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11/21/18

Today’s devotion is based on Matthew 6:25–34, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

The world tells me that my future is filled with uncertainty and fear. The Lord tells me to seek Him first. So my choices are to trust God or the world. I hope you will join me in looking forward to tomorrow knowing that, through it all, God is in total control.

Please pray with me the prayer for today:  Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, your words of wisdom written down in the Bible not only gives us confidence in living in your presence today but also gives us confidence that you are in control tomorrow. In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen. 

 
11/20/18
Today’s devotion is based on John 6:34–40, "Sir," they said, "always give us this bread." Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me, and still, you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day."
Taking comfort in people or things is dangerous; finding comfort in things can be even more so. There are many things in life to which we can become addicted. Drugs and alcohol are probably the first addictions that come to mind, but you do not need to drink, smoke or pop pills to be an addict. You can be addicted to almost anything. I know people who are addicted to sports, foul language, dirty jokes, sex, television, gossip, gambling, books, video games, shopping, negativity, laziness, and so on.
This type of life is not God’s plan for us. Jesus tells us in John 6 that we have been given bread to eat. But this is not your ordinary bread. It is bread from heaven; it is the bread of life. Not temporal life, it is the bread that ends the spiritual hunger—the hunger that we have in our lives to be complete. So we do not rely on work, people, or things to provide us with what we need.
God’s bread builds us up to be able to turn to God and rely upon Him to get us through our lives. God’s bread bring us to a place where we can rely on His strength to help us down life’s tumultuous road and bring us face to face with the Savior of the world—the Savior of you and of me.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen thank you for sending the bread of life, Jesus to this earth. You have told us in the John 6:40, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” Without him, we would perish for all eternity, but with him, we will live in your presence for all eternity. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
 

11/19/18

Today’s devotion is based on James 3:13–18, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

Gaining wisdom is one of the greatest pursuits of humanity. Of course, striving to learn isn’t a bad pursuit. Equally important, however, is the need to think and pursue ideas to gain increased levels of knowledge.

Still, wisdom in the worldly sense is limited. People are only as smart as other people think they are. Name any United States president, and you can find volumes of opinions written about him that both praise and vilify. Scientists spend years doing research and developing theories; their colleagues spend years criticizing these theories in the name of knowledge.

James speaks of the fleeting gift of earthly knowledge in chapter 3. He shows us that our worldly wisdom is limited by time and also tainted by sin. By our own power, wisdom, or ability, we simply cannot escape our legacy as fallen creatures. Where, then, is the power of the knowledge of the world?

The power of true knowledge comes when we seek the wisdom that comes from God’s wisdom which serves us better here on earth than any other lessons from school. It replaces jealousy with peace, boasting with sincerity, and ambition with meekness. True to His Word, God reminds us that by following His commands, we receive His blessings. In this case, we are blessed with a harvest of righteousness, in which we can live fully reliant on the purity and peace of a right relationship with our loving Father.

Please pray with me the prayer for today:  Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, thank you for inspiring the prophets and apostles of old to write down your words of wisdom that not only help us to lead better lives here on this earth but guarantee us eternal life in your presence.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen. 

 

 

11/16/18

Today’s devotion is based on Deuteronomy 8:17–18, “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.”

The verses in today’s devotion speak to those people who take credit for everything they can, and who doesn’t? God sends a reminder that He is ultimately responsible for everything we receive. God is clear: So if we are not responsible for producing wealth, and such, who is responsible? The answer is obvious but hard to accept because of our sinful pride. We must understand that while it is not easy to do, we must silence our desires to take credit for what isn’t ours and to refuse to take responsibility for what truly is ours. Thankfully, we turn to God for the strength to do that as well. God is good. Relying upon Him is hard, but as God promises, it is rewarding to those who put their trust in His commands.

Please join me in today’s prayer: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, I come to you this morning acknowledging that too often I want to take credit for that which I should not take credit.  It is you alone that gives me what I need to live in this life.  For that I am thankful.  Amen.  

11/15/18

Today’s devotion is based on Reading: 1 Chronicles 29:10–14, where we hear King David praying, "Praise be to you, LORD, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name. "But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”

David turns to God in prayer; specifically, David offers a prayer of praise. David is not praying a vague, “Do whatever you think is best” kind of prayer. He is offering serious praise to God for what He has done. He establishes God’s role as our great provider. He exalts God for His power and greatness. He thanks God for the provision that God has given in abundance. He seeks God’s direction to help all who will be embarking on this great undertaking—knowing full well that their labor will be for the honor and glory of God.

