God is fair to all people
Today’s devotion is based on Romans 2:6-11. “God will repay each person according to what they have done." To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.”
Often there is dissatisfaction with judgments given by those in authority. What about God’s judgments? St Paul assures us that God judges everyone by the same standard. That sounds like good news because we want fairness. But the problem for us is that the standard by which God judges us is a perfect standard. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “You must be perfect—just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” By this standard of perfection, every human being stands condemned. The list of bad things we do is endless.
There would be no hope for any of us if it weren’t for the really good news that God puts us right with himself through Jesus Christ. That’s what the letter to the Romans is all about. It shows us that when God judges people who have faith in Jesus, he sees Jesus, and he judges them as if they were Jesus.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, cleanse and cover me with Jesus’ righteous so that when I stand before God on Judgment Day, I will be declared innocent. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on Romans 5:1-4: “Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He has bought us by faith into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory! We also boast of our troubles because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God’s approval, and his approval creates hope.”
The question that comes up when these verses are read is, “Why should a person boast when going through troubles in life?” Without enduring troubles, we grow weak and complacent in our faith. Being too protected prevents us from growing in our faith. When troubles strike, you can rejoice knowing that the troubles are not meaningless and that God will be with you always, as he has promised.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, be with me, Lord, in my times of trouble, so that I may endure and become stronger. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Forgiveness, God's promise to you.
Today’s devotion is based on Romans4:16,17. “And so the promise was based on faith, in order that the promise should be guaranteed as God’s free gift to all of Abraham’s descendants—not just to those who obey the Law, but also to those who believe as Abraham did. For Abraham is the spiritual father of us all; as the scriptures say, ‘I have made you father of many nations.’ So the promise is good in the sight of God, in whom Abraham believed—the God who brings the dead to life and whose command brings into being what did not exist.”
Abraham was a man of faith, yet Abraham was not perfect. He sinned over and over again. He doubted, he connived. He committed adultery, but he never lost his faith. Abraham is a shining, very human example for you to follow. You will sin as we all do, but your sins will be forgiven through your faith in the Lord. Forgiveness is God’s promise to you, just as it was to Abraham.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, strengthen my faith, so that I, like Abraham, will never lose sight of your forgiveness. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Saved by faith alone
Today’s devotion is based on Romans 4:10,11. Paul is answering an age-old question that is still asked today. Was Abraham accepted before God because of his deeds, in this case, circumcision or his faith? “When did this take place? Was it before or after Abraham was circumcised? It was before, not after. He was circumcised later, and his circumcision was a sign to show that because of his faith, God had accepted him as righteous before he had been circumcised. And so Abraham is the spiritual father of all who believe in God and are accepted as righteous by him, even though they are not circumcised.”
Paul is telling them that without faith, Abraham would never have been circumcised, and therefore it was his faith, not his actions, that justified him. This answer applies to all who believe in Jesus as their Savior. It is through your faith, the faith that God gives you, that God accepts you as righteous, even before you do righteous acts.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, thank you, Lord, that through the faith that you have given me, my sins are not counted against me. Strengthen my faith, so that I never stray from your love and forgiveness. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Life in Christ
Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 82:1-3.
God presides in the heavenly council;
in the assembly of the gods he gives his decision:
‘You must stop judging unjustly;
you must no longer be partial to the wicked!
Defend the rights of the poor and the orphans;
be fair to the needy and the helpless.’
God presides in the heavenly council; in the assembly of the gods, he gives his decision. How much more does God do to protect those in his care. He defends the weak and poor. He rescues the needy. He judges those who are unjust. And he is completely, totally on the side of those who love him. How lucky you are to have such a protector! And because he does these things for you, you are now enabled to do these things for those around you.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things keep me, Lord, in your protective care. Guide me in your ways, so that others may learn of you also. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Jesus is truly God and Man
Today’s devotion is based on Romans 1:2-4. “The Good News was promised long ago by God through his prophets, as written in the Holy Scriptures. It is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: as to his humanity, he was born a descendant of David; as to his divine holiness, he was shown with great power to be the Son of God by being raised from death.”
