Holy, holy, holy
Sunday, in many Christian congregations, was Trinity Sunday, so I thought today I would base the daily devotion on Isaiah 6:1-4, "Today's devotion is based on Isaiah 6:1-4 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings, they covered their faces, with two, they covered their feet, and with two, they were flying. And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." At the sound of their voices, the doorposts and thresholds shook, and the temple was filled with smoke."
How would you feel if you experienced something like this? When the prophet Isaiah had this experience, he felt completely overwhelmed. He was overwhelmed by God's holiness. To be holy does not mean to be sinless but to be wholly set apart. As we witness God's revelation of himself to Isaiah, we can't help but see God is on a level all his own in every possible way. No one comes close to matching his power. No one can ever begin to approach his glory. Everything about him is perfect.
All this leads us to approach our holy God with similar reverence. We may not see our holy God with our physical eyes each time we enter a church. But he still is seated on his high and lofty throne. He still is transcendent and set apart. The angels in heaven still are shouting his praises. And we join our voices to theirs, exalting our holy God as we sing Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty.
Please join me in praying the prayer for today: We praise you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three in one, for the way you have worked together to bring us your love and salvation. Amen.
He died that we might live
Today's devotion is based on Jesus' words to his followers, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends."
This weekend, we remember all of those in the military that lost their lives defending the lives of others in battle. Those who gave up their lives saving the lives of their fellow soldiers are remembered by those they saved for the rest of their lives. Wouldn't we do the same?
Someone did die to save our lives—someone by the name of Jesus Christ! Each of us, by our nature, was not a friend of Jesus. We were the enemy. What kind of love is it that would have Jesus die for his enemies?
He did not die to lengthen our life here on earth. By his death, Jesus gave us eternal life. He turned us from enemies into friends. Jesus took our sins on himself so that we can spend eternity with Him in heaven. To that end, we look forward. For here and now, we hear his command: Love each other as I have loved you.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord Jesus, help me this day to be willing to selflessly love the people in my life the way you selflessly loved me when you paid for my sins on the cross. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Spirit of change
Today's devotion is based on Joel 2:32, “Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Our God of new beginnings speaks words of renewal and new life. He is promising to unleash the most powerful ‘force’ in the universe onto a tiny planet called Earth and bring salvation, healing, restoration, and hope. You and I live here. We call it home – for now. But we know and believe there is better coming because that same Spirit has led us to Jesus as our Lord and Savior. What would you want God to revive, renew or change for the better in your life?
Please pray with me the prayer for today: God of Wonder and Might, help me cry ‘glory’ to your name forever. Place in my heart a song of praise each day. Let me sing of the joy of my salvation found in your Son Jesus. Help me honor you with all that I have today and always as your Holy Spirit leads me. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on Acts 2:42: “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
This verse gives us a description of the first congregation and, at the same time, a description of the Christian Church throughout time, for these practices will always exist and can never change in a Christian congregation.
A true Christian church follows the teachings of the New Testament, that is the teaching of the Apostles. A true Christian church comes together in fellowship, both in everyday life and the worship Service. A true Christian church celebrates the Lord’s Supper. A true Christian church spends time earnest, meaningful prayer, especially in the worship service where public prayer is prayed.
So, while worship styles have changed over the years, these things cannot change; teaching of God’s Word, coming together in worship, celebrating the Lord’s Supper, and purposeful prayer.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord, Holy Spirit, come to your Church. You know that a spiritless church is a mockery of God, while a Spirit-filled Church is a pillar of support for the truth, source of life, and a refuge for all who are burdened, and tired. Thank you, Lord, for the Holy Spirit. Amen
Help is on the way
Today's devotion is based on Acts 2:21, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Who do you call in an emergency? Most, if not all the time, we call 9-1-1. We know when calling them help will soon be on the way. But, whom do you call when you need spiritual help? When you are thinking, “I can’t do this alone, Lord. My guilt is too big. I’ve made a mess of my life. I’ve made so many mistakes—how can I possibly stand before you, O Lord, when my life is over? I need you, Lord. Please, come and help!”
There is only one person you need to call on when you need spiritual help—only one person who can help when you need spiritual help. That person is the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, your guilt is overwhelming but remember, Jesus paid for your every sin on the cross. Yes, you’ve made a mess of things, at nearly every turn; but remember, Jesus was perfect at every turn and in every moment of his life. He did that for you. Remember today’s verse, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Please pray with me the prayer for today: O Holy Spirit, come to me with your Word of comfort. Help me to see Jesus as my only Savior and to love him with all my heart. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Witnessing for Jesus
Today's devotion is based on Acts 4:13, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus."