David follows the Word and commands of God. He did not follow them perfectly, but his life demonstrates that when we make mistakes, we, too, can turn to God, repent, and receive forgiveness. I know that as I strive to live rightly in Christ, I need this reassurance for those times that I feel like I can do nothing right we need to remember that God already bought us—paying a hefty price in the death of His Son on our account. We can add nothing to this, so why do we try? We need to get out of God’s way and live in the knowledge of salvation. God will bring about amazing results.

Please pray with me the prayer for today:  Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, we approach you today in humbleness acknowledging our inability to know you without your Word.  Thank you for the Word, so that I can know you and your gracious love toward me.  Amen. 

 
11/14/18
Today’s devotion is based on 2 Corinthians 3:1-6. Paul is addressing a problem concerning the congregations in Corinth who appear to be looking for some sort of verification that they are speaking for God.
“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant-- not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
We as Christians are to build everything in our lives through the confidence we have in God to fulfill the promises He made to us. God’s provision far exceeds anything that we could imagine or gain on our own. So why do so many people spend so much time and energy growing their competency in their job or sport, but so little time to build confidence in God?
Too many people in today’s Church refuse to fall before the throne, humbled before Christ in acceptance of their need for a Savior and unity in Him. When we as a body of believers truly put our confidence in the will of God, God will put His will into action in our lives.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, I approach you today confessing my inability to live my life as you desire. Forgive me for the sake of Jesus so that I may have the wisdom to put my confidence in you and your mercies toward me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
 
11/13/18
Today’s devotion is based on 1 Samuel 16:6-7. “When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD's anointed stands here before the LORD." But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
God told Samuel to appoint a new King to take Saul’s place. I am sure that Samuel feared retaliation from Saul, but Samuel followed God’s instructions. Samuel thought that the firstborn son of Jessie, Eliab would make a great king because he looked like a king was getting ready to anoint him. God had other plans. God instructed Samuel on what he should do and how to accomplish it without fear of Saul’s retaliation.
This wisdom from God led Samuel to anoint David as king. Without God’s direction, Samuel would not have chosen David. David was not the strongest, the oldest, the biggest, or the one who had the blessing of his father. Instead, it was David’s heavenly Father who chose him. Worldly wisdom excluded him, but God’s wisdom led Samuel directly to David because that was God’s will.
While none of us are being asked to pick a king today, we do face decisions in our lives. Are you looking at a decision regarding a career change? Are you struggling over a financial issue? Maybe you are having a relationship problem or a lifestyle change. It does not matter if the decision is life-altering or just a common decision you need to make. Seek God and His wisdom. We have the promise of God, as it is found in the Bible, God’s words to us in Matthew 6:33-34, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
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 words in the Bible. Help me to turn to those words when I need to make a decision concerning my life and the lives of those around me, that I will heed your words and thus make a godly decision. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

11/12/18

Today’s devotion is based on Proverbs 18:20, “From the fruit of their mouth a person's stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.”

People often say that the things and people you surround yourself with have an impact upon your personality. We are influenced by the things with which we surround ourselves—you know this is true, not only because you’ve heard it, but also because you’ve lived it. But did you know that this tendency is more than just a lesson from a psychology textbook? This idea is rooted firmly in the Bible.

Believers know that it is the Word of God that meets that need. God has provided us with everything we need to live in the fullness that He intended for us. To do this, we must feed ourselves the fruit of the Word. We must speak it, hear it, and live it.

Please pray with me the prayer for today:  Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, thank you for your words of wisdom that are written down for us in the Bible.  They are what we need to know you and your desires for our lives.  When I begin to depend on other words, turn me back to you.  In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. 

 
11/9/18
Today’s devotion is based on Philippians 3:17–21 where we hear Paul exhorting his fellow Christians, “Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
Our faith walk is much like a railroad track. For there is only one path you can take. For we as Christians have only one path, the one that God has laid before us. We may not always like the view or the direction, but God has set us on the path of His choosing because it meets His will for our lives. We can choose to deviate, but just like a derailed train, the alternate path is never smooth and can end in our eternal separation from God’s presence.
We are called to follow the track that God has laid out before us, under His guidance. For when we live in the unity of the Word, we learn that we can be content with who we are today because our joy is not dependent upon the external; rather, it springs forth out of the seed planted in our hearts by the presence of Christ. Finally, when we live in the unity of the Word, we learn that we can press forward in faith, trusting God to fulfill every promise that He has made. We know where we are going and the destination is good.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, help me through your word to stay on track in living my life under your guidance. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
 
