Today my daily devotion is based on Luke 10:25-29, “And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the Law? How do you read it?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." Jesus said to him, "You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live." But the lawyer, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
We too, in wanting to justify ourselves ask “Who is our neighbor?” We can’t help everyone. There are far too many people in need. We might in asking that question be trying to excuse ourselves by believing that in asking we at least show that we care. For, after all we protest against violence and oppression in the world.
While that is all good, we need to look at those close by. Maybe a relative, a person living close to us, those in the community who are in need of help. How often have we committed the great sin of passing them by in their time of need when we could have helped them in some manner. Those are our neighbors. We can help them in many ways, but I think the best is interaction with them. But if we can’t do that then we can give money to organizations who can help them.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord, you know how we make excuses when we have a difficult duty to perform or have to part with some of our valuable time or resources. Remind us through your Word that our time and resources come from you. I know that you give opportunities to help others so that I can show your love, the great love you have for me, to others in need. Please forgive me when I fail. Strengthen me to do what you want done for those in need. In Jesus’ blessed and compassionate name, I pray. Amen.
Today my daily devotion is based on Matthew 6:16-18, [Jesus said] “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
In today’s Bible passage, Jesus speaks against people who outwardly practice religion but don’t honestly believe it with their hearts. They are primarily interested in drawing attention to themselves and receiving compliments from others for being “such good people.”
Jesus wants us to know that God is not pleased if we live our faith to get people to think better of us. However, God is pleased if our practices help us focus our attention on him and all he has done to rescue us from eternal death and give us everlasting life. Whatever ways we as individuals use to help us focus on our faith in God, we must remember that we gladly do it out of love for our Savior. That is worship that pleases God.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Jesus, I know that you examine my heart and understand the motivation for all that I do. Forgive me when I act only for show. Help me worship you with a sincere heart and with practices that keep my attention on you as my Savior. In your name, I pray. Amen.
Today my daily devotion is based on Psalm 15:1, “Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?”
Who is fit to enter God’s house or even ‘dwell’ in the holy place of worship? Who of us, as good as we, or others may think of us, walk blamelessly, live righteously, always speak the truth, never speak ill of others, do no harm, always keep promises, are honest in business and always behave honorably towards fellow-believers while avoiding anyone whose life doesn’t measure up? Who on earth can meet this standard? No one, for there is only one who measures up; Jesus, who offered his blameless life on our behalf.
So, what kind of people can get invited to live in God’s sanctuary? With Jesus, we are the people! Even with all faults we may enter the holy place with clean hearts and a full assurance of finding God’s grace ready to help us in our time of need. The cross of Jesus and the empty tomb are the visual pledges that we are, indeed, on God’s guest list.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord Jesus, thank you that you have opened the way for us to come joyfully into the Father’s presence. May we find your grace to help in all our need, mercy for sin, and joy to worship as we come in with you. Amen.
Today my daily devotion is based on 1 Peter 2:4, “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Christ Jesus.”
What an image of grace! Living stones in a wall of praise! Interconnected for mutual support and encouragement. It graces us to live for others, invites us to sing, ‘Make us your building, sheltering others, walls made of living stone.’ Life events may sometimes cause us to feel unsteady, perhaps isolated and scattered, far from our spiritual home. But here is the assurance that we are in God the Builder’s hands. No doubt or anxiety can separate us from his wisdom and love. The gift we receive daily as children of God’s love, through Christ our Cornerstone, holds us steady and secure in the walls of God’s house by the power and persistence of the Spirit who always builds to last.
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, our unfailing Cornerstone, who holds us close to you and to one another as you build us into the walls of God’s house. Open our hearts and lives to sing your praise together, resting in your wise and gracious hands when we meet the shocks and storms of life. In his Jesus’ name, I pray.
Today my daily devotion is based on Acts 5:32, “We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
After Pentecost, the Apostles were on fire with the power and love of God. Day by day, the company of believers grew in number in response to their preaching and healing ministries. Nevertheless, the opposition was strong and unrelenting. So, what enabled them to persevere and return for more? What compelled them to preach Christ tirelessly when so much was at stake for them?
