Christ for righteousness alone, will reflect our Amazing God and a genuine perception of man.
 
Reflect Christ!
 
 


Never Alone

You Are Not Alone images
 
Loneliness is a feeling that can lurk in our lives for many reasons…divorce, empty nest, illness, the death of a loved one or friend, or many other things.
 
As you go through feelings of loneliness it is important to remember, in Christ, you are NEVER alone.
 
Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
 
Building intimacy with Christ is the cure to lonely feelings.
 
There is a hymn by Joseph Scriven, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, which is a great reminder of the love, and comfort that is  found when you draw near to Jesus.
 
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
 
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
 
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer. Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In his arms he’ll take and shield thee; thou wilt find a solace there.
 
You have freedom in Christ to draw as close as you want to Him.
 
He is Jehovah-Shammah, “The Lord is there.”
 
He is already in your tomorrow. He already knows what your future looks like and He has complete control over it.
THE LORD IS THERE!! He will walk with you in whatever tomorrow brings because of His great love for you.
 
In Christ, You are NEVER alone!


Grappling with Grudges and Unforgiveness

grudge     apology
 
Grudges and unforgiveness can taint the way you experience God’s grace and can shackle you spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
 
Grudges left unchecked can cause bitterness and cultivate an attitude of vengeance.
 
Believers in Christ are called to live a life of forgiveness even when someone offends you in a way that you thought was unimaginable.
 
In Matthew 18:21-35,  Peter comes to Jesus asking the question, How many times should he forgive a brother who has sinned against him.  Jesus’ response in this passage provides clear instruction in how we should handle grudges and forgiving others.
 
Here is a glimpse in Matthew 18:21-22, “Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
 
The Lord wants us to resolve disagreements and bring closure to hurtful situations because it not only frees us spiritually, emotionally, and physically, it also puts our focus back on the greatest commandments…Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love our neighbors as yourself.
 
Two Scriptures that are great reminders of significance of letting go of grudges and unforgiveness are found in Ephesians 4:32 and 1 John 4:20.
 
Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
 
1 John 4:20, “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.”
 
When you refuse to forgive someone who has hurt you, you refuse God’s mercy for yourself and remain in a state of disobedience with God.
 
When you hold on to a grudge, the only loser is you!  Your focus is on the hurt and pain instead of turning it over to God.   It will consume you and distract you from experiencing the joy of the Lord which is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
 
Let Go and let God work in your life if/when you are struggling with unforgiveness or  have grudges stored in your heart.
 
God desires unity and diversity of one body; the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12) and calls us to behave like Christians (Romans 12) because the greatest proof of the truth of the gospel is by loving others the way Jesus loves them.
 
Romans 12:17-21, “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
 
If you are grappling with any grudges or unforgiveness, take it to the Lord and allow Him to do a healing work in your life.
 
 
 
 


SHAME(LESS)

Shameless in Christ_0
 
Romans 3:23 reveals “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
 
None of us can live up to God’s standard because His way is Perfect.  
However, that does not mean that we must live this life in a state of shame, guilt and embarrassment when we sin against God.
 
God doesn’t want you continually dueling with feelings of shame.  
He desires for you to yield to temptation and be transformed from sin (death) to a new life in Jesus…saved and sanctified!
 
John 3:17,  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
 
As a believer, you can be transformed in this new life by asking God to show you what you have done, confess it, then submit to His Word.
 
There is no reason to allow shame, guilt, or embarrassment to rule or dominate your life, if Jesus is Savior and Lord of your life.
 
He paid for every sin you will ever commit past, present, and future on the Cross.  
 
God’s forgiveness extends for Eternity to all who believe and trust in Jesus.
 
There will be times when you make poor choices and need to admit/confess your mistakes, but you can’t disappoint the One who already knows everything about you and still loves you the same.
 
2 Corinthians 1:21-22, “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”
 
In Christ, you can live a shame(less) life not only because Jesus died on the Cross for you and for me, but because He gave us the Holy Spirit as a seal of our transformation to a new life.


Content or Discontent, that is the Question?

content-discontent-benjamin-franklin
 
Are you easily irritated when things don’t go quite right?  When your plans have to be re-scheduled, the weather isn’t what you expected, or something in your home isn’t working quite right, do you move toward a constant state of agitation?
 
If so, you are probably experience a lack of contentment in your life.
 
We have all experienced times of frustration in this life that causes us to grumble, but it’s in those moments, we need to stop and check ourselves.
 
There are so many things we can’t change on a daily basis like problems with the environment or with people. However, we can respond with an attitude of thanksgiving and praise.
 
In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul gives insight in how to respond as a believer in Christ; “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
 
You can hold on to the promise that He who gives strength will supply you with all you need to overcome any situation or circumstance.
 
When you keep your focus on Jesus, instead of looking down on every thing that is going wrong, you will look up and give thanks to the Lord for all of the blessings you have received; and live with the hope and peace that only comes from Him.
 
 


Avoiding Burnout

burn-out-
 
Have you ever felt spiritually, emotionally, or physically drained or burned out?  
 
When the pressure of daily life is out of balance, it could result in burnout.
 
Like a tire that is nearly out of tread, if you don’t take care of it, it will blow.
If you have ever seen it or if it has happened to you, then you know that it is dangerous and shredded rubbers shoots everywhere.
 