 
11/8/18
Today’s devotion is based on the story of Jonah as it is written down for us in Jonah. I want to focus this morning on verses 8-11 of chapter 4.
“When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah's head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, "It would be better for me to die than to live." But God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?" "It is," he said. "And I'm so angry I wish I were dead." But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left-- and also many animals?"
We are most similar to Jonah in our perception of the relationship we have with God. We go to Him looking to strike a bargain with Him, hoping to assist in making the plan for our lives. In doing this, we are not allowing God, who has a big picture perspective, to lead us in what we’ve been called to do. We go to God just like we’re going online to book a hotel or buy insurance. But unlike airfare and car rentals, I can’t name my own price for salvation because the cost was too great and Christ has already paid it for me in full. God desired repentance from the people of Nineveh. When He saw it, His love went into full effect. No matter what lies buried in our past, no matter what conflict or struggles we wallow through today, God is calling out to us to repent, to renew, and to rejoice in the grace He brings.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for loving me even when I complain when you don’t perform as I ask you to do in my prayers. Help me, gracious God, to remember that you are the Potter and I am the clay, so that I will be more grateful for the wonderful deeds, seen and unseen, that you do each day in my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
 
11/7/18
Today’s devotion is based on James 1:22-25, “Reading: But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
When something enters our mind, we determine how deeply into our life we will allow it to go. Some things are just for basic knowledge, some things are critically important, and then, of course, there is a range of importance in between. How deeply into our lives the information goes is based on the work we do with it. To know something is one thing, but to live it is another.
For example, you know the Scripture. You have heard it, read it, studied it, and discussed it. But do you live it? The Bible says that we should cast our burdens onto Jesus—do we? The Bible says that we will be blessed when we walk in obedience to the will of God—do we believe it?
The Bible says that Christ has separated us from our sins so that we need not dwell upon mistakes of the past—do we trust it? If we know, hear, and believe the Word, but do not live it, we limit what God will do in our lives. Why would we choose to put limitations around our relationship with God? Are we are afraid that living according to the will of God will change our lives forever? We are right—it will, and for the better. And that is a good thing, for it not only changes our earthly life forever but guarantees where we spend eternity.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, thank you for your Word, for in that Word I find what it means to live a life that is pleasing to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen

 
11/6/18
Today’s devotion is based on Galatians 5:Reading:16,17, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want.”
We are engaged in an internal struggle when it comes to ignoring our flesh and following the Spirit. To state it plainly: we like our flesh, our sinful self, our old Adam. But unlike many who try to pick and choose their battles with sin, we have to realize that sin covers us completely and totally.
What is yours? Is it a taste for dirty jokes? Is it getting drunk with your friends? Is it making that extra money driving your life? Or is it hiding a collection of magazines or videos? Do you think you are better than everybody else? Or are you blaming others for the problems of your own life? Are you letting hatred and anger control you? These are dangerous things in the life of a Christian because they are rooted in the lies of our old sinful selves, encouraging us to push forward, to carry on, and to indulge in the things that appeal to our flesh.
Living in the Spirit, on the other hand, is having the wisdom to live within the bounds of what God has in store for us, for in him are the things that bring fulfillment to one’s life. Who wouldn’t want these things?
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, help me in my sinfulness to keep my focus on the things of the Spirit. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

 
11/5/18
Today’s devotion is based on the 72 hours right after God had parted the Red Sea. It is recorded for us in Exodus 15:19-24, “When Pharaoh's horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the LORD brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron's sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. Miriam sang to them: "Sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea." Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, "What are we to drink?"
The memory of what God had done was not enough to keep them loyal to God for 72 hours. I don’t think we can blame them, for we only have to look at our own lives when we don’t get what we think we need right away do the same thing. They, like we do so many times cry out, “Where is this God who is supposed to be leading us? Whatever happened to Him?” Thankfully, God’s perspective is focused upon the bigger picture. It was out of love that He answered Moses’ cry and sweetened the bitter water. God also went a step further, promising to protect the people from disease if they followed His commands. Although we, like the Israelites, forget the things that God has done for us, we can always count on Him to be there. He provides for our needs, forgives our sins, and makes it possible for us to live lives in alignment with Him on earth and with Him in heaven for eternity.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for keeping your promises to us. Help us through your Word to remember that we, in our troubles are to turn to you first in all things. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 
 
