Jesus' kingdom is not of this world
Today's devotion for today is based on the words of Jesus as they are written down for us in John 18:36, "My kingdom is not of this world."
People looked at Jesus then, just as many Christians do today, believing him to be the perfect political leader. If Jesus were king, their troubles would all go away. Money problems, relationship problems, and health problems would all be solved—if not for everyone, at least for his most loyal supporters!
But the reality is that Jesus doesn't always bring outward success. He doesn't build a following through the things that our selfish hearts crave. And that leads many to turn away from him.
That is why Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." Jesus, the Son of God, didn't come to selfishly seek worldly wealth, political power, or personal gain. He came to give of himself and to serve the world. He came to conquer the devil and overcome sin and its curse. He came to fight for our souls. And he won that fight by overcoming temptation, enduring death and hell, and rising from the dead.
Because Jesus fought as our king, we have something far better than worldly wealth or success. We have been set free from sin and rescued from death. We are citizens of Jesus' heavenly kingdom, where we will live with him in perfect joy forever! Hail, King Jesus!
Please pray with me; King Jesus, thank you for fighting to set me free. Keep me from turning away from you so that I may enjoy the eternal riches of your heavenly kingdom. Amen.
King of Kings
Today's devotion for today is based on Revelation 1:4-6, "Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." (
In the days before Jesus died, the devil was unleashing his entire arsenal against him. He thought that if he could turn Jesus' friends and enemies against him and get them to kill him, Jesus would be defeated. When Jesus died on that bloody cross, the devil rejoices, for he thought he had won.
But just the opposite happened. Jesus' death was all part of God's plan. By dying in our place, he destroyed death's power over us. He proved that by being "the firstborn from the dead." He rose from the dead to show that our sins were forgiven, and death had lost its power over us.
And so, Jesus not only rose from the dead himself, but he is "the firstborn from the dead." When Jesus returns on the Last Day, all who have died trusting in Jesus' victory over sin and death will be raised to live forever with him.
Please pray with me, Jesus, my King; thank you for defeating death for me so that I will live forever with you. In Your blessed name, I pray. Amen.
Today is the last Sunday of the Christian Year. Next Sunday, the focus changes to expectation as we wait for Jesus' second entry into our midst. Today's devotion for today is based onJohn 5:24, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
What does it mean that the Son gives life? Jesus gives life. God is our creator and literally gives us our lives, knits us together in our mother's womb. Just as God breathed the breath of life into Adam, we are filled with life because of him. God has claimed you through Jesus to have life to the full (John 10:10).
The Spirit will guide you in this. Today, display love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This is how your life-giving God works through you in the power of his Holy Spirit. These fruits give life to the weary, the hungry, the sick, the sad. You can be a life-giver today because your Life-Giver tenderly embraces you as a dearly beloved child worth dying for.
Please pray with me, Jesus, my loving Life-Giver; I am so grateful to be included and accepted by you and that you would consider me worth dying for. I thank you for my life with all its joys and challenges, and I offer it to you today as a humble offering. Do with my life whatever you will; use me according to your purposes. Open my eyes and ears to be life-giving to the people around me today. Amen.
As we near the end of the Christian year, approaching Advent, today's devotion for today is based on John 5:28, where we hear Jesus say, "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out."
I remember standing at my father's casket at the graveyard. There was an ache in my heart, and tears were flowing. There would be no more hugs, advice, or anything else for that manner from the man that I dearly loved.
One message and one message alone that day gave me comfort: death had been defeated! By Jesus' death and resurrection, he had forgiveness of sins for you, for me, for all. Jesus won forgiveness of sins for my father, whose physical body was lying in that casket.
I was sadder than I would ever have imagined. My father was gone, but I knew that my dad was a winner in my sadness. For he died believing in Jesus as his Savior. His soul was with the Lord awaiting Judgment Day when it will be reunited with his risen body to live for all eternity
And someday, my father, with all those who believed in Jesus, will hear the voice of Jesus say, "Come out!" And he will come out of the grave! He will rise from the dead with a glorious, glorified body to enjoy the fullness of the victory which Jesus won for him, and he'll enjoy it for all eternity. And with Jesus as our living Savior, we will too! That is Good News.
Please pray with me, Lord Jesus, remind me that someday you will stand by my grave and call me out of it, raising me back to life to live with you forever. Use that message to dry my tears, fill me with peace, and focus me on the life that is to come. In your blessed name, I pray. Amen.
As we near the end of the Christian year, approaching Advent, today's devotion for today is based on Daniel 12:3, which speaks of Judgment Day, "And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever."
The Bible promises that faith in Jesus as Savior is the only qualification for getting to heaven. Whoever believes in him will not perish but will have everlasting life. But then the Bible says things like, "those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens." So, is telling people certain things another secret qualification for eternal life? Or are both of those things something you do to shine a little brighter in heaven?
The Good News is that there are no extra secret qualifications for getting into heaven. It's just that believing in Jesus as Savior is the wisest possible thing you can do. You may be foolish in many other areas, but if you are wise in just this one area, you are wise for eternity. Jesus is your wisdom. So, while you wait to go to heaven, you can live a wise life of faith in Jesus, confident in his righteousness for yourself and others.