Ordinary people who spend time with Jesus (verse 13) and are filled with the Holy Spirit (verse 8) get immortalized in the Bible and throughout church history to become recognized as mighty agents in God's kingdom.
Enter here every Christian who has been baptized and spent time in God's word. God has a way of raising up those willing and open to being used throughout their life in situations where their time with Jesus has prepared them for service and acts of love.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Help me to see the mighty ways you are using 'ordinary' people to serve in your kingdom. Thank you for parents, children's ministry leaders, mentors, and friends who have identified and encouraged gifts that you want to be developed for your purposes. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on a prophecy from Joel 2:27-32, "You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel and that I am the LORD your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame. "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days, I will pour out my Spirit. "And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and Jerusalem, there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls."
It seems that living through some good times for a season and then experiencing the troubled times is an age-old cycle dating back throughout history. Where's God in all this? I sometimes wonder what God must be thinking as he reflects on the ability of people to ruin a good thing. I do not dwell there for too long because it is too disheartening. Sin, failure, depravity, stupidity, unleashed evil, destruction, cowardice, greed; the list could go on too.
Our God speaks of new beginnings to us, just as he did to the people of Israel. God promises to unleash the most powerful 'force' in the universe onto a tiny planet called Earth and bring salvation, healing, restoration, and hope. You and I live here. We call it home – for now. But we know there is better coming because that same Spirit has led us to Jesus as our Lord and Savior will lead us into the very presence of God.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord God Almighty, pour out your Holy Spirit afresh into all of us during this troubling time, a time where so many have lost hope. In your holy name, we pray. Amen.
Today, the day after the Christian Church celebrated Pentecost, my devotion for today is based on Acts 2:1-4, “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Big, life-changing events can happen in a moment. Most tornadoes, for instance, last less than ten minutes; but in those short moments, a lot can happen. On May 22, 2011, at 5:34 P.M., a tornado touched down just west of Joplin, Missouri. Thirty-eight minutes later, 8,000 buildings were destroyed, 1,000 people were injured, and 161 lives were lost.
Just as bad, destructive things can happen in a moment. Good, beautiful things can happen too. The Holy Spirit has used some remarkable people and special moments in our lives to introduce us to Jesus and enable us to put our trust in him. What a moment it is when the sign of the cross is made on the head and heart when a child or adult is baptized into God’s family. What a moment it is when a youngster sits on grandma’s lap and hears about the Savior’s love. What a moment it is when a weary soul comes to Jesus for rest when the sin-laden conscience is assured that Jesus has taken away all sin.
Please pray with me the prayer for today” Dear Lord, as I approach this day, help me not to hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on John 14:25-27, where we hear Jesus say to his disciples,“ All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.”
Jesus told them he was leaving. He told them he was going to suffer and die. And he said to them that they would have a very specific job, repeating the things he had told them. The disciples had anxiety; their hearts were troubled, just as we would be if someone we loved told us they would suffer and die.
Jesus did not just cause anxiety. He also relieved their anxiety. He told the disciples that after he was gone, the Holy Spirit would prompt them to remember what he told them—with no mistakes. After the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, the disciples would be able to preach and teach and write the New Testament of the Bible confidently, knowing that the Holy Spirit was making sure that every word was correct.
God’s love for you in Christ Jesus gives you peace and takes away anxiety. You can also speak words that take away anxiety for your loved ones. Because of the peace that you have in Jesus, you can speak words of forgiveness to them. Because you know that the Bible is true, you can talk about the truth to them in love. When your heart is troubled, when you feel anxious, Jesus promises you peace.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit that he would guide us into all truth by means of your Word and reveal to us the righteousness of Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Sowing in the Spirit
Today's devotion is based on Galatians 6:7-8, "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 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."
There are two different seeds to sow. One way is to sow in fields of flesh; that is, live one's life in an openly godless way. The other way is to sow in the Spirit. This means living one's life in the Spirit. Living one's life in the Spirit is recognizing when someone is sinning that you could be doing the same thing without the Spirit. You, as I am, are no better than that person. Living in the Spirit leads to restoring the person with the beautiful words of grace that God bestowed on you.
Please pray with me the prayer for today, the eve of Pentecost: Holy Spirit, thank you for the gift of faith. Let my entire life be a life that you guide, control, and fulfill. Come Holy Spirit with all your gifts, and give them to us for the sake of Jesus. In his blessed name, I pray. Amen.