Today’s devotion for today is based on Genesis 6:3, “Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
The wicked people of Noah’s day were living on borrowed time. Their days were numbered. God had had enough. He gave them a clear warning that they had 120 years before he sent a powerful judgment. Our days are numbered as well. Unlike the people of Noah’s time, God has not told us specifically how many days we have left. But each one of us has a clock that is winding down.
How are you going to spend that time? The people of Noah’s day ignored God’s warning. They paid no heed to the fact that their day of judgment was approaching. They went on living as if it was no big deal. They kept on living out their daily routines.
How many worship services, either in person or on the Internet, have you failed to attend or tune into because you were caught up in daily life? How many days have you failed to spend even five minutes in the Bible because you had more important things to do?
Thankfully, Jesus did not take that approach in being our Savior. Jesus came into this world and had a short amount of time with which to accomplish our salvation. He came and got right to work, and he never once failed to handle our eternal destiny with a sense of urgency. He lived, died, and rose again so that we could be set free from sin, death, and the condemnation of hell. Thank God that Jesus had a sense of urgency about winning our salvation!
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for your determination and commitment in achieving my salvation. Enable me to serve you today with that same determination. Help me to always be ready for the day when you will call me home. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
November 29th, 2020
Today’s devotion for today is based on Ezekiel 34:11-13, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land.”
In today’s Bible reading, the Lord speaks about sheep that were scattered and harmed by a violent storm of sin and destruction that scattered God’s Old Testament people among the heathen nations, where they were insecure, helpless, hurt, and facing a dismal end.
Do you have storms in your life? Do you have wrongs against God that have sent you running, hurt, and perishing? Jesus is your shepherd, who graciously gathers you safely into his flock, is caring for your every need, and will continue to do so perfectly forever!
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for shepherding me safely into your fold. Continue to tend me this day and always with your grace in Christ Jesus, my Savior. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
A different view
Today's devotion for today is based on Psalm 80:9, "Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved."
The refrain, 'Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved', is repeated three times in this psalm. Israel was going through some pretty tough times when they were being ravaged by a foreign power. This psalm is an agonized cry to God to save them. It's a familiar refrain to those of us who are having a hard time dealing with the pandemic's problems.
We don't have to plead for God to shine His face on us; he already is. But, sometimes, we can't see it or feel it because the clouds of our circumstances and the storms of life get in the way and block him from our view. That doesn't change the fact that he still there. He is always there to save us and restore us, whether it feels like it or not. Even though the storm might still be going on, everything is changed when we see the brightness of his face and rest in the warmth of his love. Look up and see His glory in your time of trouble.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you that your face is always shining on us and that you are always there to save and restore us. Please help me to always look to you. Lift me above the storms and tough times that I experience and help me to see them from your viewpoint. Help me to grow in my love for you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen
Today’s devotion for today is based on Revelation 2:3,4: “You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet … you have forsaken the love you had at first.”
John commended the congregation in Ephesus for the way they endured and persevered through hardship, but he had an issue with them: they had forsaken their first love.
Do you remember what it felt like when you first fell in love? Do you remember the intensity of your emotion, the can’t-think-about-anything-else feeling? However, love often wanes. We can find ourselves going through the motions, getting into a rut, taking each other for granted, and drifting apart. You have to work at a relationship.
It’s the same with our relationship with God. Our love and devotion for him can wane. We don’t intend to forsake him or our love for him, but we can find ourselves going through the motions before we even know it. We can do all the right things, but it becomes more of a ritual than a relationship.
The good news is that God’s love for us never wanes. He loves us literally in a way that is ‘to die for,’ as they say. He loves us passionately, deeply, and completely. Wherever you are in your relationship with God, he is calling to you today: ‘Come to me, be with me, let me show you how much I love you.’
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you that your love for me never changes. Open my heart and mind to the depth of your incredible love. Forgive me for the times I have neglected our relationship or drifted away. Help me to grow in my love for you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
Do not lose hope
Today's devotion for today is based on 2 Corinthians 4:16 and 17, “For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people, it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”
Perhaps you can relate to feeling like you’re ‘wasting away’ because of the troubles you’re going through. Maybe you’re feeling disheartened and discouraged. Or maybe, you’re simply tired and worn out. This year has been a long and difficult one for many of us.
Paul didn’t write these words ‘lightly’; he knew all about troubles and had been through a lot. If you doubt this, check out the list a bit further on in this same letter (2 Corinthians 11:23–29). Despite everything Paul had been through, he could still say ‘do not lose heart’ because he believed without a doubt that even the most agonizing trials of this life are minor when compared to the amazing eternal glory that awaits us.
