Perplexing work of the Holy Spirit
May 31, 2020
Today’s devotion for Pentecost Sunday is based on Acts 2:12, “Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
On that day of Pentecost, that was the perplexing work of the Holy Spirit. On that day, the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples of Jesus to speak in languages they did not know. While the disciples were the ones speaking, it is the Holy Spirit who did as he used them to proclaim a message that everyone there needed to understand. He did this to proclaim Jesus Christ.
The work of the Holy Spirit was perplexing in that day.
It is still perplexing today. In the eyes of the world, nothing so plain as the gospel should be so powerful or so life-changing. Nothing so plain as the gospel should have such an impact on so many souls. But that’s the thing about the message of full forgiveness through faith in Christ. It’s the very tool the Holy Spirit uses to change hearts forever. Don’t be perplexed by it, rejoice in it.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for the Holy Spirit. He uses the message of the gospel to bring us to Christ and keep us in Christ. Empower us to marvel in thankfulness for what he does. In the name of the Holy Spirit, the continuing spirit of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Glory to God
May 30, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on John 17:4 where we hear Jesus say as is praying to God the Father, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”
Our God is glorious and awesome! He is the Creator and Preserver of the universe. Most glorious of all, he is the Savior of all mankind. There is nobody like him. He gave glory to his heavenly Father by his death on the cross. Jesus’ death, while bearing the sins of the world, has reconciled God and sinners together. The doors to heaven and eternal life are open for all. That means they are open to you, too! Let us live as God’s Word tells us, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you also for leading me to trust in you. Help me to glorify your name by all that I say and do. In Jesus’ saving name, I pray. Amen
Jesus prayed for you
May 29, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on John 17:1-3, “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now, this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
Did you know that the night before his death, you were a part of Jesus’ prayer? That’s right. With everything else on his mind as he prepared to die for the sins of the world, you were on his mind. You were on his mind because what he was about to do he did for you. He knew he needed strength to endure the intense suffering necessary to secure your salvation. So, he asked his heavenly Father to give him that strength. He also prayed that you would learn about what he had done for you and that you would come to believe that your sins are forgiven because of what he did.
While it is always comforting to know someone is praying for you, it is especially comforting to know that Jesus not only prayed for you 2000 years ago but is still listening to and answering your prayers today. Take comfort knowing that Jesus is aware of it, and cares enough to pray for you.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for glorifying Jesus through his death and resurrection. Help me to know you, the only true God, Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. In Jesus’ saving name, I pray. Amen
May 28, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on 2 Corinthians 4:17,18. “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
So far, 2020 doesn’t seem to be a great year for a lot of us. There may be some real problems you are working through, some sadness that you feel. God wants you to find hope in the certainty that these troubles are only momentary. He wants you to give it an eternal perspective. Your problems are real, but God reminds you that from a perspective of eternity, they are light and momentary compared to your time with Jesus, which will be perfect and forever. Fix your eyes on that eternity. Feel better today.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, help me to focus not on my earthly troubles but on the eternity I will have with you in the future. In Jesus’ saving name, I pray. Amen
Minimize your anxiety
May 27, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
God tells us to rid ourselves of anything that makes us anxious. He invites us to cast those anxieties onto him. He allows us to take those things that make us anxious, give them to him, and let him take care of it. Instead of worrying, God says we can trust him to arrange everything for us.
We can do this because God’s Word tells us that he not only cares about us, he cares about us. He guides us, watches over us, and provides for us. We can give God anything that makes us anxious because he is actively working all things in our lives to make sure that we are cared for. Anxious about something? Give it to God. He will take it from you if you let him because he cares for you.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, help me to give to you everything that makes me anxious that I may rest in your care. In Jesus’ saving name, I pray. Amen
May 26, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
When we walk with God, nothing is required of us for our salvation. We receive God’s grace and forgiveness freely as a gift, totally undeserved. We are not forced to read our Bibles, go to church, talk to God in prayer, give thanks for our food and other necessities.
We not required to do those things because no outward sign of our devotion would ever be enough. God knows our hearts, and he looks straight into the depths of our soul and knows what’s there. But God does require a heart devoted to him above all else for a heart and mind full of God is drawn to expressions of devotion to God. It desires to read the Bible; it wants to communicate with God in prayer and meet with other believers in worship at church. A heart set on God is humble and seeks justice and kindness in his name.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, give me a heart set on you above all else, a heart overflowing with love for my neighbors and the people who cross my path each day. In Jesus’ saving name, I pray. Amen
May 25, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on Acts 1:6-8, “Then they (Jesus’ disciples) gathered around Jesus and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.”
