Today's devotion is based on Mark 6:30-34," The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things."
A large crowd of people hindered their attempt to seek a place for physical rest. Rather than being frustrated, Jesus realized that those people needed rest as well. Their need for rest was spiritual, and Jesus met that need by teaching them many things.
When you have physical, emotional, and spiritual needs for rest, Jesus meets those needs by teaching you about himself. "Come to me," he says, "and I will give you rest." He calms your concerns about your work and your life by promising to be with you. He remedies your guilty feelings by promising to forgive you. He invites you to remember that everything is under his control and that he loves you.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord Jesus, thank you for the rest you supply me, here and for eternity. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on 2 Corinthians 5:7, "For we live by faith, not by sight."
Christians worldwide are often harassed and persecuted for their faith in Jesus. Their lives are full of the same suffering and pain as those around them, despite their allegiance to the God who they believe created the universe. They say that God is their Father and that he loves them, but Christians also get sick and die, just like everyone else.
Christ's kingdom is not of this world. We, just like all the Christians before us, live by faith, not by sight. We know God's promises are true because we know that he is truthful. We know that he is truthful because he kept his promise to send his Son as Savior of humanity, so he will also keep his promise to love us as his dear children for the sake of Jesus. And finally, we know that God will keep his last promises when he comes to take us to live with him forever in heaven.
These bodies we live in may be fragile, and the world we live in full of peril, but we live by faith, not by sight. Our king, the Lord Jesus Christ, will never break his promises.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, increase my faith so that in times of trouble, I will trust your word even when my eyes tell me there is reason to doubt. Keep my faith focused on Jesus, who rose from the dead and who will give me eternal life by his side. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on Mark 6:34, "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd."
The disciples and Jesus went away to rest, and when they arrived at their destination, their work was right there waiting to greet them. I know how I would have responded in that situation, and you probably do, too. That is what makes the way Jesus reacted truly amazing.
Jesus didn't see work waiting for him there. He saw people. People who needed him because they were confused and helpless, spiritually speaking. They were like sheep without a shepherd. And that pulled Jesus' heart toward them.
In doing so, he set an example for us. While we will more than likely never have to give of our time as he did, we too need also to see people who are in need as opportunities to show God's love. That is God's will for us since we are to be, as Martin Luther once wrote, "little Christs."
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Jesus, thank you for looking on me with compassion rather than condemnation. Thank you for rescuing me from my sin so I might spend my eternity with you. Help me when I see people in distress to look upon with compassion. In your name, I pray. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on Daniel 3:18, where we hear the response of the men after they were told to worship an idol or be thrown into a fiery furnace. "But even if God does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
If you read what they said, it seems that these three men had complete faith in God's ability to save them. But then comes the twist in what they said. They also knew that there was no guarantee that God would rescue them. What is more, they told the king that even though they didn't know whether or not God would save them, they were okay with that.
The same God who was there with them is here with you. He is at work in you as well. Please keep your eyes fixed on him and not on your troubles. He will give you the faith, confidence, peace, and everything else that you need when you face hard things with him, regardless of the outcome.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Loving God, help me keep my eyes fixed on you when I am faced with the fiery furnaces of my life. Please give me the faith, confidence and peace that I need as I walk through them with you. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on Psalm 23:4, "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
David reminded himself of this picture as he thought about the dangers he was facing in life. Though danger was all around him, he was not afraid. He trusted that the Lord, his Good Shepherd, was always with him to defend, rescue, and protect him.
Jesus is our Good Shepherd. He rescued us from Satan and the jaws of eternal death. And in Jesus, who is our defender and protector, we can be confident that neither Satan nor death can overcome us. He crushed the power of Satan! He swallowed up death in victory!
Take comfort in the salvation that your Good Shepherd has accomplished for you. And be assured that Jesus is always with you to defend you from danger and guide you through every difficulty of life.
Please join me in praying to our Good Shepherd: While my troubles may seem great, I know you are greater. Whether you take my problems away or give me the strength to endure them, I know you will be with me and always watch over me, for you are my salvation. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on Mark 6:29-31, "When his disciples heard of it, they came and took John the Baptist's body and laid it in a tomb. The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest awhile."
Jesus' disciples had just returned from the mission trip Jesus had sent them on. You can easily picture the disciples going on at length about their work for the kingdom, telling stories about the challenges they faced and the successes they'd found. Jesus took in every word and accepted their imperfect work gracefully. He listened because he cared. He cared about them and about what they were doing. Then he invited them to go with him to a quiet place to rest.
God's ears remain attentive to our words today. He still listens to us because he cares about us, just as Jesus did. So don't hesitate to share your joys and challenges, your frustrations and accomplishments with him in prayer.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; You are never too distracted to listen or too busy to help me. Give me ears like yours that I also may patiently listen to those who are in need have someone listen to them. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen
Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 145:13, “The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.”
The writer of the psalm invites us to join with him as he praises the Lord God. Satan wants us to forget how great is our God! He wants us to focus on our problems and worries. But our God is trustworthy! Our God is faithful! Our God is compassionate! We have seen his compassion, his faithfulness, his trustworthiness. He is a God who keeps his promises. He is a God who not only helps us when we turn to him but also helps us to turn to him in the first place.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; worthy are you to be praised. I realize that I am only aware of a small portion of the blessings you give me every day. May your Holy Spirit make me more aware of who you are, and may he enable me to praise you more and more. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
Today’s devotion is based on Mark 2:27,28 “Then [Jesus] said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Jesus came to give us rest for our souls. That’s why we take time to rest in the Word—not to follow a rule, but to honor our Savior. Jesus invites us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” We thank him for the rest we have now and look forward to the eternal rest that he has provided.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; thank you for the rest you have provided for my conscience. Give me peace as I look forward to the eternal rest that lies in the future, all thanks to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
Today’s devotion is based on Matthew 9:36, “When he saw the crowds; he had compassion on them.”
As God has been and still is merciful to us, how merciful are we with others? As Jesus still has compassion toward us. How compassionate are we with others? It is good to hold up a mirror to ourselves and see how we measure up. I know I find myself wanting. I am then so thankful my Lord God is merciful and compassionate. He is patient with me, and he will help me be the person he wants me to be during my time on earth.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; help me be merciful and compassionate to my family, to those with whom I work and to those whom I encounter each day. Help me hear your Holy Spirit as he teaches me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
Today’s devotion is based on Ephesians 1:8-10, “With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”
While these verses might be hard to understand when you first read them, after careful reading, you will see that what they are saying is that we can now see God’s love for his creation through the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
The Bible teaches us repeatedly that salvation is often hidden behind what appears to be its opposite—suffering. A good example of this is Jesus on the cross. We see pain, suffering, and death, but God sees salvation for all who call on his name.
We can be certain that our eternal salvation is a guaranteed reality in Christ Jesus. But so often, we need to wait until “the times reach their fulfillment” for God’s perfect plan to be revealed to us. The perfect mystery is revealed at the perfect time. Relax and rejoice!
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; help me to be patient and trust you always. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen