Posts from November 2019

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY NOVEMBER 30, 2019

Mark 14:29 (NIV)  Peter declared,  “Even if all falls away,  I will not.”  Peter had an inflated sense of his own spiritual strength and capacity.  Jesus knew the intensity of the trial ahead for all the disciples.  He knew that Satan would watch for every opportunity to take advantage of the situation and play off the disciples’  confusion,  fear,  and despair.  Jesus knew Peter’s true capacity.  He knows our as well.  When trials come,  how do we respond?  Satan uses…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY NOVEMBER 29, 2019

Galatians 5: 14 (NIV)   For the entire law is summed up in a single command:  “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  While differences of opinion are normal among any group of people,  we must not let our differences escalate into strife.  We should be able to voice our differences,  yet respect one another and give each other freedom to learn and grow,  even through mistakes.  We are walking together on this journey of faith,  so love must rule in our…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY NOVEMBER 28, 2019

Matthew 14:19 (NIV)   …Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven,  (Jesus)  gave thanks and broke the loaves…  Jesus gave thanks.  Thanksgiving provides an opportunity for us to express appreciation to our friends and family members.  Out of our sincere gratefulness grows a closer bond and a deeper sense of community.  To be appreciated and loved is a deep,  human need,  and expressing thanks to one another helps to meet that need.  Words of…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 27, 2019

II Corinthians 9:11 (NIV)   You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion,  and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  God blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others.  There is a grace of giving,  a spirit of generosity that marks maturing followers of Jesus Christ.  They view all of life as a gift from God and everything they own as on loan from…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY NOVEMBER 26, 2019

Luke 17:17 (NIV)   Jesus asked,  “Were not all ten cleansed?  Where are the other nine?” Only one of the ten lepers returned to say,  “Thank you”  to Jesus.  We use this story to teach our children the importance of gratitude and expressing thanks.  And certainly the Thanksgiving season reminds us of the importance of living with a grateful heart.  Rather than looking at all the things we don’t have,  why not focus on all the blessings that we do…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY NOVEMBER 25, 2019

Matthew 27:3 (NIV)   When Judas,  who had betrayed him,  realized that Jesus had been condemned to die,  he was filled with remorse.  The person consumed by the words,  “What if…”  and  “If only…”  faces an empty future.  When we are caught up in all of life’s  “ifs”  we find ourselves lost in a crazy,  unending maze of heartache,  going nowhere.  A better response to remorse is:   “What now?”  Judas ultimately hanged himself.  What a contrast to Peter,  who…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY NOVEMBER 23, 2019

Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)  I will lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord,  the Maker of heaven and earth.  The psalmist looked up at the hills and saw idols and shrines to false gods dotting the landscape.  While others prayed to gods who could not answer,  the psalmist knew the Lord would hear and respond to his prayers.  Jehovah was the Maker of heaven and earth.  Today our  “landscape”  is…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY NOVEMBER 22, 2019

Psalm 104:33-34 (NLT)  I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.  I will praise my God to my last breath!  May all my thoughts  (meditation;  NIV,  KJV)  be pleasing to Him,  for I rejoice in the Lord.  Music and meditation originates in the Psalms.  How simple is praise;  yet,  how profound its effect!  As you prepare for a season of thanksgiving,  recognize its importance in the whole scheme of life.  Thanksgiving is foundational for good mental health; …

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY NOVEMBER 21, 2019

I Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)  Give thanks in all circumstances…   (MSG)  thank God no matter what happens.   Life comes pre-packaged with trouble:  but prayer gives us access to a never-ending supply of wisdom and encouragement.  We worship in spite of our problems.  We view heartaches as opportunities for greater reliance on the Giver of Life.  We discover new provisions through Jesus Christ,  our Lord.  Give thanks today no matter what your circumstances because thanksgiving is the doorway into God’s…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 20, 2019

Philippians 4:6-9  (NIV)  Do not be anxious about anything,  but in everything,  by prayer and petition,  with thanksgiving,  present your requests to God.  And the peace of God,  which transcends all understanding,  will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Paul gives us the answer to overcoming worry.  Pray,  with thanksgiving,  over every concern.  He doesn’t expect us to pretend that we don’t have problems;  but He wants us to use our energy to give thanks in spite…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY NOVEMBER 19, 2019

Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV)  Therefore,  if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,  leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to your brother;  then come and offer your gift. Jesus prioritized relationships.  His messages were not ethereal concepts disassociated from the nitty-gritty realities of life.  He presented timeless truths applicable both then and now.  He told people to stop worshipping if they needed…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY NOVEMBER 18, 2019

Matthew 5:21-22  (NIV)  You have heard… ”Do not murder”…  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment”  (Jesus teaching).   Jesus provides tremendous insight into human behavior in this one verse.  Our thoughts lead to feelings,  and our feelings lead to actions.  How important it is for us to follow the advice given by Paul in Philippians 4:6-9 and learn to think on  “whatsoever is true,  noble,  right,  pure,  lovely,  admirable, …