Jesus is truly God and truly human. As God, he has the power and authority to overcome sin and evil for us and bring us into his eternal kingdom. As a human being, he understands us fully. He is our brother and representative.
As our brother, who is also divine, he does things for us that we could never do for ourselves. He forgives, cleanses, and empowers us. He brings us into God’s presence. We can be comforted and strengthened by it.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things I honor and praise you, Lord Jesus, that you are truly God, Son of the Father from all eternity, and truly human, born of the Virgin Mary, and, best of all, that you are my Lord. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on Luke 12:16-20, “And he (Jesus) told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?”
The parable of the rich fool tells how a man spent his entire life accumulating wealth, then died in his sleep before he was able to enjoy it. Does the first part of the parable sound like your life today, or like the lives of those around you? Do you spend your life accumulating wealth?
Our society thrives on double incomes, working mothers, two- or three-car families, consumable products. Where does it end? When is enough enough? Do you ever sit back and say, ‘Now I am satisfied. I have everything I need’?
Jesus’ warning is as true today as it was two thousand years ago. In the end, it does not make any difference how much wealth you have accumulated. What does make a difference is your relationship with the Lord. For in your relationship with God, your rewards will be more than you can ever imagine.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things help me to remember where my true riches are, my relationship with Jesus. Help me to rely on you for my happiness and not on the things you have given me. Thank you for your Son, Jesus, the bright morning star who has shone his love into my heart. Help me to trust you, give myself to you and shed your light on people around me today. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
My wife and I are back from a vacation in Europe, so I can now restart the daily devotions. Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 37:3-6.
Trust in the LORD and do good;
live in the land and be safe.
Seek your happiness in the LORD,
and he will give you your heart’s desire.
Give yourself to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will help you;
he will make your righteousness shine like the noonday sun.”
As chosen children of God, our right relationship with the Lord has a brightness which illuminates those who are living in the darkness of sin. The psalmist calls on you to trust the Lord and act on that trust, to seek happiness in him, to give yourself to him today.
As you trust in the Lord Jesus, serve others, seek fulfillment in him, and give yourself to him and his will, you will shine the life-giving light of Christ on all those around you. Their response to the light you shine could go either way—either warm reception or cold dismissal. Whether they accept the light is not up to you. You are only to shine for you are given the good news that, as you shine, the Lord Jesus will give you your heart’s desire.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things thank you for your Son, Jesus, the bright morning star who has shone his love into my heart. Help me to trust you, give myself to you and shed your light on people around me today. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd
Today’s devotion is based on Luke 15:1-6. “One day when many tax collectors and other outcasts came to listen to Jesus, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law started grumbling, ‘This man welcomes outcasts and even eats with them!’ So Jesus told them this parable: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them; what do you do? You leave the other ninety-nine sheep in the pasture and go looking for the one that got lost until you find it. When you find it, you are so happy that you put it on your shoulders and carry it back home.’”
Jesus said, ‘The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’ He is relentless, indefatigable in his search for human souls. When he found you and took you into his arms, all of heaven rejoiced at the news! That’s how precious you are to him. He would go to the ends of the universe to keep you as his own precious possession.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, thank you for watching over your people and protecting them from Satan’s temptations. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
The Word of God is life
Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither-- whatever they do prospers.”
God’s word is the life-giver—as vital to every person as water is to life in the desert. As you study God’s word, you will find life everlasting within. What’s more, you will stand out like green vegetation in a world thirsty for God’s love in Jesus. You will also bear the fruit of God’s word in your life with others. So don’t neglect reading God’s word. It is a God-given source of life in our world.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things thank you, Father, for the gift of your life-giving word. Help me to meditate on this word both day and night, so that I may lack no good thing. Give me a spirit and open heart to hear what you say. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.