Posts from October 2019

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY NOVEMBER 1, 2019

We will not hide them…we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,  His power,  and the wonders He has done.  For most of us,  everything we know about God was passed along to us by members of a previous generation who were faithful to obey this Biblical command.  Each of them can point to faithful Christ followers of the generation preceding theirs,  who served as another link in this remarkable chain of faith that reaches back…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY OCTOBER 31, 2019

Mark 2:3 (NIV) –  Some men came,  bringing to  (Jesus)  a paralytic,  carried by four of them.  Consider the love of this small group of men.  Without their help,  the paralytic would not have experienced Christ’s forgiveness and healing touch.  Consider all the trouble they went through to get him before Jesus—what effort,  what faith,  what persistence!  Who do you most identify with in this narrative?  Are you a friend who is determined to carry an ailing person to Jesus? …

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 30, 2019

Mark 1:35 (NIV) –  Very early in the morning,  while it was still dark,  Jesus got up,  left the house and went off to a solitary place,  where He prayed.   Though Christ had a very visible ministry,  His times of solitude were critical to His effectiveness.  His prayers enabled Him to balance the visible with the invisible,  the natural with the supernatural,  and His humanity with His divinity.  Those occasions of solitude opened wide the channels of His heart…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY OCTOBER 29, 2019

Luke 4:42 (NIV) –  At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place.  The people were looking for Him and when they came to where He was,  they tried to keep Him from leaving them.  The people wanted to limit Jesus to their little town,  but He had to follow God’s call to go to other people in other places who also needed to hear His message.  It is our tendency to want to close ourselves into a safe,  little…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY OCTOBER 28, 2019

Luke 4:36 (NIV) –  All the people were amazed and said to each other,  “What is this teaching?  With authority and power He gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!”  Read the whole story.  Demons had to yield to Christ’s authority.  His life-transforming power got the people’s attention.  God has called us to make a powerful impact in this world  (not just be happy and live to ourselves).  Depending on how well we listen in the School of…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY OCTOBER 26, 2019

Luke 4:9b (NIV) –  …”If you are the Son of God,”  (Satan)  said,  “throw yourself down from here.”  Satan is always twisting scripture,  taking it out of context and using confusing quotes.  He did it with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden,  and he attempted it with Jesus.  But Jesus knew He did not need to throw Himself off a high tower to get people’s attention.  He did not need to put Himself at unnecessary risk in order…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY NOVEMBER 14, 2019

Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV)  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,  and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,  so is my word that goes out from my mouth;  it will not return to me empty,  but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  What a wonderful metaphor for the…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY OCTOBER 25, 2019

Luke 4:7-8 (NIV) –  (The devil said)  “So if you worship me,  it will all be yours.”  Jesus answered,  “It is written:  ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”   Every day,  we face temptations to shortcut the long trek of discipleship for quick fixes and easy answers.  It is all too easy to compromise our faith when our prayers seem to go unanswered and our souls enter a dark night that seems to contradict everything we ever…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY OCTOBER 24, 2019

Luke 4:1-4 (NLT) –  Jesus answered,  “It is written:  ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’” (focus verse 4)   Jesus’  ministry began with forty days of hunger and heat in the desert,  not glory and accolades.  When He was at His weakest point,  the devil tempted Him to misuse His power for personal gratification.  Jesus responded with the words of Moses  (one well acquainted with desert life).  He knew that life does not consist of eating and drinking and…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 23, 2019

Luke 5:4b (NLT) –  …(Jesus)  said to Simon,  “Now go out where it is deeper,  and let down your nets to catch some fish.”   Peter  (Simon)  was an experienced fisherman.  He questioned Jesus’  command,  yet respected Him enough to obey.  “Because you say so,  I will”  (vs. 5 NIV).  His simple obedience led to a miracle  (the huge catch of fish)  and a revelation that Peter’s personal best could not compare with Christ’s remarkable power.  Sometimes our best efforts…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY OCTOBER 22, 2019

Luke 19:13b (NLT) –  …”invest this for me while I am gone.”  (Read the verses 11-27 for the full context).   God has gifted each one of us with life and incredible potential.  Use them wisely.  Encourage and strengthen the people around you.  Serve in selfless ways that reflect the Father’s love.  Be a good steward of the life of God within you.  Why do some people live so far beneath their potential and roll up their gifts into a…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY OCTOBER 21, 2019

Luke 18:38 (NLT) –  So  (the blind beggar)  began shouting,  “Jesus,  Son of David,  have mercy on me!”  Read the whole story.  It depicts focus and reaching hard for something in spite of resistance.  He was yelling  (MSG)  to get Jesus’  attention.  The man was blind in his eyes,  but not in his soul.  Proverbially,  at some point in life,  you may find yourself sitting by the side of the road in need—maybe even begging.  What will it take to…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY OCTOBER 19, 2019

Hebrews 4:13 (NIV) –  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  God created us and knows us:  our temperaments,  our tendencies to default into false-self reactions,  and our addictions both large and small.  Nothing is a surprise to Him.  So come boldly to the  “throne of grace”  (Hebrews 4:16 KJV)  and bring all your idiosyncrasies to the Father.  He will adjust your perspective and give you hope.  He will heal and strengthen you.  Lean into Him when you…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY OCTOBER 18, 2019

Hebrews 3:19 (NIV) –  So we see that they were not able to enter,  because of their unbelief.   The writer is referring to the horrific reality that a whole generation of Israelites died in the wilderness because they did not develop the faith necessary for crossing over the final hurdle to get into the Promised Land.  They were the generation that witnessed the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea,  saw God hover above Mt. Sinai in frightening power and…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY OCTOBER 17, 2019