Just as the Spirit witnessed with the Apostles, so he empowers and equips us as witnesses to our Savior today. We are his witnesses, so let our account – whatever challenges we face – be the story of God’s mercy and goodness revealed in Jesus. We draw our unshakeable inner certainty from the Spirit of truth. For it is the Spirit of truth, whose gifts of grace and unfailing encouragement keep us in tune with the needs we meet wherever we are.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Shine in our hearts, Holy Spirit of truth, as we serve as witnesses to the wonder of God’s saving love in Jesus. Remind us of Jesus’ presence as we give an account of our hope to those who long for his love. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Today my daily devotion is based on, Hebrews 8:12, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
There are plenty of people out there that want to conjure up your past and remind you of who you used to be or what has previously happened to you. But God washed your past away and remembers it no more. He wiped your slate clean and allows you to live in freedom from the bondage of your past. God himself calls you worthy, and through His blood you are qualified to serve Him in any and every capacity He calls you! You are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Do not look back, but forward today.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustain for all things, seen and unseen; please help me to remember that in you my sins are forgiven. Help me to not look backward, but forward as I live in your forgiveness. Strengthen me through your Word so that I can trust more fully in your will, for your will is always perfect. Lord, I believe, help me in my unbelief. Amen.
Today my daily devotion is based on Ecclesties 3:10-11, "I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."
God's timing and our timing may not be in sync. The difference is His timing is always perfect, and ours is not. So whatever it is you are in the waiting for, know that God has never taken His eyes off of you, He is preparing you right now for something, He has a perfect plan for your life, and no matter what, His timing is always perfect. Be available to God, and He will use you in mighty ways. Although things may not end up how you expected them to, they will always end up how God intended them to end up.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustain for all things, seen and unseen, you know how w inpatient I am. Deep down, I want you to do my will when and how I want it done. For Jesus' sake, forgive me. Strengthen me through your Word so that I can trust more fully in your will, for your will is always perfect. Lord, I believe, help me in my unbelief. Amen.
Today I want to revisit a verse that I based my daily devotion on several weeks ago, John 6:68, “Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
What makes a particular teaching hard? Can’t understand it? Too deep? Outside my experience? Don’t trust the teacher? Some or all of the above could prevent learning.
Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue drew the attention of a crowd of would-be disciples, but in the end, many couldn’t accept the lesson. Jesus’ claim to be the ‘living bread come down from heaven to give life to the world’ (verse 51) was difficult, but when he told them that for eternal life, they must eat his flesh and drink his blood, that was too much!
Even his own disciples were taken aback. Yes, they said, our ancestors ate the manna in the desert, and yes, they died. But now, you tell us you are the living bread from heaven, and we must eat you to live forever? You say that’s the real food, the real drink? Without it, we have no life in us? Try as they might, they couldn’t fathom it.
By staying and trusting, especially when our Lord’s teaching seems unclear and even hard, the disciples that day and we allow the Spirit of Life to reveal the truth of Jesus to us. We find him to be indeed the Bread of Life, broken for this hungry and thirsty world in which we live. Jesus alone has the words of eternal life.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Stay with us, Lod Jesus, for you are the Living Bread. You alone have the words and the power to make us truly alive nourished for service in your kingdom, Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed.”
This verse has been a comfort to me when disappointments have occurred and when I haven’t been sure where my present situation was going. The ever-present love and compassion of the Lord have been my rock and refuge many times in my life.
What about you? If you are broken-hearted and your spirit is crushed, turn to the one who comforts and reassures you. Know that the Lord is your rock and your refuge.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord Jesus, thank you that you come alongside us and accept and understand our concerns, worries, and despair. Restore us through your presence, grace, and compassion. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on Luke 12:15, "Then Jesus said to them, 'Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. Life is not measured by how much one owns."
We might not say we are greedy, but it seems that greed can be present in all sorts of ways. If we find we are greedy in any area, what should we do? The obvious is to confess and change our ways. But if I may be so bold, I would like to suggest that the best way to overcome greed is to be generous!
Our generosity enables others to live. It expands our hearts. It responds to the generous and loving God revealed throughout Scripture. By being generous, we live in the image of God. The antidote to greed, excessive wealth, and too many possessions is living in the grace of our generous God and sharing that grace in whatever way we can.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; thank you for all you give me. Help me to reflect your generous heart in all I do and have. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.