11/2/18
Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 46:1-7, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most-High dwells. God is within her; she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
We should all be raising our voices to proclaim God’s greatness to all those we meet. But, unfortunately, when it comes to raising our voices, the average Christian seems to do it more in the parking lot after service or during a voters’ meeting, or a sports event, than in worship. Raising our voices to God in worship and praise is something that does not require an operatic voice, a dramatic flair, or a degree in theology. It only requires a willing heart and an open mouth. If God truly is our fortress, why would we choose to use His protection on just one day a week? Does the enemy—out of kindness and consideration—wait until Sunday morning to wage warfare on us. The fortress is there for our protection at any time, so let us go to it whenever we find ourselves in need.
Raising our voices is not an activity for Sunday morning alone. To raise your voice is to speak to God. To pause is to listen to God speak to you. Together, the relationship we have with God will be strengthened and built through Him who is everything to us.
Please join me in praying the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, help me to raise my voice to you each day as I recognize and give thanks to you, for your mercies are new every morning. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

 
11/1/18
Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 40:4-6:
“Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Sacrifice and offering you did not desire-- but my ears you have opened-- burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, "Here I am, I have come-- it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart." I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, LORD, as you know. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly.”
Trust is an important feeling. Confidants and accountability partners are important to us as we live our lives in alignment with the will of God. But they, like us, are afflicted with sin. Like us, they have other issues and concerns that they must also face. Like us, they do not have all the answers. If only we could turn to someone who could take us to that next level of trust. If only!
The reality is that we can. God is available to us at any time of day or night to hear our concerns, goals, and desires. He provides us with every good thing to take us, as David says, “out of the miry bog” to a place where His goodness and mercy can fill our lives. Verse four tells us that when we put our trust in God over every other thing, we will receive blessings beyond our comprehension in every area of our lives. What are we waiting for? Is it peace in our lives? Is it stability in our relationships? Is it abundance in our career? Is it something that we haven’t yet recognized but know that it is missing and desire to have it because God desires us to have it. All of these things and many more will be given to us when we put our trust in Him.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, help me to see that so many worldly things I trust in now will fail. Help me to live my life trusting you to provide all I need for life, for it is only then that I will know the blessings you bestow on me and all believers in Jesus. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

 
10/31/18
Today’s devotion is based on, Luke 10:38–42 “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed-- or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
People can, and do, spend many years of their lives focusing upon doing what they perceive to be the right thing, placing the importance upon their efforts to accomplish the goals and tasks of the moment. In this regard, we are not very different than Martha. She was putting her stock into things that possessed little value. Jesus no doubt appreciated the cleanliness and order of her household, but He wasn’t coming to grade her on her housekeeping. He wasn’t looking in the medicine cabinet—He was looking into her heart.
Christ looks into our hearts as well. When He does, what will He find? Will He find a healthy heart, the product of a balanced lifestyle, strengthened by prayer and powered by the Word of God? Will He find compassion, selflessness, and a desire to serve willingly? Or will He find emptiness? Will He find a heart filled with the love of God, yet not so full that He cannot add more through His grace? Or will He find our heart chambers clogged with other things—the stuff with which we clutter our lives?
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, help me this day to chose you over the things of this world that have no everlasting value. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

 
 
10/30/18
Today’s devotion is based on Hosea 11:8-9, where we hear God speaking through the prophet Hosea. “My heart recoils within Me; My compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute My burning anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim (This is a name for God’s people); for I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.”
God knows how easily our lives can become sin-soaked. He experienced it with Adam and Eve first, and it has trickled down to every generation since. Imagine having a great love for somebody, only to find that love returned with behaviors you despise more than anything else. God sees this daily in the lives of His children—and not just those people who do not know Him or have not come to faith in Him. God also sees it in the lives of those people who call themselves His own, who live lives in the full knowledge of what God has done for them and what He has called them to do. It would be easy for God to give up, turn away, and leave us on our own to fend for ourselves. How thankful we are that He refuses to do so.
God’s love for us goes beyond anything we can imagine. It knows no limits. He gave His Son to buy us back; paying a greater price than we can fathom. With that knowledge, we offer praise to Him for this great love and we dedicate ourselves to follow His commands obediently in our lives. Praise God for the grace in which we live. Serve God by sharing that love with others.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things seen and unseen, I give you thanks and praise for your patience. I pray that through your Word that you will continue to draw me back to you when I wander off seeking other things to put my trust in. Thank you for Jesus. In his name, I pray. Amen.
 