They had seen his glory like no one else, and yet they still couldn’t get their earthly troubles out of their minds. They heard him preach as no one had ever preached. They saw him perform miracles like no one else ever had. They even saw him conquer death. And yet, in one of the last moments they had with him, their concern seemed to be their own earthly problem wanting Israel to become a mighty nation again. They had the right Jesus, but their interests were focusing in the wrong direction.
Like the disciples, we may have the right Jesus, but we too focus our lives in the wrong direction. This happens when we put more energy into our lives on earth than we do into our future lives in heaven. But by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus still reminds us today what is truly important. He points us heavenward and reminds us of our mission. He helps us to focus our efforts not on what is temporary but on what is eternal.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, when I start to focus more on earthly things than you and your direction for my life, restore me and direct me in the path you want me to go on. In Jesus’ saving name, I pray. Amen
All Powerful God
May 24, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on Acts 1:14,15, “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120)”
We learn from today’s Bible verse that right after Jesus’ ascension, the number of believers was 120. Wow! It sounds like an impossible task for the gospel to go so far with such a small group! Later on we will see that the believers would grow to over thousands in just a few days.
Was it there work or God’s work. It is both for God is working through his believers. We could not do it on our own, but with God, our mighty God, the one who made heaven and earth! Our God is the one who rules the winds and waves! Our God is the God who parted the Red Sea, who turned water into wine, who fed thousands with just a few loaves and fish. That’s who their God and our God is!
How often we forget that, doubt that, or fail to appreciate that. We find ourselves fretting and worrying, getting stressed and anxious. Why so? Have we forgotten that our God is all-powerful? And even more importantly, have we forgotten that our God loves us?
If our God loves us so much that he willingly took God’s punishment for us, why would he not continue to love us today? He is walking with you now, supporting and assuring you that he is the God who can accomplish the impossible side.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, remind me that you are the all-powerful one. Use your power in the way that’s best for me and all people. In Jesus’ saving name, I pray. Amen
We are but foreigners here
May 23, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on 1 Peter 1:17, “Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.”
Live as foreigners? It can’t mean that, because Jesus wants people to care about each other in a big way. He even wants us to love our enemies.
The idea of living our lives as foreigners, then, has to mean something else. And when you take a look at how Jesus and his disciples lived their lives on this earth, you pick up a pretty good sense of what this verse means. To live as foreigners here means to live our lives knowing that our real home is somewhere else.
You and I forget this all the time. And because we do, we are filled with fear. We fear that if our life here does not meet our expectations and become a big success story, then our life is a failure. And you know what? For forgetting that our true home is in heaven, for living our lives for the here and now, we deserve that fear and a whole lot worse.
But Jesus’ life and death have washed us clean of those failures. And once again, he calls upon us to remember that our life here is not about making our mark. It’s about walking with him in faith. And so, live here as a foreigner, for this is not our eternal home. Jesus is coming soon to take you home.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to wash all of my sins on the cross. Forgive me for the times I am fearful about this life and forget about true life in heaven. Remind me always of my heavenly home. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
May 22, 2020
Yesterday the Christian Church celebrated Ascension Day, the day Jesus ascended to God the Father. Today I am going to take a look at the event and its importance for us today. In Acts 1:10,12 we read, “They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
The question seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? Why wouldn’t they be standing there looking into the sky? Their Savior was gone. They were once more left by themselves. Jesus had said that he never would leave them, and yet, he is doing exactly that. That is why the two angels announced, “He’s coming back, you know. And he’s coming back in the same way you saw him go into heaven!” And just how had they seen him go into heaven? They left in joy because now they knew that Jesus’ ascension was not the end, but a new beginning.
For us believers, Jesus’ return will be wonderful! Oh yes, he’s coming back powerfully, those hands are going to be up, blessing us! Because those hands bear the nail marks, the proof that you are forgiven, that your eternal home is in heaven. That’s what we will see! What a sight it will be!
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, remind me of Jesus’ ascension that I might eagerly await that day when you return to take me to heaven. What a wonderful day that will be. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.