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY NOVEMBER 16, 2019

Matthew 4:23 (NIV)  Jesus went throughout Galilee,  teaching in their synagogues,  preaching the good news of the kingdom,  and healing every disease and sickness among the people.  Christ’s miracles drew multitudes.  People listened to Him as long as they saw miracles.  But later in His ministry,  as He drew near to the cross,  He performed fewer miracles and preached more about discipleship.  Once,  after his message on the high cost of discipleship,  many followers walked away  (John 6).  He turned…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY NOVEMBER 15, 2019

Isaiah 66:1-2 (NIV)  This is what the Lord says:  “Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool…This is the one I esteem:  he who is humble and contrite in spirit,  and trembles at my word.”   The heaven is His throne and the earth is His footstool;  yet,  God chooses to live in the hearts of humble believers who faithfully obey His Word.  Think of it!  His greatest delight is you!  In a world filled with doubt,  sarcasm…

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 – WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 13, 2019

Isaiah 55:9 (NIV)  As the heavens are higher than the earth,  so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  We tend toward obsession with ego needs that drive our decision-making processes.  We must become wise by listening first for the Spirit’s voice.  We must learn to dial past the static that permeates our world system and seek first the Kingdom of Heaven.  God cares about our daily decisions and knows that each one has…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY NOVEMBER 12, 2019

Isaiah 55:3 (NIV)  Give ear and come to me;  hear me,  that your soul may live… This passage speaks of spiritual poverty and thirst (vs. 1).  We live such hectic lives that all too often we overlook our deep inner hunger for God.  We forget how much we need Him.  We invest so much of our time and energy in things that do not have eternal value.  God invites us to come empty handed to His table of provision.  There…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY NOVEMBER 11, 2019

Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)  They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;  they shall mount up with wings as eagles;  they shall run,  and not be weary;  and they shall walk,  and not faint.   “Weary and faint persons can face the difficulties of life when they live in God,  for they are renewed in their strength by the Creator’s limitless strength”  (Hayford Bible Handbook).  Patient waiting,  done in God’s presence,  produces quiet confidence.  He will trigger peace and…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY NOVEMBER 9, 2019

Proverbs 11:25 (NLT) The generous will prosper;  those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.  Are you known for your generosity?  You don’t have to own a big bank account in order to be a generous person.  The smallest acts of kindness often provide the most comfort:  a cup of cold water given to a thirsty laborer,  a meal offered to a grieving family,  a warm embrace for a lonely friend.  We can be God’s most usable vessels when listening…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY NOVEMBER 8, 2019

Psalm 134: 1-2 (NIV)  Praise the Lord,  all you servants of the Lord,  you who serve at night in the house of the Lord.  Lift your hands toward the sanctuary and praise the Lord.  Lifting up hands is an action that indicates surrender;  and in this text,  it also represents worship and adoration.  It is our best response in dark times.  Worship is the antidote to fear;  it enables us to focus on faith and watch for the Lord’s provision…

DEVOTIONS -THURSDAY NOVEMBER 7, 2019

Psalm 119:130 (MSG)  Break open your words,  let the light shine out,  let ordinary people see the meaning.  We have spiritual capacity to discover God as we lean in,  open the Bible,  open our hearts,  and invite the Holy Spirit to unpack the timeless truths recorded there.  God’s breath lives on those pages.  You’ll find yourself identifying with one of the characters in at least one of the many narratives as you identify with their failures and God’s faithfulness.  Wisdom…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 6, 2019

Psalm 103:14 (NIV) …He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.   Sometimes we come face to face with our deep-rooted inadequacies.  Our humanity overwhelms us.  During those times these words become life to us because we find relief in knowing that God is on our side,  ready to intervene for us.  The grace of God—we must ponder it.  We are finite but God is infinite:  the wind blows over it and it is gone,  and…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY NOVEMBER 5, 2019

Psalm 103:3 (NIV)  Praise the Lord…who forgives all your sins…  It’s good to pause often and consider the vast love of God (as high as the heavens are above the earth- vs. 11).  His love does not change and is unaffected by our failures.  When we behave poorly or make bad choices,  we will suffer the consequences of those actions and God (and others) will be hurt and disappointed;  but God’s love for us will remain strong.  It does not…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2019

Psalm 103:2 (NIV)  Praise the Lord,  O my soul,  and forget not all His benefits…  (MSG)  …don’t forget a single blessing! When life gets tough,  it is especially important to remember all the Lord’s blessings rather than the trials.  It takes intentionality to choose gratitude instead of grumbling.  It takes determination to count your blessings and keep walking one resolute step after another while going through physical  (or emotional or spiritual)  therapy.  Don’t sit down and curl up into a…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY NOVEMBER 2, 2019

Psalm 91:4 (NIV) –  He will cover you with His feathers,  and under His wings you will find refuge;  His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart  (protection).  Read the promises throughout this Psalm:  He will cover you.  He will save you.  He will shield you.  His angels will guard you.  These are comforting truths when life becomes a busy blur and we have to adjust our normal routines to accommodate special circumstances.  God saves and shields us every day…
>