Knowing God's Word
June 30, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 91, verse 11. “For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.”
Satan quoted from Psalm 91:11–12 when tempting Jesus at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Satan knew the word of God, but Jesus did too and replied, ‘It is also written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” At the end of those temptations, the devil left, and angels came and attended Jesus. We need to get to know God’s word to apply it, also to help us discern when Satan uses it with a twist against us, as he did with Jesus.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you that you send your angels to help us in our time of need, just as you sent them to help Jesus in his time of need. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Our rock, our salvation
June 29, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 91 verse 10: “No evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.”
I thought I would spend some time on Psalm 91 this week. I would suggest that you read the whole Psalm so that you get the context of each verse. This Psalm reminds us of the promise of shelter and rest for those who live or dwell in trusting the Lord (verse one), to which we can intentionally say ‘yes, I trust you Lord’ (verse nine). Trusting in God needs to be our way of life. In doing so, we see things differently than those who don’t know of God’s grace. Instead of fear, we can rest in trusting the One who is the Overcomer of any evil or plague.
COVID-19 has been described as a plague. Physical distancing and self-isolating are part of the Lord’s protection for us. And although such measures are probably not our preference, they are a wise strategy for decreasing the spread of this unseen invader. That’s all part of living from the place of peace that Jesus gives.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, refresh us in your peace of heart and mind. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Know where to look
June 28, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
How blind we can be, you and I. How arrogant and foolish. We question God’s love, even his very existence, all the while ignoring the ultimate demonstration of his love for us: The death of his Son for your sins and mine. But there’s the beauty, the very way by which God demonstrates his love for us is also the very thing that washes away the stains of our foolish arrogance. It also seals God’s promise that his love will guide even the pain and sorrow of life for our good.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, fix my eyes on the cross, the ultimate demonstration of your love for me. And empower me to see your love at work even in the pain and sorrow of my life. Thanks be to God. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Forgiven equals peace
June 27, 2020
Today's devotion is based on Matthew 9:1,2 "Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven."
In the 9th chapter of Matthew, we see Jesus perform at least seven miracles, answer questions and complaints from the teachers of the law, Pharisees, and even followers of John the Baptist. All the while, we see him confidently going about his ministry, calling another Apostle, instructing his disciples, and explaining his purpose on earth: to forgive sins and save souls. He raises a girl from the dead. He reads minds. He heals the blind, the paralyzed, the demon-possessed, and a woman with an unknown malady of constant bleeding.
In this chapter, as well as many other places in the Bible, Jesus shows us why he came into the world—he came to forgive sins. He said to the paralyzed man, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven." When God declares our sins forgiven, we can be assured that they are completely gone because God cannot lie. If your sins are burdening you, if your guilt is weighing you down, take heart, your sins are forgiven!
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, the forgiveness of sins you freely give for Jesus' sake assures me that I am free of your sentence of condemnation. Clinging to your forgiveness by faith, I am blessed with a close and loving relationship with you forever. Thanks be to God. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
June 26, 2020
Today's devotion is based on 2 Corinthians 9:13, "Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God … for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else."
We will not defeat poverty and injustice on this earth, we can participate in letting God's kingdom come, and so we pray for wise, generous, obedient hearts. As we do the next right thing, this transforms us so that we are ready to continue to do the right thing in the future.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, may I live a life of such wise generosity that, although your plan for my life may appear fuzzy to me now, it will be clear as I look back on my life in the future. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
June 25, 2020
Today's devotion is based on Exodus 3:14-15, "God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM' has sent me to you.'" God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.' "This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation."
When Moses asked for God's name, God replied by calling himself, "I AM." That might sound like a strange name to us. But consider how often Jesus, himself, used this name six times to bring comfort to the hearts of God's children.
We need to remember that through faith in Jesus, you are God's child. Just as God called Moses to be there for Israel, he has called you to be there for your family, friends, and neighbors—not to be the great I AM—but to point them to the great I AM.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for being consistent in who you are so that I can find regular comfort in who I am in and through Christ Jesus, my Savior. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Going the extra mile
June 24, 2020
Today's devotion is based on Matthew 5:41, "If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles."
What does it mean, though, for our anxious world when as Christians, we can joyfully over-deliver, even when we have been treated badly by others? I am not talking about being a doormat. I am talking about wise generosity where you freely and willingly choose the long game as Jesus did
On so many levels, I resist doing this. In earthly terms, it is simply not fair. The only hope I have of getting to this place of joyful obedience is by dying to myself every single day and rising with Christ a little more transformed and renewed. It is a painfully slow process.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, as I consider the challenges faced by this world in general, and my neighbors in particular, I pray that you will fill me with your Spirit so that my actions will show your love toward other as I go beyond what is expected. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Is God enough?
June 23, 2020
Today's devotion is based on Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Is it true that God is all we need, that God is enough for us? Is God enough when we are in the pain and agony or are struggling with our faith or tragedy strikes? Is God enough when God seems indifferent to our pain, and when our prayers seem to do nothing?
These are all good questions, questions that need to be answered. It is in those times that we must remember that God is bound by his promises to take care of us. Take heart that God sees the big picture. He sees life from beginning to the end – ‘the whole thing’ – and invites us not to seek an answer that seems right to us, but to put our hope and trust in him, who sees all and knows all. He will not fail you.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, as we struggle with the pain and hurts of this life, as we wrestle with you over things that seem to be unfair, help us to hold on to the truth that you are all we need and your grace is more than enough for us. Help us to direct our hope toward you, and to wait patiently and confidently until we are with you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Confession is good for you
June 22, 2020
Today's devotion is based on Matthew 9:13, "[Jesus said] "For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
There is a website where people can confess their sins without anyone knowing who they are. Thousands of people take advantage of the site every day. But Jesus is already aware of all of them, whether or not we confess them to him. When Jesus approached a man named Matthew to call him as a disciple, he was well aware of Matthew's deserved reputation as a "sinner." Yet he assured him that sinners like Matthew were precisely the type of people for whom Jesus had come. He came to call sinners into God's kingdom.
Whatever your skeletons, whatever your secrets, whatever your sins, you don't need to be afraid of them. Jesus calls you to confess those sins to him, knowing that he offers full and free forgiveness.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, as you hear me confess my deepest sins, draw my eyes to the Savior who forgave them so that I will know the peace, that only he can give. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Who do we serve?
June 21, 2020
Today's devotion is based on Colossians 3:23, 24, "And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ."
Sometimes we may feel that no-one is noticing, appreciating, or listening to what we are doing. We pursue our daily work and follow his leading with a heart of generosity and blessing anyway. Other times the Lord gives us an insight into the eﬀects our eﬀorts are having. Either way, we are working for the Lord.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, Help us to be aware that it is you we are serving, as we do our work, as we read the email, clean the table, organize our task list. Open our eyes to the work of others. Inspire us to encourage and thank others for their eﬀorts. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.