Please pray with me; thank you for sending Jesus to be my wisdom, righteousness, and Savior. Please help me to live a life that is God-pleasing as I look forward to Judgement Day when I will be reunited with my soul to spend eternity in your presence. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
As we near the end of the Christian year, approaching Advent, today's devotion for today is based on Daniel 12:2 "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt."
Depending on one's faith or lack of faith in Christ, one's soul either goes to heaven or hell at the moment of death. There is no intermediate state in the realm of the dead. Whether we like it or not, this is the Bible's clear teaching.
On Judgment Day, the souls of those who died will be reunited with their bodies. The souls from heaven and the souls from hell. Once united, the second judgment occurs. Believers, both body and soul, will spend eternity with God. Unbelievers, both body, and soul, will spend eternity in the absence of God, knowing that they will never be able to live in God's presence
God sent his Son, Jesus, to rescue people from that fate. Jesus suffered hell in our place on the cross so that our sins do not condemn us to everlasting life absent from God, but instead gives us eternal life in the presence of God. As believers, we are to look forward to awakening on judgment day to everlasting life.
Please pray with me; thank you for all you have done for me. Please help me to live a life that is God-pleasing as I look forward to Judgement Day when I will be reunited with my soul to spend eternity in your presence. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
As we near the end of the Christian year, approaching Advent, today's devotion for today is based on Mark 13:26,27 "At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens."
One of the remarkable promises Jesus made about the day he returns to judge this world is that when he returns, every eye will see him. How is that even possible?
The Bible is very clear about how that is possible. It says that the angels will pick up all believers in Jesus on judgment day and take them to the very place that Jesus is returning. It doesn't matter where in the world you live or precisely where Jesus chooses to return. The earth as we know it will be destroyed on judgment day. But Jesus will bring you safely through that time to eternity. In the meantime, give thanks that God has it all figured out.
Please pray with me, Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; thank you for providing Jesus as my Savior. Without him and his saving work on my behalf, I would be lost forever. Thank you for your Word where I can find out more about you and your love for all of humankind. Please help me keep my eyes on your promise of my resurrection from the dead when you come back on Judgment Day. In Jesus' name, I pray. Lord. Amen.
As we near the end of the Christian year, approaching Advent, today's devotion for today is based on Matthew 24: 21-23, "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it.
We should all remember that wars, earthquakes, extreme weather events, and COVID are all distractions, inviting us to take our eyes off Jesus and get caught up in (conspiracy) theories rather than focusing on the good news. Namely, Jesus died and rose again for us, God is in control, and we can trust in the Holy Spirit to enable and encourage us.
Even if we feel paralyzed by all that is happening in the world at the moment, Jesus calls us out of that paralysis: to life, to see the Christ and to live in peace. In John 16:33, Jesus says, 'I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world, you will have trouble, but be brave! I have defeated the world'.
Would you rather live in fear and uncertainty, with confusion and hopelessness, or is it wiser and gentler to look at Christ, allow his peace, grace, and forgiveness to accompany your doubts, and hand them over to him? Jesus provides courage and hope in troubling times. Trust in him.
Please pray with me; we thank you, Lord Jesus, that you have conquered the world. Help us rest in that knowledge, relax into your arms, and be reassured by your loving embrace. Amen.
As we near the end of the Christian year, approaching Advent, today's devotion for today is based on Isaiah 65:17 "Look, I will make new heavens and a new earth."
This verse, repeated in Revelation 21, is one of my favorites in the Bible, for it gives me hope in a world that many times seems out of control. In God's Word, it and many others point to a time of perfect bliss, joy beyond imagination, and blessings to all people. Something to look forward to in troubled times.
We can look forward to perfect harmony: love, joy, and peace beyond measure. But we can also live with the presence of Jesus in us today. If you can go for a walk today with your eyes focused on Jesus and his creation. See your neighbors and nature through Jesus' eyes as you experience new life today.
Would you please pray with me? We thank you, God, for the wonderful promises you provide for us. But even more, we thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ, coming into our world and making all things new. Please help us to live and celebrate this newness in our lives. Amen.
Today's devotion for today is based on Matthew 9:32-34, "While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel." But the Pharisees said, "It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons."
In the New Testament, the devil pulls out every stop as Israel beholds the coming of the Heavenly King. It seems as if every kind of demon-possession imaginable fell across the path of Jesus. Jesus showed himself to be up to every test.
Although some still doubted, such miracles showed Jesus' power over what is unseen and what is seen. He is the absolute and perfect cure not only for demons and illnesses but for sin itself. He carried away what we could never hope to get rid of ourselves.
Jesus showed his power over the devil with this miracle. And finally, with his perfect life and innocent death, Jesus won for us the ultimate victory over sin, and all that comes from it, death, and the power of the devil.
Please pray with me, Lord Jesus. Comfort me today with the reminder that you are all-powerful and can overcome everything earthly and spiritually that is trying to separate me from you. Thank you for turning my earthly death into eternal life with you. Amen.