When you get to those times in life (like a tire) when you feel like you are about to explode, you need to pullover and appraise your life.
 
God wants you to actively participate in His Kingdom work, but He wants you to perform it by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
 
You can avoid burnout by allowing the Holy Spirit to give you insight in what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
 
Understanding God’s priorities for your life is key to avoiding burnout.  The Jews had to deal with a tremendous load of religious responsibility by Pharisees, Scribes, Priests, and Rabbi’s.  But, in Matthew 11, Jesus shares how we can avoid burnout.
 
Matthew 11:27-30,All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
 
By the guidance of the Holy Spirit, He will show you the areas of your life that need adjustment.  
 
If you desire to know His will,  you must take up His yoke, learn from Him, and come to a place where you want what God wants more than what you want…
It is there that you will find rest for your soul.
 


Jesus Paid It All!

paid-in-full
 
The Cross is the cornerstone for deliverance and destiny for all mankind. The choice to reject or accept Jesus’ atoning and redemptive work on the Cross will determine the path you take in this life and where you spend eternity.
 
Once you come to the full understanding of the price He paid…the price for all sin, you can experience the transforming work of the Cross because all who believe and trust in Jesus receive new life.  One that will last an eternity!
 
Isaiah 53:5, “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.”
 
Because He paid it all, you are saved from eternal damnation as well as bondage of sin, if you believe in Christ.  You are redeemed!
 
You have the power through the Holy Spirit to overcome ALL circumstances, obstacles, or even bad habits because Jesus paid it all.  At the Cross, Christ conquered the penalty for sins and released the power for believers to overcome.
 
Romans 8:1, “There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
 
Oh the Wonderful Cross; the place where the Lord Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” By His wounds we are healed and by His Spirit we can be transformed into His image as we move in faith, repentance, discipline, and obedience.
 
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
 
JESUS, Paid it all!
 


Detox: Life

detox life
 
2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature. The old has passed away; behold, the new is come.”
 
All who trust in Jesus are united with Him and receive the benefit of being restored by Christ…the old is gone, the new is come.
 
However, in this life, there are times when we take in harmful stuff that keeps us from living the life God has called us to live.
 
What are some things that are poisoning you?   What toxic behaviors are in need of detoxification in your life?
 
Is it anger, greed, gossip, lying, lust, filthy language, slander, laziness, selfishness, pride, the list goes on.  
Or maybe you are taking in toxic material through inappropriate TV shows, movies, internet sites, or music.
 
We all participate in harmful behaviors that will cause damage if we don’t rid ourselves from it.
 
Detox a process or a period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; abstain or rid the body of unhealthy substances.
 
 
Colossians 3:8-10 says, “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him”
 
If you have ever gone through a dietary detox, then you know the process includes purifying the body by removing the harmful stuff and replacing it with healthy foods, drinks, proper exercise, and appropriate rest.
 
Life detox requires the same process… Remove the harmful behaviors and be filled with the fruit of the Spirit; love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  
 
When we are filled with the Spirit, we gain access to all the fruit, not just one of them.  The Spirit provides us will all that we need for life.  When you are filled with the Spirit, the harmful behaviors are replaced with proper words, thoughts, actions, and attitudes.
 
Christian life requires you to replace bad behaviors for good ones as you seek to be renewed according to the image of the One who created you.
 
2 Corinthians 7:1, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
 
Life detox will take action on your part, but by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you can be purified of the stuff that contaminates your heart, soul, and mind.
 
Put away the old and put on the new!
 
 Are you in need of a life detox?
 
 
 
 


Shake It Off

Shake it off

2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
 
Affliction is a part of living.  Anyone who has roamed the earth long enough, whether you are a Christian or not has experienced a trial in life.
 
But trials are light and temporary for all who trust in the Lord, knowing that whatever you are experiencing will produce perseverance and bring glory to God.
 
Paul is calling on believers to look to the future and see that all of our problems are tiny compared to the Eternal glory in Jesus Christ.
 
Trusting in the Lord will keep you from the weight of frustration and worry.
 
I know it is easier said than done, but as you face affliction, look up!  Then, use it as opportunity to find strength, comfort, and peace in the Lord.
 
Proverbs 37:23-24, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand.”
 

When life seems rough and the affliction seems like to much to bear…

Shake It Off!  The Lord will help you through it.



Who’s In Control

control
 
We live in a world that’s all about control.  Our society works off the notion that whoever controls the most is in control.
 
Control of people, control of your time, control of your money, control of your life.  Life seems to be all about control.

 

However, the reality is, no one is ever in complete control.  How many times have you thought you had a situation handled and WHAM! A situation arises to show you that you are not in control.
 
Psalm 37:5, Commit your way to the Lord; trust Him, and He will act.”
 
God wants us to bring all of our needs, every single one of them to Him and depend on Him to take care of it.
 
We must wait patiently on the Lord, trusting that He is able to meet all of your needs, hopes and fears.
 
1 Peter 5:6-7, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
 
As a believer in Jesus Christ, we can live in this world without the urge to plan, plot, and scheme to establish control.
 

Instead, you can trust in Jesus, who makes our paths straight when we trust Him completely.