Like Paul, look to the unseen world for encouragement. During the tough days, fix your eyes beyond what is seen and transient, and get a glorious glimpse of eternity.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you that you are always with me in the midst of my troubles. Thank you for the amazing eternal glory that awaits me. Please help me to fix my eyes on what is unseen even as I struggle with what I see and feel. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen
Today's devotion for today is based on Romans 2:1, "For at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself because you who pass judgment do the same things."
We make hundreds of judgments every day; about other drivers on the way to work or the people we see on the bus, those we work with, the people we pass on the street or line up with at the shops, the people we hear or read about in news items. Who hasn't made judgments about the recent American elections!
It's so easy to judge; however, as this verse points out, when we judge others, we are judging ourselves. We can't make excuses for ourselves and judge others, as we are no different from anyone else. We all have our flaws. We all make mistakes and mess things up. We all say and do the wrong things.
We also can't sit in judgment and rate sins on a scale of one to ten, with one being a small slip-up and ten being totally evil. It's all sin. We've all sinned and deserve God's judgment.
God loves us, and also all those people we are so quick to judge. He wants to shower his grace and forgiveness on them as well as on us. What's more, he wants you and me to show his love, grace, and forgiveness towards them too. I was reminded a few days ago after making a judgment without having all the facts that whenever we are tempted to judge others, we need to remember that the person we have judged is a person for whom Christ died.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for your love and the grace and forgiveness you shower on me. Help me to show that same love, grace, and forgiveness toward others. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen
Today's devotion for today is based on Genesis 19:26. "But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt."
We know very little about Lot's wife. But what we do know is that despite the angel's precise instruction not to look back, she did. Regardless of the reason, Lot's wife became an instant pillar of salt when she looked back. It seems very harsh.
We, too, can spend a lot of our lives looking backward for a whole range of reasons. Wondering 'what if,' replaying actions and conversations, and regretting things we've done or not done, to name a few. We can spend so much time looking back that we don't live in the moment and embrace all the joy and possibilities God gives us in the present.
Thank God that he forgives us every day. Thank him that we don't have to live with what-ifs, replays, and regrets because of his grace toward us. In him, each day is a new beginning with new potential.
Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you that you are a God of forgiveness and new beginnings. Help me not to look back. Help me to give you all my what-ifs, replays and regrets, and leave them with you. Help me to walk into each new day with you and embrace all the moments, joys and possibilities you give me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen
See with new eyes
Today's devotion for today is based on Ephesians 1:18, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you.
This is a fantastic verse. Reread it, slowly, and soak up the words. Hear Paul's prayer for you. When you look around with your human eyes, you certainly see a fallen world. You see the struggles that many of us have faced and continue to meet during this unprecedented year. You see an uncertain future in terms of the new normal that we are all navigating at the moment.
When God enlightens or opens the eyes of your heart to what he has done and is doing, you see something completely different. You know the hope he has called you to. A hope that is sure and certain, regardless of your circumstances, the world around you, or the 'normal' you find yourself living in. You see the richness of the inheritance that God has for you. He made us for far more than this world. He made us for something truly glorious. There is no uncertainty about that either. You see his incomparably great power for you. The same power that created the universe and raised Jesus from the dead. When you see those things through your eyes of faith, your hope changes from maybe to certainty.
Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, I pray that the eyes of my heart may be enlightened so that I may know the hope to which you have called me, the riches of the glorious inheritance you have given me, and your incomparably great power for me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen
Today's devotion for today is based on Luke 17:14-16, “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Ten men had been miraculously healed by Jesus. Nine never bothered to say, “Thank you.” But, before we point our fingers too quickly, we would do well to honestly assess our attitudes about all that God has done for us. It is easy to be like the lepers who went on their way—to be so busy enjoying God’s blessings that we fail to say, “Thank you.” When you take the time to consider the countless blessings the Lord has showered on you, it will move you to take the time to thank him for those blessings. That’s what the Samaritan leper did. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord Jesus, thank you for all the blessings you shower on me each day. In Your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Today's devotion for today is based on Matthew 25:1-6 and 10-13. "[Jesus said] "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. . . . The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. "At midnight, the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'. . . "The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I don't know you.' "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour."
Jesus is coming back. Since we can't know when it's wise to be ready, so keep your faith well-oiled with God's Word. Repent of your sins. Trust that Jesus has fully atoned for your guilt. And wait with wide-open and expectant eyes for Jesus to return. Then, no matter when he does, you won't miss it!
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord Jesus, thank you for inviting me to your wedding feast. Keep my faith focused on you so that I am ready for your arrival. In Your holy name, I pray. Amen.