Romans 8:34 (NLT) –  Who then will condemn us?  No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us,  and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand,  pleading  (interceding NIV)  for us.  We are not alone in our battles in life.  Jesus prays for us!  And He leads other believers in supernatural ways to pray for us.  Just as Jesus prayed for Peter  (Luke 22:32)  and interceded for His followers  (John…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 16, 2019

Hebrews  2:1 (MSG) –  It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off.   In other words,  “We must eagerly anchor ourselves to the truths we’ve been taught,  or we are likely to drift away from our moorings”  (Hayford Bible Handbook).  What rituals do you engage regularly in your life to make sure you don’t  “drift”  away from your spiritual moorings?  Daily devotions,  attendance in a group that actively studies the…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY OCTOBER 15, 2019

Hebrews 1:3(NLT) –  After He had provided purification for sins,  He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.   Hebrews  “emphasizes the superiority of God’s revelation in Christ to every other revelation.”  And in the day this book of the Bible was written,  there were many other religions and philosophies that governed the way men thought about life.  It was important for the writer of Hebrews to explain that Jesus,  who was the Creator of the…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY OCTOBER 14, 2019

Hebrews 1:1 (NLT) –  Long ago,  God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets.  The basic truth of the book of Hebrews is found in this opening scripture:  God has spoken.  An entire succession of inspired writers in both Old and New Testaments declared His truths to a world confused by error.  “If fallen people are to find their way back to God,  only God can reveal the way.  Hebrews tells us that God…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY OCTOBER 12, 2019

Romans 3:23 (NLT) –  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  God created us and called us good,  but then we succumbed to evil’s voice in the Garden of Eden and since then evil is everywhere.  It seeks to find expression through us and leaves in its path brokenness.  But Jesus brings the solution—redemption.  He took upon Himself the judgment for our sin;  and by choosing faith in Him we transfer from the kingdom of…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY OCTOBER 11, 2019

Romans 1:17 (NIV) –  For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed,  a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,  just as it is written:  “The righteous will live by faith.”   “In this gospel about Jesus,  a unique righteousness is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last.  Righteousness that comes to us through Jesus,  and is appropriated by faith,  is the theme of Paul’s letter to the Romans”  (The Hayford Bible Handbook). …

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY OCTOBER 10, 2019

Romans 1:8 (MSG) –  …People everywhere keep telling me about your lives of faith,  and every time I hear them,  I thank Him.  Something changes inside our core when we choose to embrace faith in Jesus Christ and it becomes visible on the outside.  Old destructive habits begin to melt away.  New hungers emerge to know God and understand the Bible and how it connects to the realities of everyday life.  We find we want to be around other Christians…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 9, 2019

Romans 1:5 (MSG) –  Through Him  (Jesus)  we received both the generous gift of His life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus.  For those of us who follow Jesus,  it is our mission in life to share the story of how we came to discover His transforming power—how life was for us before we  “met”  Jesus,  how we came to embrace faith in Him,  and how…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY OCTOBER 8, 2019

Romans 1:4 (MSG) – …His unique identity as Son of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead,  setting him apart as the Messiah,  our Master. Mary and John and other women had watched Jesus die an excruciating death.  Can we even imagine it?  Joseph and Nicodemus had taken His dead body down from the cross and buried it in a tomb  (John 19).  Everybody went home to grieve.  All the followers of Jesus wondered…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY OCTOBER 7, 2019

Romans 1:2 (MSG) –  The sacred writings contain preliminary reports by the prophets on God’s Son.  His descent from David roots Him in history;  His unique identity as Son of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead,  setting Him apart as the Messiah our Master.  Paul,  who wrote these words,  had been a devoted Jewish scholar,  well versed in Old Testament writings and furious that a Christian movement had emerged declaring Jesus as Lord. …

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY OCTOBER 5, 2019

Luke 22:31-32 (NIV) –  “Simon,  Simon,  Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you,  Simon,  that your faith may not fail.  And when you have turned back,  strengthen your brothers.”    We can strengthen others in the faith when they are under satanic attack.  We can intercede for them in prayer—and we must resist Satan,  standing firm in the faith  (I Peter 5:8-11).  Our brothers and sisters around the world are experiencing the  “same…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY OCTOBER 4, 2019

Numbers 21:4 (KJV) –  They journeyed from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea,  to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged. When a person goes through a long,  tough,  seemingly unending battle with illness and/or other hardships,  it is easy to become  “discouraged because of the way.”  Problems that otherwise may not have seemed so difficult loom larger than normal because the journey doesn’t seem to be getting any better. …

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY OCTOBER 3, 2019

I Samuel 9:27 (NIV) –  When they reached the edge of town,  Samuel told Saul to send his servant on ahead.  After the servant was gone,  Samuel said,  “Stay here,  for I have received a special message for you from God.”   If we are to have a God-given ministry in the Word,  there will be times when we must get away from others and stand still long enough to hear from God.  “But when you pray,  go away by…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 2, 2019

Isaiah 50:4 (MSG) –  The Master,  God,  has given me a well-taught tongue.  So I know how to encourage tired people.  He wakes me up in the morning,  wakes me up,  opens my ears to listen as one ready to take orders.   The Father teaches us:  How to speak  (KJV),  and what to speak  (“a word”  KJV),  and when to speak  (“in season”  KJV),  and to whom to speak  (“to him who is weary”  KJV).  God wants to use…
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