9-30-19 Today’s devotion is based on 1 Samuel 8:5-9. “They said to him, "You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them, but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights."
The priesthood had failed in their governance of the people of Israel. Self-enrichment and power was the name of the game. The people through their elders needed a change, so they demanded a new government, one that was like all their neighbors. Samuel was not happy with the request because he knew that it was a rejection of God’s management and care of the people. God told him that was nothing new for that is what they have done since he brought them out of Egypt.
As I read this I wondered what does God do with us when we call his management of the world out of style and search for new governance? He lets us have what we want but still never leaves us just like he never left Israel in their bad decision making! We have His assurance. Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things thank you, Lord, for never deserting us when we have decided that your way is not right. Help me to trust your Word for guidance. Than you for staying with me when I make wrong decisions. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
9-27-19 Today’s devotion is based on Hebrews 2:14 “Since the children have flesh and blood, Jesus too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death; that is the devil.”
There is an old Christian illustration that helps understand the text for today. It is a picture of a fishhook which is baited with an earthworm. The fishhook is Jesus’ divinity. The earthworm is Jesus humanity. The devil swallowed them both when Jesus died and was buried. When Jesus rose from the grave, he burst from the hold of the devil. What we learn from this is just as the devil couldn’t hold on to Christ in death, so the devil can’t hold on to those who believe in Jesus.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things thank you for sending your Son to live his life perfectly according to the Law. Thank you for his resurrection so that we now know that we too will be resurrected from our graves. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
9-26-19 Today’s devotion is based on John 1:15-17 “(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, "This is the one I spoke about when I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' Out of his fullness, we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
John wanted to make a point about God’s Laws. God’s Laws, as they are given through Moses, are laws that if followed would lead a person to live a righteous and good life, but could not lead us to be declared righteous before God. Jesus Christ, on the other hand, has enabled us to be declared righteous before God. The Law no longer condemns but encourages us to live righteous and good lives knowing that Jesus Christ has given us what God’s Law could not. Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things thank you for sending your Son to live his life perfectly according to the Law. Thank you that even though he lived a perfect life his sacrifice on the cross made us righteous before You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
9-24-19 Today’s devotion is based on Ephesians 3:12-15, “In him and through faith in him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.”
Quite often, those without faith imagine that God is a heavenly enlargement of the things we value and fear hear on earth. The exact opposite is true. The whole earth is a reflection of God, for everything belongs to God. The same is true of the Christian Church. While it looks to us like the Church is made up by our choosing to associate with others, it is work of God choosing to bring people together into his Church. Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, you can do so much more than we can pray for or imagine, help me to recognize that your ways are not my ways so that I will stay strong in faith. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
9-23-19 Today’s devotion is based on Luke 16:8,9: “As a result, the master of this dishonest manager praised him for doing such a shrewd thing; because the people of this world are much more shrewd in handling their affairs than the people who belong to the light.’ And Jesus went on to say, ‘And so I tell you: make friends for yourselves with worldly wealth so that when it gives out, you will be welcomed in the eternal home.’”
Jesus calls you to be smart in the management of wealth. Misused wealth is an outrage in the sight of God. But when you use wealth smartly for the good of others, you gain their friendship which could mean that they will become Christian and thus join you in heaven.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, give me a wised mind to manage the wealthy you have entrusted me with for the good of others, so that they may be blessed both now and in eternity. All glory and honor are given to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
9-20-19 Today’s devotion is based on 1 Samual 2:1,2. “Hannah prayed: ‘The LORD has filled my heart with joy; how happy I am because of what he has done! I laugh at my enemies; how joyful I am because God has helped me! ‘No one is holy like the LORD; there is none like him, no protector like our God.’”
Danger may come your way today. Some danger may come from outside events, some from wrong attitudes and the wrong behavior that comes as a result. In all the threats to life and limb that may come today, you have a solid rock. He is the rock that has risen from the dead and defeated all that threatens you. He is Jesus, your rock and your redeemer. Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, my trusted friend and protector, look out for me today. Give me your good advice and fight off the evil one through all that may threaten me. All glory and honor are given to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
9-18-19 Today’s devotion is based on Romans 16:17-19, “I urge you, my friends: watch out for those who cause divisions and upset people’s faith and go against the teaching which you have received. Keep away from them! For those who do such things are not serving Christ our Lord, but their own appetites. By their fine words and flattering speech, they deceive innocent people. Everyone has heard of your loyalty to the gospel, and for this reason, I am happy about you. I want you to be wise about what is good, but innocent in what is evil.”
We have received the teaching of the faith from our mentors in the faith. We have been taught the truth that there is one God, that he created everything, that we are fallen creatures whom God has saved through the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, that we have been called into God’s family by the power of the Holy Spirit. This teaching is precious and it requires loyalty.
The opportunity to declare our loyalty to our God comes as we confess the creed together in his presence. May you, with all your brothers and sisters in the Christian faith around the globe, and even with those around the throne of God in heaven, give praise to your God in those shared words which sum up the belief upon which we all live our lives. Live loyally today.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I thank you for giving me faith in your Son, Jesus. Give me courage and vision to live my whole life in loyalty to You. Amen.
9-17-19 Today’s devotion is based on Romans 16:1-5, “I recommend to you our sister Phoebe, who serves the church at Cenchreae. Receive her in the Lord’s name, as God’s people should, and give her any help she may need from you; for she herself has been a good friend to many people and also to me. I send greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow¬-workers in the service of Christ Jesus; they risked their lives for me. I am grateful to them—not only I but all the Gentile churches as well. Greetings also to the church that meets in their house.”
We Christians have all the peace of Christ with which to greet one another, and so we bear the peace won by Jesus on the cross for the world to the world and each other. Such wide and deep consequences from such a very simple and very human act. Bear the peace well today, for you live in the peace borne by Christ for you.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, give me your peace today, so that I may bear it well for my brothers and sisters. All glory and honor are given to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
9-16-19 Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 51:7,8.
“Remove my sin, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness; and though you have crushed me and broken me, I will be happy once again.”
The psalms are unique in that they are both word of God and human prayer to God. Perhaps one of our most frequent prayers to God is to beg him for forgiveness.
From this book of prayer, Psalm 51 asks God’s forgiveness for specific sins. There are times when every Christian commits sin. That is no slight matter, for God despises evil and does not tolerate human sin.
God’s nature is always to have mercy. He washes you in the blood of Jesus so that you become whiter than snow—all the condemnation of sin is gone. Come to him. It is for this very reason that our Lord died.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for your son, Jesus. Let me come into your presences with joy and thanksgiving, for your salvation is great and complete. All glory and honor are given to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
9-13-19 Today’s devotion is based on Romans 15:7-11 where Peter proclaims to the church council concerning Gentiles, "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
Peter was aware that the world needed to hear about the same forgiveness Jesus had given him. He committed his life to spread the good news to people who had not yet heard of Christ. You are one such person whom Christ has reached through the words and deeds of the first apostles. The Holy Spirit has given you insight and understanding through faith in Christ to change and save you.
As you come across those that have not yet heard the good news of Christ, you have a blessed opportunity to pass on what you have received. Whatever your station in life, let your ambition be to proclaim the good news!
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, by sheer grace you have sought me out. Let the light of Christ shine through me into dark places, so that others may come to see and to know you. All glory and honor are given to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.