10/29/18
Today’s devotion is based on 2 Chronicles 1:7-12, “That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you." Solomon answered God, "You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead these people, for who can govern these great people of yours?" God said to Solomon, "Since this is your heart's desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had, and none after you will have."
Our text from 2 Chronicles 1 relates a conversation between Solomon and God that also has to do with choice. Solomon had become king, and God had offered to give him anything he wanted. In asking God to give him wisdom, Solomon made the best possible decision. There were only two things that Solomon knew he would get. The first was wisdom. The second was God Himself.
I’ve heard many people discuss what they would ask God for if they ever found themselves in Solomon’s position. Consider asking these questions instead: What has God called you to do? What has He chosen to give you? Are you ready to submit yourself to the will of God in order to receive God’s gifts in the fullness that He has intended? Not sure? Ask Him.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things seen and unseen, I come to you this morning confessing my sins. I ask that you continue to bless me with wisdom found in your Holy Word to us so that I can show your wisdom to others. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

 
 

10/26/18

Today’s devotion is based on Romans 1:16-17. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Many Christians are aware of the importance of reading their Bible.  Unfortunately, most Christians don’t regularly read the Bible. Sure, there are lots of good excuses, and if you work hard enough, you can come up with an acceptable excuse.  But what about your faith? Can your faith ever be “good enough”? Are you satisfied with the knowledge of saving grace but too proud, to cool, too busy, or too afraid to live life in the fullness of the righteousness of God?

When people provide us with good gifts, we receive them gladly, and we use them to the fullest. Why then would we choose to take what is without question the greatest gift we have been given and leave it sitting on the side, denying ourselves access to the greatest joy, comfort, and peace that we can imagine?

In verse 17, Paul clearly describes the benefits we receive from God through the Gospel: righteousness from God. Once that righteousness is revealed to us, we are able to live our lives in His abundant righteousness as He has provided it for us. Not a bad deal, really—that is, if we do our part and read His Word.

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 your Word.  Lord, you know how hard it is for me to set aside time each day to read your love letter to me.  Help me to realize how much I am missing in our relationship so that I will seek you every day.  In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen

 
10/25/18
Today’s devotion is based on Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John which tell of the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Four versions of the same story could be considered a great deal of overkill—until you think about it.
We repeat something to stress its importance. God gives us his Word—a Word so important because it provides guidance, wisdom, life, and salvation to all who hear and believe it. God loves us. He is good to us. He blesses us abundantly. He sustains us in our faith and directs us through our days. He gives us what we need for body and spirit and is willing to tell us more than once so that we might understand and receive it in our hearts. God is patient and loving in his instruction to his children because he desires that we live our lives according to his good and perfect will. Even if it takes years of instruction and thousands of reminders to open our hearts to him, that’s exactly what he will do. Do not grow weary of the Word or impatient with God when you walk in the wilderness. Go to him every day, listen, learn, repent, forgive, witness, serve. You will be blessed, for God promises his blessings are new every morning to those who love him and trust him.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things seen and unseen, thank you for your words of wisdom as they are found in your Holy Word. Turn me away from the things of the world when I seek to find peace and joy in them instead of in you. Help me always to remember that it is only through you that I can find the peace that I seek. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
 
10/24/18
Today’s devotion is based on 1 Kings 3:7.we hear King Solomon confess before the Lord, “And now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of David, my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in.”
Many people who read this passage recognize the humility of Solomon in choosing wisdom when God had promised to give him anything he wanted. This story teaches us the clear lessons of asking for the right things from God and trusting Him to provide us with every other good thing that we may need.
Solomon recognized that God had chosen him to do something. This acknowledgment is important because it shows that Solomon was open to hearing the voice of God in his life. Solomon recognized that he was incapable of doing on his own what God had called him to do. Left to our own abilities, we do not have the strength to accomplish what God has in store for us. Thankfully for us, God does not leave the task in our hands without providing for us the resources and the strength we need to accomplish it. Just as Moses argued with God, giving Him multiple reasons why he was the wrong choice to do God’s bidding. God reminds us that He does not need us to do what He wants to be done. He merely calls us to do it and then provides us with the tools we need to get it done. It is our calling, but God plants the idea, provides the resources, enables us to accomplish it, and blesses us throughout. Even without the wisdom of Solomon, we can accomplish great things through the power of God.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator and sustainer of all things seen and unseen, I come to you today confessing my lack of wisdom concerning your will for my life. I ask you to confront me with your words of wisdom so that my heart and mine will be opened to your will. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

 

 
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