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8/17/18
Today’s Bible reading in Acts 16:25-32 tells us about an event that happened one night while Paul and Silas were in jail. “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."
The jailer knows he is doomed. He has failed in his duty, and his shame and guilt are more than he can bear. So he decides to end it all. No hope. No future. Nothing left to live for. Many people have traveled down that road and ended up like this jailer, wanting to finish it off. They are afraid of what lies ahead, and there seems to be no way out.
But you know that there is a God who cares for you, who has the answers to all your needs. Often it’s through a Paul or Silas that he rescues. To the question ‘What must I do to be saved?’ there is only one sure answer: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” That’s how a jailer and his family found peace. Simple, yet profound life-changing words that give for those who believe, even in the worst of disasters peace and hope.
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, you have taken care of what I need most, forgiveness for the sake of Jesus. Help me to remember when I come into the company of those in despair Paul’s words, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. Amen.
 
 
8/16/18
Today’s devotion is based on 1 John 3:17, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”
God’s Word tells us very clearly in this passage that if your mind is closed to your neighbor’s needs, your mind is also closed to God. For, when you close your mind to someone in need you are not only rejecting that person, but you are rejecting God’s command to love others as oneself.
 
I am sure that, that statement just upset some people. But, we must remember that all we have, physically and spiritually is a gift from God. A person’s response to such love is to pass that love on to others. Passing it on to others is not just talking about it or praying for those in need, it is doing something for those in need.
 
Our lack of loving others as God tells us we should show us our need for Jesus and his saving act. This does not mean that when we ignore the needs of others that we can help by relying on Jesus’ forgiveness, but that we strive to live as Jesus desires.
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, I give you thanks and praise for all you have done for me. Help me through your Word to recognize my lack of love when I do not help those I can help, so that I repent of my sin and change my actions toward them for good. For the sake of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

8/14/18
Today’s devotion is based on 1 John 3:9, “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning.”
John had also written, “If we say we have no sin, the truth is not in us.” Both of these verses at first glance appear not to make any sense, for we all know we are sinners. The Old Adam (sinful body) will not yield to God’s law. It is constantly at odds with the flesh and thus in constant need of forgiveness.
 
It is a different thing though to sin deliberately without admitting that the deed or thought is wrong. To deliberately sin without acknowledging it is a sin, is not to be a Christian. I say that because that type of sin has extinguished God’s Spirit in one’s life.
Thanks be to God, for it is only because of God’s love that we are children of God. By grace, we are saved for Christ’s sake and not through good deeds. Thus even though we are sinful, we can serve God with joy as we try to live our lives like Jesus, knowing that his redemptive act will free us from this life of sin when we meet the Lord.
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things remind me through your Word when I sin, that I have sinned and am in need of your forgiveness so that I will turn back to you in repentance. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
 
8/13/18
Today’s devotion is from Psalm 85:8,9: “I am listening to what the LORD God is saying; he promises peace to us, his own people if we do not go back to our foolish ways. Surely he is ready to save those who honor him, and his saving presence will remain in our land.”
It seems like the world is full of half-truths. What is true for one person is not always true for the next. While there are many examples of half-truths, Astrology is one of the worst. For in Astrology things are never quite false but are not quite true either.
When you listen to Jesus, as his words are recorded for us in the Bible you never end up with half-truths; you get what he promises. He will always give you the right answer, the answer that will satisfy. The psalm writer trusted in God and was speaking from experience when he said, “Surely he is ready to save those who honor him.”
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, open up my mind to the truths of the Bible so that I will be able to discern better the half-truths that I encounter every day. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

8/9/18
Today’s devotion is based on Acts 7:32-34, “‘I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Moses trembled with fear and dared not look. The Lord said to him, “Take your sandals off, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have seen the cruel suffering of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groans, and I have come down to set them free. Come now; I will send you to Egypt!”
Moses found himself called by God to set right a great wrong, to liberate his people from slavery in Egypt. Even the people God had given him to lead rejected him. He trembled before God. He was overwhelmed by the challenge.
You can find yourself in a comparable position. Lots of things in life seem to be out of kilter, injustice seems to thrive, and people get on the wrong track. Even if you are personally trying to do something about it, you sometimes wonder whether God is really helping, or even if you are on the right side. You can have peace knowing that God is in charge, you know 1t is his strength that counts, and you know his love always triumphs, whatever he sends you to do.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Dear God even though I am weak and often am not clear as to what I should do, use me to do your will. Amen.

 

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